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I just started probiotics on mom hoping it will help her bowel issues. Sometimes constipated and digs it out(yuck) or sometimes it just runs out of her with no control. It is also the worst smelling poop I have ever smelt - it is unbelievable.
Anyone tried these before with any luck.

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A good friend recommended home-made kefir and her elderly mom is benefiting. even claims to have reduced some of her meds. youtube is filled with info and easy instructions on home-made kefir (a drinkable yogurt).
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I've heard wonderful things about kefir (a drinkable yogurt). youtube has good info in making it yourself, easy to do. A good friend recommended and her elderly mother is benefiting greatly from it. Even claims she doesn't have to take as much of her meds.
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Gem. Thanks again. I'll look io Swanson! It's hard to know if they r high quality. I usually buy Natue Made, Now or RAW. RAW Is pretty costly especially since you have to take so many a day.
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Gem. Thanks again. I'll look io Swanson! It's hard to know if they r high quality. I usually buy Natue Made, Now or RAW. R
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Sounds like you are on the right track golfhard.You are using some of the "natural" sweetners that do not have such a high glycemic index. That should help keep her blood sugar more level. If she is having a hot dog 1-2 x's a week, I would not worry. She does need to have something she really enjoys! Just start with small amounts of water with the cranberry juice, or she will be able to tell. Just do it gradually. I use swansonvitamins.com to get my supplements. They are reasonable and work with high quality providers of supplements. Happy researching!
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Thanks gem, those are excellent ideas. Here I thought the cranberry juice was going to help. I will start adding water. She does like sweet things, I guess that her sweet taste buds are more active. And I know sugar is bad for you, I myself try to stay off sugar as much as I can because if I don't I get sick. Ibs, joint and leg aches. I started making her oatmeal with agave nectar with vanilla almond milk unsteady of sugar. I know they contain sugar burst least it is more natural
And she eats it up like Goldilocks!!
I also use honey on her baked sweet potatoes. Another favorite of hers. She really eats healthy, except when she asks for hot dogs. I've tried the veggie kind, she won't eat them. I try not to buy them but she requests hot dogs.
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I see it under your user name right now. I thought it was already there and didn't have to be added as a choice. It was under my name already.
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Silly question, but how am I able to add the "Give a hug" under my user name?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Hello Golf,
Just looked at a couple of your posts again! Mom was started on a "new pain med". That could certainly be a big part of the problem. I would discuss this with a pharmacist that you have a good relationship with and trust! They are usually the person I go to for help. They have A LOT more training in drug interactions and the chemistry involved.
Another thing that came to mind is that you mentioned that she drinks a lot of orange and cranberry juice. I know we all have to do the best we can, just to get liquids in, but especially the cranberry has a lot of added refined sugar, which contributes to a lower immune response, which makes you more likely to be prone to infection!!!???? My guess is she did not like the one from the health food store, because it was not as sweetened???? I know it is a vicious cycle! But I would slowly week after week{since tastes are learned!} add some water to the juice. Get it to a place where Mom will still drink it, but it will limit some of the sugar. This will be a gradual process, not a quick fix! I have actually been trying to do this myself, to limit calories. The other thing I enjoy is lemon slices in water! If you do not like water alone, this may be a good alternative for you. Be aware that some of the no calorie drinks use sweetner substitutes, and in the long run we do not know all the "side effects"! You really have to be a super "detective" to pick up on this!!!!!!!! They do it in such a subtle way, that you may miss it!!!!!!!!!
Also, I know the medical community has some flaws that need some correction. Hold them accountable, just like any other business. I've been on both sides of the fence. Sometimes, it is a matter of being able to communicate better ON BOTH SIDES! That does not excuse "bad" behavior! Sometimes, the medical person is not aware of your life and vice versa! So we need to continue to communicate more and work at becoming better at it! Just like with anything else that is worth working for!
