My mum (86) has dementia. She complains constantly about low abdominal pain, says needs to keep using toilet & won’t be far from it. Any suggestions? -

My mum (86) has dementia. She complains constantly about low abdominal pain, says needs to keep using toilet & won’t be far from it. Any suggestions?


My mum goes on own to toilet and says just passed a load of muck. Sorry to be graphic. Her filter gone. But has she? It’s so hard to know. I do believe she has stomach pain but not sure how much is in her head! She has had every test, scan going to no avail apart from possible irritable bowel. She has no appetite or sense of smell.



How long has this been going on?

And when you say she's had every test going... Like what?
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Reply to Countrymouse

If she’s had a colonoscopy and they didn’t find anything, did the doctor at least recommend monitoring the fiber intake? I have to watch mine like a hawk and strive for 25 grams per day, or else my digestion is a mess and often have intestinal cramps, diarrhea/constipation. Are they treating the IBS?
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Reply to rocketjcat

My Mom complained about the same thing. Seemed to be in the mornings. Once she ate she seemed fine. Yes, tests showed no problems. I also think, like children, they tend to dramatize.

Does your Mom drink coffee, I cut Moms out. It makes them go. Great laxative but caused problems. Same with apple juice. My Mom was not allowed orange juice because of acid reflux. But the coffee and apple juice did cause loose bowels.

Dementia effects taste and smell. Is it no appetite or no taste. We eat because it tastes good. Ask dr. if there is something to help her appetite.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Yep, elderly people love their bowel movements. They will boast about them, describe them for anyone who will listen, discuss them, and remember them. They fully expect the following day's bowel movement to be as momentous as the previous day's movement but if it isn't, elderly people will fret and worry while sitting on the commode for hours just hoping for some sign of encouragement. They will desperately gulp down glass after glass of water to help move things along and will become quite cross if their expectations are not met.

And then! And then!! Results! The elderly person will regale anyone in their path with descriptions of the texture, density, and heft of their latest bowel movement. They will be at peace once again.

Until the next day.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

If I understand you correctly, the "Load of Muck" is from your Mum's bowels and that she has had several tests already? So many diseases and illnesses have the same symptoms that it is something hard to determine the exact cause. Has the doctor suggested Irritable Bowel or Crohn's Disease? Does she have any problems with lactose or milk protein (whey) or any other foods? Have you tried probiotics, do they seem to help or do they increase your Mum's abdominal pain and the amount of "Muck"?

Here is some information about Crohn's Disease. Maybe you can compare your Mum's symptoms with those listed on the websites. I hope that these can help.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to DeeAnna

Old people, even those without dementia seem obsessed with their bowels. My mom regularly told me she “filled the bowl right to the top” which would probably be over 5 gallons of poo. What do you mean “her filter gone”? You should be able to tell from the odor if she has actually gone. And, you should probably be watching for blood in her stool if she has lower abdominal pain.

My mom pretty much stopped eating too. She lost weight but not at an alarming rate. I brought her fast food and junk food treats and she loved those. Some people believe Seniors have to have 3 square meals a day and dedicate their lives to preparing those meals only to find out their loved ones won’t eat them and sneak cookies out of the jar when no one’s looking. Give mom what she asks for and keep in touch with her doctor.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

I help my young granddaughters wipe after a bowel movement. They want to be left alone but are fine with the help with wiping. If you are around you could find out this way. I would get baby wipes and have a wastebasket with a plastic bag insert nearby.
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Reply to Riverdale