Follow
Share

Mother seems to have diarrhea often. Her internist says that, as people age, their digestive system don't work properly for this or that reason. He suggested giving Imodium every night, the liquid form, which was a lower dosage than the pill form, as a sort of maintenance. I tried it, but then I found myself trying to fine tune it, because aside from diarrhea, she will sometimes be constipated. Myself, I might disagree with the constipation, because she tends to expect that it must happen every day. Even if she's going, if it's not but a little here and a little there, she's not happy. This ends with her wanting an enema, which I will delay as long as possible. We even cut out dairy, and it seemed to help some, although not entirely, but she just keeps trying to get the dairy back in her diet. It seems with her, it is a very fine balance, and very hard to maintain. Anybody else have issues with this sort of thing, is this common among the elderly and, if so, what are you doing, that is working? Many outings have been cut short, due to bouts of this, I have given her imodium before an outting or lately, pepto bismol.

More recently, when she was taking the wrong antibiotic, she had pretty severe diarrhea. Searching online, I came up with some suggestions. First off, the article said that if she has the diarrhea due to the antibiotic, that her body is trying to get rid of it, so it should not be stopped. It advised against imodium, in this case, and suggested pepto bismol. It said that the pepto bismol would slow it down, but not totally shut her bowels down, like imodium, so that she would continue getting rid of whatever she needed to be rid of. Then I found something called BRAT ... Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, which are suggested to help stop the diarrhea and sooth the intestines I suppose. I wonder if eating those foods on a regular basis would help forestall it? It would be difficult working that in, let me tell you, she's so danged picky and often obstinate when it comes to what she eats. We've been trying new recipes, lately, since her favorite is southern and I'm not good at southern, and luckily she's liked each one.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
In Europe whenever ANTIbiotics are given, its a no-brainer that they also give PRO biotics, to help restore balance of good bacteria in gut. Go to a health foods store and get quality, high bacteria count probiotics. Usually the better, live ones are kept refrigerated. In difficult cases, higher bacteria count, and more bacteria types are needed which yogurt just cant supply enough.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Oh I feel for you, this is so very hard on top of plain old caregiving. All I know is antibiotics give me diarrhea and everyone else I know, and they upset the stomach terribly. I would think combinations of immodium and antibiotics or some foods she is eating would make her system feel like it was doing the rumba. I thought it odd that the doctor would say give her immodium, but I am not a doctor and so be it, but I always have input in my own or my mother's healthcare, as I am sure you do too. I give my mother bran flakes, bananas and other fruit which naturally makes her go to the bathroom and keeps her stool from being loose, before I came she had bouts of constipation and diarrhea. I would think the more natural and less chemical route would be better for the body. Lots of water, vegetables and such. Good luck with this, I hope it works out for you, this would be a nightmare for me on top of all the other crazy stuff I have to go through with my mother, she was acting particularily crazy last couple of days and it coincidentally coincided with my cat having diarrhea for the first time in his life of 12years, go figure, arggh.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

My mother has issues with this and her doctor suggested a daily dose of physillium (sp?). It has helped. Also my dentist suggested I take "Good Belly" a probiotic after a course of antibiotics for dental work. Its a liquid and has pleasant flavors.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I understand what you're going through. Especially about having to keep outings to a minimum due to an overactive tummy. My dad had the same problem and nothing I did helped. Diet, immodium, medication changes.....

We were coming back from somewhere when the urge hit my dad. I swung into a QT and got him out of the car but he didn't make it. He stood by the hood of the car with such a pained look on his face, I'll never forget it. I ran into the store and begged for a roll of towels and tried to clean him up the best I could. It was coming out of his pants leg into his shoes (sorry to be so graphic). I papered the entire front seat with towels and got him home but from the garage to the bedroom was a trail. Then there was the bathroom to clean up. It was an all day task. From then on when we'd go out I'd make sure he was wearing Depends (even though he had them on that one time) and I stockpiled my car with incontinence supplies: Extra Depends, wipes, a sheet to lay down over the seat and then a quilted pad to go on top of that plus some plastic from Home Depot to lay on the floor of the car. It might have seemed excessive but I saw first hand what can happen. Cleaning up the house was bad enough without having to then move on to car clean up.

I wish I had some magic pill that would work but my dad had this problem for the rest of his life. Not all the time but he'd have 2 or 3 days in a row of diarrhea and none of the remedies I tried ever worked. We also talked to the Dr. about it and he suggested immodium which I had already been giving my dad and the Dr. tweaked his meds a little but the issue never really went away.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Sorry to overwhelm with so many tactics but here is something to consider. At about the age of 75 my Mom had diarahea for more than ten years and they tried everything.... they managed to rule out the medicines she was taking. I don't know that it had the urgency the gentleman in the story had in the car, but it was bothersome to her. She ate yogurt as a primary staple in her diet her whole life, whole fat yogurt, so trying yogurt would not have helped her. However she also drank a lot of milk daily. When she switched to milk that was lactose free (or used the pills that negate lactose), her diarrhea stopped. To support this, I have read that we can develop an intolerance to lactose as we age. Good luck, I hope that you can find a solution.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Try giving her one or two yogurts per day. There are some that are especially for digestive track issues. I just give him one for breakfast. Dried blueberries are a good snack or you can put some in her cereal. The BRAT diet does help also. Chicken can also be constipating in some people so if she has diarrhea you might try that.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I was advised many years ago when I had diarrhea problems while taking antibiotic to eat a cup of yogurt containing live culture each day. This is done to help maintain the normal bacterial balance in the digestive tract which is upset by the antibiotic. It has worked well for me when I've started the yogurt immediately when starting the antibiotic, not waiting until the diarrhea episodes start. Its definitely worth a try.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Not only the elderly seem to be having more problems with diarrhea and constipation these days.A balanced natural food diet seems to work best and it takes a lot of fine tuning to get a package together that works best for each persons body type.Stress is a big factor too.My personal feeling is a lot of the fat free substitutes that are added to food products are causing many of the problems we experience.Many pharma meds can cause GI tract problems and the dosages need to be adjusted for what works best for the body chemistry.Limit caffeine intake and try to drink clean water (if you live in a big city bottled water is almost a given these days).
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

It sounds like your mom needs a strong does of really good probiotics. Go to your local health food store to get some. Antibiotics destroyed my intestinal flora. The only way to keep my digestive tract in tact is with probiotics every day. Yogurt has probiotics but not enough to re-balance her body. You also want one that has more than just acidophilus in it. That is one strain of healthy bacteria but you need all the strains. Your health food store should be able to help.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I find that immediate response with natural foods in small portions can help a lot. As folks here have said - drink water - NOT the 8 oz at a time that so many people tell you - I don't drink a whole glass at a time myself. But a few sips, then a few minutes later, pass the glass again - even doing this 2-3 times helps. And if it feels like diarrhea - gingerale, with or without ice. Tea and toast. Simple food, whatever they like, in a small portion even in between meals, then distract and repeat as needed. I've persuaded the MD to stop antibiotics before the 10 days, like on day 7 or 8, if infection is gone, and if elder is small - I don't know why they prescribe one size fits all, considering the variety in body types. And as normal prevention - I've renewed the focus on water and some greens, and any ripe fruit is an excellent laxative.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.