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1Gem, thanks for the extra measure of strength and patience, I certainly can use it dealing with the non helpful siblings! lol
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Gem. I'd like to find a good source for cranberry extract ! mom loves cranberry juice. I bought her some in a health food store and she didn't like that. Maybe with extract I can slip it in. I also did cranberry in pill form. Didn't notice any help with that. I do worry about resistance. She is on keflex. But only every
Few months when I know it's time.
Speaking of doctors and hospitals. I have taken her to emergency room several times and they won't admit her. It's the same doctor, and he says ,"she will just keep having these chinks in her armor". I took her once she had had diarrhea all over the white carpet, I mean ALL OVER. It is now replaced. She also had chest pains. They admitted her one night and she was upset and they called me to come sit with her all night or they would have to get a caregiver. I told them, get one. I was home shampooing carpet all night! They were getting paid to take care of her. She settled down in about 15 min which I knew she would. But they released her first in the morning We since have replaced with vinyl that looks like hardwood. These docs just think - their old, they have lived a very long life. They don't realize THAT'S MY MOM. Heartless
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golfbhard,
I am so glad that you responded to my posts, regarding your issues. I would not want any one to feel like they are not providing good care. It sounds like you are doing all you can and are VERY involved in her health and care.
My sister was just released from the hospital after almost a month's stay. She was dx with Crohns when she was 40 y.o., I when I was 14. We almost lost her. And she lives about 1 hr. away. Some of the things she was telling me on the phone sent up red flags. And some of my concerns turned out to be correct. ( she also is in the medical profession)
Medicine today is in a difficult position. Everyone is always concerned about being sued, so they do all these tests, which at times are not going to change the treatment. Then other times it seems like they ignore you, completely. IT is amazing that you can go in for a physical and not even be touched by certain providers. It's all about the paperwork. Although, I know that is an important part of the process, it should NOT be the ONLY process. I keep reminding all of them, do not rely on the tests alone, look at the PATIENT and treat their symptoms, do not treat the tests. I know we do not live in a perfect world, so I do try to be realistic, but some things are just obvious, IF you take the time to look at the WHOLE picture. And medicine, although we need specialists, I feel specializes too much. VERY FEW sit down, to take the time to see the whole picture and put the pieces of the puzzle together. (This is not all their fault, it is the system that we have created. And many times people making the decisions are not "in the trenches", taking care of patients!)
I ,as a medical professional, have had to work from the other side, and now much to my dismay, have to work with them from the patient's side, more than I would like. Another experience in my life that colors how I respond is that my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but they just kept ignoring her in the beginning. She noticed a bowel habit change and she was told to drink Senna tea. When nothing changed after 1 week she called the office and she was told," just drink more!!!!!!!!!!" ( I am all for including alternative methods when appropriate, by the way!) By the time we got her to a gynecological oncologist, she was stage 3C. Although I do know that ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose, some of the BASICS, you would expect with the kind of complaints she was having, were not being done. She did fight the disease for almost 7 years, but finally her body was not able to keep fighting. It will be 5 years in August that we lost her.
So I hope this helps you understand, why I was so concerned. It sounds like you have a handle on what is happening. I also understand that when the sudden increase in stool came on, that you were startled. And that is REASONABLE. Because when you see a difference in bowel habits, you SHOULD be questioning it. Sounds like the odor is getting better and that would make sense, that the probiotics are starting to balance her intestinal bacteria. The other thing that just popped into my head is, do you know if she may have a rectal prolapse. Because when her stool gets hard, this could make it even more difficult if not impossible to pass stool with a prolapse. That is extremely painful and may be why she then "digs" out the stool. Hopefully she is on the mend and you will not have to concern yourself with these issues much longer. One thing that came to my mind is, that perhaps you could provide her with a box of gloves, when she is not able to pass the stool. That way the transmission of bacteria may be a little less???? Blessings to you. You are very correct in stating that we do what we have to do and get the strength from God. Hopefully, you have someone that can give you some short breaks , even a couple hours a week, so that you can take some "me" time. As caregivers we forget about ourselves, but eventually our bodies and minds can only take so much. Because if you get sick, you will not be able to care for her, either. Blessings.

