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Casein which is an ingredient in Cow's milk often causes diarrhea and is often found in lactaid-free products.  Read about casein in cow's milk.

My Mom is lactose intolerant and I buy powdered Goat's Milk (Walmart sells it) and use it to make my Mom puddings, ice-cream, etc.   It made a big difference.

You have nothing to lose by trying it if you can't find fresh Goat's Milk.

Good luck,
Jenna
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Try to get an ultrasound of her abdomen if this has not yet been done. I was through this exact same thing with my Mom.
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Has C-Diff been ruled out?
This can be brutal and can be passed on to those caring for her. Very important to rule this out.
If it is C-Diff it can be tricky to cure.
I also would not want to put anyone that age through a colonoscopy and for sure not if they have dementia.
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wenbert May 26, 2019
C-Diff has been ruled out. Thank you for the advice about the colonoscopy. We are going to cancel that!! Maybe it's dairy...?? I may eliminate that and see what happens.
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Has she been tested for SIBO, small intestine bacterial overgrowth?
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wenbert May 26, 2019
I am not sure if she has been tested for SIBO. Is that from blood work, or stool sample? I will add that to my questions for the Doctor.
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Please get her a good probiotic and prebiotic. Gut health is so important and these will help her body get things strengthened. I believe everyone should be taking these everyday because so much of our overall health is tied into our gut.

If she will eat fermented foods, like sauerkraut a quarter cup a day is a fabulous prebiotic. Talk to someone in a good health food store to find a good product right away and then you can get them off the internet, we use Swanson vitamins and have had very good luck. The dr. Stephen langers 16 strain with fos has done wonders for all of us.

I am not a medical professional and have no special certs about this, just personal experience and research trying to keep my l8ved ones as healthy as possible.
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wenbert May 26, 2019
thank you for the response. I am going to explore the fermented foods. I think she likes sauerkraut. :) Fingers crossed..
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What a messy problem!  My Dad's allergies changed his last 5 years.  He tried elimination diet, and the results were exactly the same as my son's allergies as a toddler! 

Another possibility - Does she have pain with it?  did you try anti-diarrhea meds?  I had this problem for a few months, maybe 8 years ago.  I finally took meds, but it got worse.  Then I reread med directions....it said do not take if you take antacid meds (like protonix).  Yes, I take them too.  Went to doctor, test for stools came back negative, but he went by the symptoms and gave me antibiotics anyway.  It cured it!

So sorry it isn't easier to figure.  My advice, do not do the colonoscopy.  They can check for cancer other ways.  Or worms.  Or other possibilities.
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wenbert May 26, 2019
thank you for the advice. We are NOT doing the colonoscopy, as so many people have advised us not to.

She does NOT have any cramping with the Diarrhea. Immodium, etc does not help at all.
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We are very suspicious of the dementia drug (nimenda) that she started in January. We even tried to cut back the nimenda, but nothing changed. Except her dementia started to reappear, and we don't want that. It could be dairy, but she doesn't really have much of that. She does eat yogurt and cottage cheese daily. Should we cut that out? See what happens?
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anonymous840695 May 25, 2019
Definitely cut out the dairy if it's not lactose free dairy. You could also try adding the lactase enzyme if she likes yogurt.. I would consider psyllium fiber but only if she drinks a lot of water throughout the day otherwise it will constipate her. Is she taking the medication on a full stomach? That will help reduce the toxicity of it.
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I would not subject an 88 yr old Dementia person to a scope or colonoscopy. Colons thin out as we age. Perforation is easier to happen. Plus going under will just make the Dementia worse. But I would take her to a doctor who specializes in the lower parts.

Having diarrhea dehydrates the body taking with it electrolytes. Your Mom needs to be taken to the hospital to rehydrate her. Hopefully, they will admit her.
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wenbert May 25, 2019
totally agree JoAnn....I don't want to do the colonoscopy. I think the GI Dr mentioned it to "appease" me, since we are at witts end with this. We are very concerned about the anesthesia with the early Dementia. She has had blood work, and electrolytes were fine. I took her to the ER once.....5 hours later, we just went home. :( The did lots of tests...no answers.
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Wen, when you say moms docs haven't been much help, how do you mean?

Have they tested stool samples?

Put her on an elimination diet (to rest for food sensitivities)?

Done any kind of scope (colonoscopy . Sigmoidoscopy?)
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wenbert May 25, 2019
primary doctor just refers us to GI doctor. He says to "watch diet" and see what happens. and, he prescribed the fiber conn. We are scheduled for colonoscopy June 3, but I may cancel that. Not sure it will help, and we know it is risky.
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This is something a gut doctor could suss out, I know. As we age, our bodies change tremendously. Food that once was no problem, becomes an issue. The intestines thin out and are more prone to either cause serious constipation or raging diarrhea.

A visit to a gastro doc is probably in order. They won't do more than a sigmoidoscopy as colonoscopies in the elderly are VERY dangerous. A little biopsy of the gut may give the dr very clear idea as to what is going on.
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Has she been tested for C. difficile?
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wenbert May 25, 2019
She has had stool sample, and everything comes back negative.
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Have you consulted her doctor about this? Had she started any new medications or anything around the same time or just prior to when this started?
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wenbert May 25, 2019
Yes, her primary doctor just referred us to GI doctor. He put her on fiber conn, and that helped a little at first, but not for long... She did start taking Nimenda (Dimentia) in January..the Diarrhea started end of February. Could it be that?
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Wenbert, that is a long time to have diarrhea.... time to play detective to see what is the cause.

Usually as we age we become intolerant of dairy products. If your Mom drinks milk, buy Lactaid milk instead, it taste the same only the lactose is removed.

I remember when my Dad had what he called "the trots", and after eliminating dairy from his diet it cleared up the diarrhea. Now, trying to convince my Mom with her thinking that "a little bit won't hurt" will hurt was another huge issue. She was from the old school that everyone needs to have milk daily. Told Mom that Dad couldn't have ice cream [except for Lactaid brand, chocolate is great]... no cottage cheese... no shredded cheese... no Yogurt [except for the lactose-free], nothing made with milk.

Another cause of diarrhea is gluten products. This is trial and error. Eliminate bread products from Mom's diet for two weeks and see what happens.

Side of effects of prescription meds and over-the-counter vitamin pills can also cause diarrhea. Again, trial and error.

Hopefully the culprit it found soon.
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wenbert May 25, 2019
I am going to remove the bread/grain products, see what happens. Fingers crossed. She does eat turkey sandwich often...maybe that's a problem. It's worth a try.
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