Is it possible for someone to take too many stool softeners and 'benefiber'? - AgingCare.com

Is it possible for someone to take too many stool softeners and 'benefiber'?

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Mom pops softeners like candy (8-10/day) and ladles out benefiber as if it is going out of style. I think the softener bottle said not to take more than two weeks but I am not sure.
Will this have any impact on 92 year old woman? She doesn't move around much. Sits in easy chair all day or takes nap in bed.

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Not as feisty as you might think. I agree: she will not be able to function without the softeners. She hates the taste of water, she does not like sweet stuff, so the tea is about all she'll drink, and drinks a little over a quart a day.
I have another saying 'I refuse to make a dead horse walk'. I have an old story from our past as an example, it is good. If anyone is interested I will relate it, but it actually would apply to a lot of folk.
Be that as it may, if she chooses to go off a cliff, I may not stop her. I might suggest stepping away from the edge, but not much more.(figuratively speaking)
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You may be between a rock and a hard place. I've always heard to pick your wars, and that sounds like what you're doing.

I don't think any of it can necessarily kill her. It might not be good for her, either. By now her body is probably unable to function without the assistance of the stool softeners. But fluids are KEY. I would think weak tea would be ok, I've found that mom like Crystal Lite, mostly the lemonade flavor, over plain water. As people age, they lose their taste buds and generally don't eat as much. If she's not eating because she can't find something to eat, perhaps she would enjoy meals on wheels. They will bring her something and visit for a minute, too. My grandmother used to get 2 meals out of the MoW lunch. She ate like a bird and lived to be 100.

What people don't always think about, is that output is directly related to intake. Food in = food out. She just may not need to have a BM every day.

Good luck, she sounds like a feisty woman.
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Not trying to control weight: she does not eat much and is barely taking in enough proteins.
She is a stubborn old narc and as far as I'm concerned i'm NOT going to get into a pissing war with her over what she takes in. She just cannot each much at a sitting, she cannot see what's in the fridge easily, there is ALWAYS some freaking excuse. I am simply now aware there may well be problems with her intake of these substances. She is enjoying her life as much as she can so, whatever happens, she is relatively happy. I have contacted doctor for some information: however if it does get back to the old woman, I probably will hear no end of it.
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Now I wonder if the laxatives were used to control weight? Some women use to do that long time ago.
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I do think I am going to have to contact doc though. If anything, just to request an update as I am not in the loop and I don't completely trust mom to tell me everything or the truth on everything. Or she may simply not remember.
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She is a former nurse, I would think she would know better, but at this point I don't know. She only drinks very very weak tea, won't drink water. I know she poops, but not sure of the consistency. Other than the occasional lapses in memory, incorrect terminology, she seems to have it together. Or she is just a good bull sh**er.
As far as her other meds, she seems to be able to keep track of them pretty well. That is where her old training does kick in. Insurance: she can only fill them when they are running out, so she does seem to be taking the proper amount for them.
I refuse to fight with this old broad. She is doing ok, there does not seem to any severe problems at the moment.
The doctor only contacts me to tell me she is coming. Again, I just refuse to fight with her: she has always been a 'know it all', she knows what;s best for herself: if she ends up with problems, I will deal with it as it comes and let the doctor tell her off.
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Well, how are her bowels? Does she have diarrhea as a result? I think a sedentary 92 year old needs all the help they can get, but if one thing's not working, then she needs to try something else. I think the stool softeners and the Benefiber are working against each other. She needs to drink LOTS of water with Benefiber, otherwise it just clogs up the system.

From a website I was reading that "To ensure that fiber itself does not become constipating, adequate fluid intake is necessary. This is especially true in the patient who is already taking a diuretic. The recommended daily requirement for water (or noncaffeinated fluids) is eight 8-oz glasses, assuming that the patient has no cardiac or renal problems that prohibit intake of this amount of fluid."

Note that cokes and coffee and tea are not included in this recommendation. So this would be in addition to any of those drinks. The elderly don't usually have a sense of thirst anymore and so they never think to drink on their own except for the flavor or "feel good" that they get from a coke. So you really have to push the fluids. Also some medications can be constipating, as can some foods. I've always heard that cheese and bananas are constipating.

Anyway, someone other than herself needs to be totally in charge of medication. She can't be trusted to have any reason. Today it's stool softeners, next week it might be massive doses of Tylenol or something else potentially lethal.

Ultimately I would bring this up with her doctor. She may have a blockage and need an enema, or she may be dehydrated and need to be rehydrated. It takes water to make the bowels move.
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Yes, too much. And it will cause her to lose sphincter control. It seems to be a generational thing, obsession with bowels. For several years my mother went through that except it was suppositories and milk of magnesia. She would hide it all over her apartment to keep us from taking it away. Is it possible your mother has dementia and does not remember when or if she has taken a dose which is why she is taking too much? That what was happening with Mom, being in her late 90's and no short term memory. She would tell us she "hadn't gone in 4 days" but an hour before she told us she had bad diarrhea. She didn't remember an hour before so could not possibly remember if she took a swig of milk of magnesia or not, so she was going through a couple bottles a week and having intermittant loss of control. Hopefully your mother is not living alone so someone could maybe take over giving her the laxatives and softners as they should be taken?
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twocents, yes that is waaaaaay too much... your Mom's digestive system won't remember how to act naturally should she stop. One would think it would cause serious dehydration. Was this something your Mom has always done?
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Its the amount that is alarming to me, not the duration. 8 to 10 a day, seriously? My mom is on a maintenance dose of one colace twice a day, with senna added to get things moving. I know that fiber laxatives such as metamucil can cause blockages if they don't drink enough, I'm not sure if that applies to benefiber or not. Uhhh, how are her BM's?
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