To Revereroles, I do understand about the antibiotics, especially in the elderly with frequent UTI. I was just making a statement about antibiotics in general. I agree at her age this may be way on the bottom of the priority list. It is wonderful that you are in tune with what happens to her when she starts developing a UTI and then can take action. Although, in response to the resistance of antibiotics, we do have a problem in general. We do have some NEW problems because antibiotics were used TOO freely, at one point in time. And now we have difficulty treating certain conditions, because of that. It sounds that in your situation that you are using them appropriately.
They only other thing I would suggest again, is find a reputable company that makes the cranberry extract. By reputable I mean a company that regulates themselves and sticks to high standards. The supplement industry is not regulated and some of the companies do a poor job with the products that they provide. Any good health food store, should be able to assist you with this. Because I have seen some very good results in some patients with the cranberry extract. If the family provided it and we gave it routinely, the patient usually did not develop the UTI's as frequently or not at all. Hope this clarifies what I posted earlier.
Blessings to you, also. May the good Lord, give all of those providing care to their loved ones an extra measure of strength and patience.
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Gem. I was asking about if anyone else gave probiotics. Newly on pain meds she gets very constipated. I am glad to know that back pain can be from constipation, as it varys where the pain is.
I'm (guessing) the bad odor is from backed up poop? It smelt different today. She is also up and down more and I think she feels better. But she wants to eat every time she gets up.
I have a good friend that has crohns and I know it can be very bad. Hers is now controlled with the help of a chiropractor.
On the other hand I do hope that she can get regulated. She has only been on them for about a week. So the major poops came on and startled me.
God bless you too and ALL caregivers. I never thought in a million years this would be my destiny. My husband is 10 years older than me ( but in great shape and health) and I begged him to take care of himself so I won't have to do this again. But I would. We do what we have to do and get strength from God.
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My Mom too has a standing rx for antibiotics to use when I think she has a UTI and its worked fantastic. Seriously, getting immuned to antibiotics is the least of our worries , she is 90 years old! She has more of a chance of getting a UTI so badly she could be hospitilized or die than to antibiotics. If they should ever stop working we could change but shes been on them for years with no problems.
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OK! I guess you were trying to get a discussion going rather than actually asking, because you did not have experience with it!!!!!!!!!!!
I am not questioning the care you are giving her at all!!!!!!! It was just the way the answers came across to me. I agree that some of the back pain could be related to the problem of constipation. But why the really foul odor?? In my experience the probiotic usually helps eliminate that. Perhaps that has gotten better, since you first posted the question. I wish you all the best. I know that being a care giver can be extremely rewarding, however also can be very tiring and wearing on an individual. May the Good Lord give you the strength to help her reach her goal of becoming 100 years old!!!!!!
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Her doc ( geriactric) has worked closely with me for years on her health. He is so impressed by how healthy her body is heart,lungs,etc. He know she wants to live to see 100 so he has taken a special interest in her. He beams when she pulls through something. Her UTI's don't come around often, but I know the signs and when she absolutely HAS to have them. So he gave me refills so I won't have to drag her in during winter. I use them sparingly as not to get her immuned from them. But when she has it bad she goes into outer space.
I am aware of the benefits of probiotics as I have taken them for many years off and on. I have abdominal issues.
Since she has started on them she is going #2 a lot more. I really believe she feels better. Nothing worse than being constipated. Of course it is more work for me. She also has back issues all her k
Life from falling out of a 2nd story farm house when she was 9. I'm thinking some of the back pain might be constipation. Today she say her back doesn't hurt.
She doesn't like mike or yogurt. She pretty much drinks orange juice, cranberry juice and bottled water.
I am hoping (fingers crossed) tat she will get into a more normal bowel movement besides constipation which is her main problem. When you think about it, what is in the lining of the colon after 93 years.
