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    Suggest treatment for constipation in an elderly person

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Posted on Tue, 25 Jul 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I am 75 years old, in fair heath; my doctor says I have artery stoppage about average for a 60 year old man. I don't get a lot of exercise, because I quite going to the gym (swimming pool) several years ago. My problem relates to constipation. I do rarely take an opiate pill - like once or twice a month, and have do so over several years. I do not consider myself addicted and do not keep the pills at hand and do go sometimes a month without taking such medication. I have constipation problems and recently am only able to produce stool every other day. I do take natural vegetable laxative (Equate, Sennosides, USP 8.6 mg) at night before bed but these do not seem to be giving adequate relief. What do you recommend?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sunil 47 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Details below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello Dear patient,

Initially i would say that have a practical approach as there is no magical formula,Things will take time but they will help in long term.

A drastic change in life style is required to cure constipation. Not exercising enough, not drinking enough water and delaying a bowel movement can worsen constipation symptoms.The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined food such as whole grain cereals, XXXXXXX honey and lentils; green leafy vegetables, like spinach, beans, lettuce, celery, asparagus, carrot. Adding some fat to meals or increasing the size of a meal such as breakfast can help create the urge to defecate. Individuals suffering from constipation should increase the amount of plant foods they consume to get more fiber in their diet. Constipation can be treated by changing diets.

Intestinal flora are types of microorganisms known as probiotics that live normally as part of the intestinal tract. These organisms have several functions that help the body.The most plentiful and important bacteria in the small intestine is the Lactobacillus species. Lactobacillus helps ferment indigestible carbohydrates. It also helps to stimulate the digestive process and aid the absorption of nutrients,as well as increase the motility of the gastro intestinal tract.I would suggest you to start taking probiotics regularly.Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for digestion.As her gut flora will improve her constipation would be relieved and well formed stools will pass.

Apart from this other recommendations are-

-Taking a short walk is a good way to get some light exercise. Walking time should be gradually increased until it reaches 30 minutes.
-should drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Water helps push the food through the intestines and also helps lubricate intestinal tissues. When the body is dehydrated, the intestines absorb the fluids from the food waste, which in turn leads to hardened stools
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine is also important as these substances contribute to dehydration.
-Fruits and vegetables, which contain high amounts of fiber, aid in alleviating symptoms of constipation,Whole-grain bread, XXXXXXX oatmeal, beans and lentils can also relieve the problem so use it Instead of highly processed rice, eat brown rice, millet.

All these things will increase the bulk of your stool,Will soften it and will clear your ileum of the compacted faecal material.
-While sitting on the toilet, support the feet on a small stool in order to achieve a normal position that aids in bowel movement.
Take a laxative like Polyethylene glycol 15 ml once daily in evening.
Take Fybogel husk-Fybogel sachets and Fybogel Hi-Fibre sachets both contain the active ingredient ispaghula husk, which is a type of medicine called a bulk-forming laxative. Ispaghula is a type of fibre. It swells when it comes into contact with fluid in the gut and thus increases the volume of the faeces.It increases the bulk in your stool, an effect that helps to cause movement of the intestines. It also works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making the stool softer and easier to pass. Psyllium, one type of bulk-forming laxative.

Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Sunil

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1982

Answered : 351 Questions

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