Help… my mother is having real problems with stomach

  • posted by Donk

    Hi, my mother is 82 had been very healthy until last March she had a partial vaginal prolapse, she saw a gynaecologist who said stop pushing during bowl movement or it could get worse.. he meant stop straining so unfortunately my mother took him literally. Mums had trouble with constipation for last few years, we think due to general anaesthetic so she started taking laxatives. 12 months later thing are real mess she is lurching from not going for a few days to having diarrhoea and is now constantly in pain her bowls or gut area. And we don’t know what to do now.. we’ve tried GI Natural probiotics (and many others), Solgar advanced Acidophilus plus, Solgar Comfort Zone along with Kefir yogurt.

    Her diet is and always has been very good lots of fruit and fibre and no white stuff..

    Trying colonic irrigation this week.

    Any advise or recommendation for who to go and see. Were not sure what type of doctor to go see. WE saw colorectal who checked a CT scan/ virtual colonoscopy and said all fine. And he advised on low does laxatives which we are doing but still no improvement.

    Please help if you can..

    PS. She is now on sertraline as her problem and constant pain have caused her to become anxious.


  • posted by Firefox7275

    Please do not have colonic irrigation. There is a risk of perforating the bowel, which is increased in older people due to tissues thinning and weakening. Given the history of prolapse, I would have hoped the practitioner would have referred straight back to her doctor.

    You don’t say which laxatives have been used past or present. Some are suitable for regular long term use, many can worsen the situation if overused. Has the doctor or pharmacist raised and discounted the possibility of overflow diarrhoea? This is liquid faeces escaping around/ past a hard stool in the bowel (ie. constipation).

    Daily physical activity (walking/ swimming/ gardening/ aqua aerobics/ chair-based exercise) stimulates bowel movement. Please check first with the family doctor or an exercise professional *qualified in working with older adults*

    In diet modification the starting point is the detailed food and symptom diary (p.187). Use this to check the balance and variety of the current diet, and to track as your mother increases prebiotic and probiotic rich foods. This diary will be invaluable if you consult a registered dietician.

    Diarrhoea can cause mineral imbalances – especially magnesium – which can contribute to many health problems including anxiety. Foods rich in nutrients beneficial in mental wellbeing and a healthy gut include oily fish, certain seeds, cocoa/ low sugar dark chocolate.

    As per the Clever Guts book, minimise sugary fruits. Eat a really wide variety of non starchy vegetables, bright and dark coloured berries, half an apple or pear with the skin, seeds, nuts, beans, lentils.

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