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So if I am reading correctly what you said, is that you just give antibiotics "here and there"??????, as a last resort. This will lead to antibiotic resistance, and that is a problem also. There are certain situations where you have to be on long term antibiotics, but in those cases the Dr. will usually switch them to different ones, so that the bacteria have a difficult time developing resistance to them.
The particular brand and type that have worked well for me are NOW - Probiotic Defense. I have dealt with Crohn's disease for 41 years, along with some other difficult health issues. I am able to purchase them on a website at a very reasonable cost. It is swansonvitamins.com . Granted the same thing does not work for everyone, but It would be worth to give it a try. I would recommend having her take one or two daily, spaced out, to begin with. With the foul odor that you mentioned, I am almost certain that could be related to the antibiotic. Some Dr's are starting to recommend them, but others are still in the"dark", so to speak. As funnierthanme stated probiotics replace the "good" bacteria that is also killed off by antibiotics. It is a matter of balance and that is not the same for everyone. The other thing that came to mind is that although many people tolerate milk products, some DO NOT, and have not figured that out yet. So by taking the mixture of probiotics in a capsule form, you are skipping the dairy in the yogurt.
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I mentioned to her dr and told him I put her on them. He said I was a good daughter. She eats like a horse so she poops like one too. That is true about the antibiotics. She has a standing prescription and I only put her one them as last resort. The other times she is so constipated she has to dig out. So the probiotics she is on also addresses UTI issues. She also drinks lots of orange juice. Has a very healthy diet.
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An Intensive Care nurse was the one who recommended the probiotics to us. She is also MIL's Home Care nurse. I mentioned them to MIL's doctor when we took her there for her only visit she could actually tolerate in a car. He agreed that we should try them along with the anti-diarrhea medication. Her problem, as with everyone on long-term antibiotics, is that the anti-biotics kill the "good" bacteria as well as the bad and that is why the bowels get so messed up. Pro-biotics put good bacteria back into the bowels. If you could get your Mom to eat yogurt, it would help a great deal. My MIL wouldn't touch it. She had a toe amputated in February and her Podiatrist/MD told her she should get used to the yogurt along with the acidophillus. He suggested including the Culturelle, also. She refused to try even one other flavor of yogurt after trying the first. 1gemintherough is right. Check with her physician before you start her on any program first. You may find he agrees with you completely, but be sure first.
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I would really recommend that you take her to have her checked out. This is going on too long to ignore and at least get some kind of evaluation. That would be my recommendation as a medical professional. Once you have eliminated a physical issue, that may need treatment, then you can experiment and educate yourself more on the probiotics. And as I said not all probiotics are alike. Please do her and your self the favor of being evaluated. Especially in the elderly,(as with children) they can dehydrate in a very short period of time.
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So far the probiotics are getting rid of a bunch of (crap) and I have the pleasure of cleaning it up. I'm hoping it is cleaning her out and she can get regular. Wish me luck!
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1gemintherough, I love the peppermint oil suggestion. I'm going to get it as soon as I get low on the Pine Power! It will be a lot easier to carry than a 48 oz bottle of anything else. Thanks for that idea.
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Another thing that will help the odor, is to get a bottle of pure peppermint oil. A great site that I use is . Put a drop or two in the "potty" and it will help with the odor. I believe I heard Dr. Oz suggest carrying this with you, when out and about, and you are concerned about stool odor, when using public facilities. Just put a drop or two in the toilet bowl, and it will help contain the odor!
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Probiotics/acidophilus are both useful in helping the digestive system. Sometimes it is hard for older people to manage fiber. You might want to look into a daily fiber therapy routine using a gentle fiber you can buy over the counter to regulate her bowels and be sure she gets a lot of fluid. This is vital to the digestive system. I live with Chrohn's disease! You need to tell the doctor about her problem. There might be a digestive disease.
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I take acidophilus every day and I get less severe colds and no yeast infections. I have thought of trying my mom on them, but will ask the doctor first. Great answers!
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Funny...Love the pine sol idea, thanks!
