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What causes abnormal bowel movement?

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Posted on Mon, 21 Jul 2014
Question: Hi I am eighty yrs. old and have been in pretty good health. Now suddenly I am getting stools like mush and had better go when I get the urge. Would emzymes help this problem?
Every now and then my stool will float. when it does I get sort of a burning sensation. Is this all connected?
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Answered by Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Increase fiber in diet.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
I am Dr. Prakash HM and I would like to answer your query.

Enzymes as part of therapy is useful when you have deficiency of specific one. Taking it, if it helps, it would be not a problem as there are no side effects.

In the elderly, due to age related changes in mucosa of intestines, some amount of malabsorption / reduced absorption is present in everybody.
Stools floating is due to reduce fat absorption. Unlike previously, the mucosa wouldn't function well, and cannot absorb everything taken in. The excess amount for the age comes out and starts floating. This is normal. If you look at previous days diet, you might have had high fat.
Fat contains fatty acids, and this acids when they touch the skin could cause burning sensation due to mild excoriation. Unless you are diabetic, you need not worry about this.
Your mush like stools would be due to low fiber diet and reduced absorption. You need to increase your fiber content in food. You need to increase the fruits and vegetables in your diet slowly, as sometimes, patients have complained of bloating sensation. You can add fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, legumes, muesli etc.
The low fiber diet will contain more fluids, and pass through the colon fast and increases pressure on the rectum. So a high fiber diet, will slow down the passage and the urge feeling will reduce.
Yes everything is connected to possibly low fiber in diet with age related mucosal changes. Try to have a balanced diet and exercise regularly to improve gastro intestinal motility.
Hope it helps.
Any further queries, happy to help again.
Dr. Prakash HM

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda (26 minutes later)
Dr XXXXXXX will the enzymes help with the problem of a terrific amount of gas I have. It is constant and with much force.

Thank you
doctor
Answered by Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Try multiple measures including digestive enzymes

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Digestive enzymes will definitely help you. As you have already got tested and there is no pathology in you gut, and possibly enzyme production is low and also limited absorption (age related), you will require digestive enzymes.

Important things you should know -
1. Flatulence is due to partially digested carbohydrates reaching the large intestine, which gets fermented producing gas - Try to limit complex carbohydrates - especially beans, sprouts, peas, oat XXXXXXX and fruits with complex carbohydrates - You should try to take simple carbohydrates which get digested easily.
2. Eating or drinking quickly makes you gulp more air than usual - This extra swallowed air can produce more gas. - Slow down at the table

Medications you can take are
1. Digestive enzymes - supports in processing food. - Give a month trial before changing the brand or components.
2. Probiotics - acidophilus or bifidus - they help keep gas producing bacteria from multiplying too much
3. Ginger with diluted lime juice is proved to be very helpful. Add more ginger into your diet
4. Coriander oil or leaves is very helpful in easing flatulence and painful cramps.
5. Watch out for your diet, and eliminate food which causes more flatulence.

Hope it helps.
If you require any further clarifications, do ask again. If not, close the discussion and rate the answer.
Dr. Prakash HM

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda

Geriatrics Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2138 Questions

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What causes abnormal bowel movement?

Brief Answer: Increase fiber in diet. Detailed Answer: Hi, I am Dr. Prakash HM and I would like to answer your query. Enzymes as part of therapy is useful when you have deficiency of specific one. Taking it, if it helps, it would be not a problem as there are no side effects. In the elderly, due to age related changes in mucosa of intestines, some amount of malabsorption / reduced absorption is present in everybody. Stools floating is due to reduce fat absorption. Unlike previously, the mucosa wouldn't function well, and cannot absorb everything taken in. The excess amount for the age comes out and starts floating. This is normal. If you look at previous days diet, you might have had high fat. Fat contains fatty acids, and this acids when they touch the skin could cause burning sensation due to mild excoriation. Unless you are diabetic, you need not worry about this. Your mush like stools would be due to low fiber diet and reduced absorption. You need to increase your fiber content in food. You need to increase the fruits and vegetables in your diet slowly, as sometimes, patients have complained of bloating sensation. You can add fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, legumes, muesli etc. The low fiber diet will contain more fluids, and pass through the colon fast and increases pressure on the rectum. So a high fiber diet, will slow down the passage and the urge feeling will reduce. Yes everything is connected to possibly low fiber in diet with age related mucosal changes. Try to have a balanced diet and exercise regularly to improve gastro intestinal motility. Hope it helps. Any further queries, happy to help again. Dr. Prakash HM