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Suffering from alzheimer's and started having loose stool. How to get rid of this problem?

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My 85 year old father has alzheimers and recently started having multiple bouts of very loose stools, three or four time per day and he often doesn't make it to the bathroom so he soils his depends. Is there anything we can do to help alleviate this problem?
Posted Fri, 5 Apr 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 23 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Such bouts of very loose stools can be caused by several things including bacterial or viral intestines infection, medicines (like antibiotics, cardiac antidysrhythmics, antihypertensives, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), certain antidepressants, chemotherapeutic agents, bronchodilators, antacids and laxatives), ischeamic colitis, diverticulitis, partial bowels obstruction due to adhesions(especially if there were radiotherapy for prostate cancer) or even colon cancer.
It is very important to find the reason and without it treatment might be ineffective.

To give more exact answer I need to know if the stool contains blood, does he have abdominal pain and if so where is it located, is his abdomen bloated, does he have fever.

Medicines which can be helpful if the diarrhea is bacterial or viral are: Nifuroxazid 200mg 3x1, Loperamide 4mg 3x1, Probiotics 3x2.

If this medicines wont help, you should visit gastroenterologist and colonoscopy should be performed.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from alzheimer's and started having loose stool. How to get rid of this problem? 7 minutes later
No blood in the stool
No abdominal pain
He has tried Imodium to combat the problem, but it has not been very effective.
We thought maybe the pancreas is not working effectively
The loose bowels have been going on now for several months with some days no issues and other days multiple mishaps
Do you think there is a diet we could follow to get a more regular bowel movement and firmer stool?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 7 minutes later
You have mentioned that he has started loose bowels recently, but several months is definitely not recently and lasts way too long. He suffers from chronic diarrhea which causes are much different. And yes, pancreas might be the reason, as well as partial bowels obstruction or radiation injury. Most likely there is no diet which will be effective and colonoscopy is strongly advisable (he is having very characteristic partial bowels obstruction symptoms).
If you want to try a diet, there is one called BRAT diet (bananas, rice, XXXXXXX sauce and toast). Loperamide 4mg 3x1 can also help.

Hope this will help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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