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YES! They can take probiotics. The Home Care Nurse recommended acidophyllus for MIL when her bowls are messed up because of the UTI's. MIL was taking several different antibiotics for an infected toe (she's a diabetic) and her bowels were in a terrible uproar. Her doctors couldn't figure out what to do. I think they were just plain stupid, myself. I finally gave her 1/2 an antidiarrhea pill a day and another if she had a bad watery bowel movement and we also gave her acidophyllus and Culturelle every day. It took about two weeks or maybe it was three, but it gave her more firm, or at least not watery movements. I could get her to the potty before she messed up the bed and needed a bath herself. We keep a little bit of Pine Sol in the potty water to help control the odor and it helps a great deal. It doesn't eliminate it, but it keeps it from engulfing the room. Family Dollar sells a 48 oz. bottle of Pine Power for $2.00 and it works just as good as Pine Sol which is a lot more expensive.
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Golfbhard, this is a daily concern here with my 90 year old Mom. I have to keep right on top of her schedule daily and its a balancing act depending on what she eats also, even if she has too much thick-it, different meds, diff foods, etc. Colace is great but isnt an option for us as she cannot swallow pills. If your Mom is constipated with small hard stools, it might be backed up all the way up the track that way. I have had my Mom in the ER for an unimpaction and learned my lesson the hard way. Here is what I do, and I hope it helps you or someone.
Every morning I giver her 3/4 teaspoon of miralax in 4 ozs of real coffee, she loves a real coffee treat. (with thick-it)(approved by her dr) She gets her pills 2x daily with prune pudding that I made and keep in the fridge. I buy frozen peaches and/or mixed fruits, thaw them, put them in the blender with a little sugar and puree them, then I freeze them into little containers. I feed her them as an Icee, as pudding, or as a drink depending on how thawed I have them. She drinks 20 oz a day of decaf coffee and tea, and if I even think she might be getting constipated I put in a childrens glycerine suppository. Sometimes she has a buldge around her anus as she forgets how to push out her stools, poor thing, I use a glove and vaseline to massage around the area to get it started some times. I keep her on a daily dose of amoxicillin to prevent UTI's after a long visit with her doctor, he agreed to do this and it works like a charm. Probiotics are good to prevent yeast infections I hear when on antiobiotics. We are preventing UTI's and Constipation but its not easy, its been good for 3 years now with a careful watch. Good Luck.
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They definitely help the elderly. My mother is 85 and was constantly going from the extremes with her digestive track. I recommended probiotics or, at a minimum yogurt, and it did wonders for her. It turned out that a small container of yogurt each day kept her very regular and comfortable. If your mother can eat yogurt, that that first. It may be enough. If it isn't, investigate the next least intrusive probiotics and continue in steps until you find the right combination.
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Yes, I believe that they are, for any age. The question is that you become properly educated on the type and right amount to use. The other factor here with your mother would be, when is that last time she had a physical at her doctor. I would make sure that she had an exam first, as there could be a treatable reason for what is happening to her. Although on the other side of the coin, I realize that most doctors are not educated in this area. If she is on medications this could be a side effect. Is she keeping her food at the proper temperature before she uses it etc, etc Does she have any animals around. Are they getting their shots and worming appropriately? People sometimes forget that worms etc. can be transmitted if proper hygiene is not observed..A Naturopathic doctor could be helpful in learning what probiotics to use. Or if you are able to research this yourself on the internet, you will become more educated and aware of what works or does not work. Not all probiotics are the same. For UTI's I have seen cranberry pills work very well with the elderly. The problem is that Medicare will not cover this. So family members have to provide it.
Also what kind of fluid intake does she have?? Many of us, of any age, are guilty of not taking in adequate fluids. Especially in the elderly population, this becomes an issue, as many times they do not feel thirsty and have other complicating issues. Fiber many times is lacking as well in their diet. There are some things that can be used to increase this other than food, if they are not eating well or much. This is not a fun issue to deal with, but hopefully I have given you some things to explore that will be helpful.
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