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 diarrhea 
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 43
Location: northern CA
Post diarrhea
If you have ever seen some of my posts, my mom has had chronic constipation. For 2 weeks she has had constant diarrhea or loose stools. About 10 days ago she fainted and I could not wake her up. She woke up in the ER and they said that she was dehydrated. The hospital gave got a lot of IV fluids in her and believe it or not her dementia got better after the 3 day hospital visit!!! Figure that out!!! My question is, how long can a person have diarrhea? I am giving her the imodium, bananas, I took her off Metamucil, now she is back on it. At the hospital and her doctor say that there is nothing that can be done. I don't believe it. Any suggestions or another online source to check out?---- A VERY frustrated Jack


Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: diarrhea
Did they check to see if some organism is causing it? My husband had pseudomembranous colitis a couple of years ago from C. difficile and Imodium didn't touch it. He was in the hospital for over a week hovering near death. The gastroenterologist said he had about a 50% chance of survival if his immune system was strong enough, which it was.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:29 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 43
Location: northern CA
Post Re: diarrhea
They did all kinds of tests and found nothing. You can hear her stomach churning. It has never done this before. I think she needs to go to a specialist. I don't know why I did not think of it before. Thank you!!!---Jack


Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:39 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: diarrhea
One danger of diarrhea is dehydration. That's why they recommend you drink things like GatorAid when you have diarrhea so you can stay properly hydrated.

And dehydration definitely causes delirium. So it's understandable that she improved with IV fluids.

Did they check for CDiff? Did they consider medication causes? (Eg, Aricept and Exelon can cause GI upset. Sinemet and dopaminergic therapy can cause GI upset.)

A GI specialist sounds like a good next step. In the meantime, the BRAT diet may be the best approach.


Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:45 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 43
Location: northern CA
Post Re: diarrhea
They did the cdiff, I don't know what it is but they did it. I will keep in touch.---Jack


Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:40 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: diarrhea
When they tested my husband for C. difficile. it came out negative twice, also, but the doctor figured it was because he was already on an antibiotic for it. It is an opportunistic bacterium that usually occurs after being on an IV antibiotic but can also occur with oral antibiotics. It can also be contracted from another person. It is often hard to treat and is life-threatening, especially in the elderly.

As others have said, any type of diarrhea can cause dehydration. It can also cause hypokalemia [low blood potassium] which is life-threatening in itself. C. Diff. can cause pseudomembranous colitis, as my husband had, which interferes with absorption of nutrients as well as causing fluid loss and blood chemistry imbalance.

As Robin suggested, a BRAT diet often helps in uncomplicated diarrhea: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Tea.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:50 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 43
Location: northern CA
Post Re: diarrhea
The only thing I am not giving her is rice, she will have some tomorrow. If her doctor does not send her to the GI specialist, I will take her to the ER, they don't like that, but it forces them to deal with me. I get tired when the docs just shrug their shoulders and say that it just doesn't make sense and this website seems to have almost all the answers that have helped mom. THANKS AGAIN!!!


Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:33 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: diarrhea
I know. I had to take my husband to the ER three times before he was finally seen by a gastroenterologist who happened to be in the hospital and immediately saw how seriously ill he was and admitted him right away. I hope you don't have to go the ER route--it is usually fruitless but we didn't have a PCP in AZ and were at the mercy of the ER and walk-in clinics.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:51 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Re: diarrhea
My MIL does not have diarrhea, but her stomach churns and churns. Not sure what this means. She doesn't even seem to notice. Usually not a big deal except at the dinner table. I'll bring it up later this month with her doctor, but in the meantime, any other thoughts?

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:13 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: diarrhea
Do you think she could be swallowing air when she eats?

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:52 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Re: diarrhea
That could be since she is starting to have swallowing issues. But it happens at times other than when she is eating. No running to the bathroom or vomiting. Weird. She doesn't even seem to notice how loud it is.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:05 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: diarrhea
Well, my husband has had a loudly rumbling stomach for a number of years and doesn't seem to be associated with diarrhea or any other GI problems. It's actually not as frequent as it used to be.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:11 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: diarrhea
Perhaps this is gastroparesis. I guess it's not troubling to your MIL?


Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:27 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Re: diarrhea
Doesn't seem to be troubling to her.

_________________
Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:18 pm
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