disabilities elderly that can not keep WW posture and bowel tricks eg Vit C, Mag Citrate, Mag Oxide, Prunes, electrolytes etc


Happy Holidays and hugs.
I'm trying to use vitamin C as an alternate laxative for my mom who might not be feeling peristalsis. Can someone tell me the characteristics of using Vit C and factors that effect it from working or not working.
Is there some chart on the internet that describes how certain products work on the bowels or the body in regards to preventing stool to getting dry and hard when a bowel movement goes beyond 3 days. I have been doing trial and error and my observations show that alot more fiber could end up slowing down bowels only because they become too wide to pass beyond the dropped bladder, My mom doesn't always swallow so hydrating is not always adequate and causes stool to get hard. '
I am learning that Medically approved methods of moving bowels like using more fiber, can cause large stool that becomes hard to pass anyway. So there is a conflict using higher fiber because more fluid is required. It is late so i am quickly trying to write this.. I have been trying a particular smoothie but i have a feeling it is making my moms bowels slow down as her BM is 4/5 days as opposed to every 3-4 days.
The author of "Fiber Menace" states that too much fiber causes lots of problems to someone that does not have the muscles to cause a bowel ,move ment, Anyone know of this conflict?

I certainly agree that adding extra fibre, and then having to chug more water, is a vicious cycle for anyone and certainly the elderly. Bulking up the stools that are already hard to pass.....straining the kidneys with more water than the amount needed to quench thirst and hydrate the body. At that age, less is more, as they say. Inactivity is probably a huge culprit here. How much is your mom actually up and moving around?

Mag citrate is often used by women here, to help with constipation while they are getting their diet and posture sorted out. Mag oxide has a more direct effect (less absorption, more laxative effect) and using this on a regular basis would probably not be easy on your mom's system. But you can experiment. The C can't hurt, as far as I know.

Diet is really the best way to get all of the above, but I realize this isn't easy either, in your situation. Lots of leafy greens, healthy fats, and naturally-fermented foods could improve her gut health. I used to grind a lot of flaxseeds to throw into my mom's meals during the last few years of her life. Avoidance of sugar and processed foods is important. - Surviving

Stool softeners were used quite a bit in the nursing homes I worked in which may work if your mom won't eat a prescribed healthy diet. I remember milk of mag used a lot on the third day with explosive results, a very vicious cycle to be sure.
Staying hydrated is really important. Have you used thickeners in your mom's water? Sometimes you can get more fluids in if the water slides down the throat rather than rushing down.

Thank you Surviving;
My mom is up at least a total of an hour daily. Walking briskly approx 15 min around the block, once or twice daily, Standing approx 15 min to eat her brunch meal by the counter and walking around the house for a minimum of 5+ min after getting up from a toilet break every two hours or so. I use a swing master on her ankles every morning after she wakes about 15 min.
Regarding magnesium citrate and oxide; WHy is it bad on a regular basis and have you come across any reads that describe why it is not easy on digestive system? ALso, how much is needed to get things moving for most women so that i don't have to keep experimenting?
Is this right" Mag Citrate helps the muscles move vs mag oxide draws water into the colon?
My mom eats 2 main nutrient dense meals daily and a snack in between those meals and an apple before bed. We start with eggs, veggies and fats for breakfast, with squash of some kind, berries for dessert with kefir, and lunch or afternoon meal is squash, meat or fish, and steamed greens of some kind. 3 spoons of fat with each meal and a TB of fermented veggies with each meal as well. Lentils often. Liver every few weeks. Blueberries or apples between meals. We do not use processed foods.
Can you explain how the ground vs whole flax seeds work as i think they also make the stool larger yet not really causing a bowel movement .
Regarding walking and movement ; I walk my mom outside 15 min twice daily. And after each bathroom break which is eery two hours or so for about 5-10 min in the house. Some caregivers do not walk to walk my mom or are trying to convince me to use a wheel chair as it would be easier on everyone but i dont see it that way. . But my mom can still walk and the beach is good,

Thanks and sorry for my delay in responding

My mom can eat and chews very well and i give her nutrient dense foods. DO stooll softeners require trial and error as well?
What is it about the third day regarding bowel movments? And would stool softeners also have negative effects or give explosive results? What is a natural method of softening bowels?
No thickeners used yet but adding honey helps.

From my experience, stool softeners worked for some , but not everyone. They simply softened the stool for easier passage. The third day rule in a nursing home was because after that, the stool would really start to harden, and then other, even more harsh methods were uses as in enemas or actually manually removing the stool.
I don't think fluids are overrated in the elderly. From my experience, everything slows down as we age, and the elderly drink a lot less than they used to in their younger years. I'm not saying push lots of fluids, but they should be drinking an adequate amount to keep things lubricated.

p.s. If your mom still enjoys walking, then let her walk. It is one of the best things for her actually. It's not about everyone else's convenience, but what she wants to do.

I can't really suggest a dosage for magnesium citrate to help keep the bowels going.....I don't take it myself (I do supplement with mag malate or glycinate but that isn't primarily for bowel help). You can do some research......use the forum search box and/or other sources of information.

I grind my flaxseed as needed because I think whole flaxseeds mainly pass right through the digestive tract. Ground flax is an excellent source of Omega-3 fats. I personally don't eat wheat products so I like to get some flax daily as one of my sources of fiber. What other fats are you giving her now?

As long as she continues to move around and to eat what you're serving, I'm not sure there's much else you can do. I know that as my mom aged, her food/fluid intake dropped gradually and I never forced anything on her. And of course she moved around less and less. When the systems start to slow down and work less efficiently, you have to make adjustments all around. I chose flax over stool softeners because, after some experimentation, I didn't really see much difference. It would be different in a nursing home setting where you may not have as much control over her diet or how her issues are managed on a daily basis. - Surviving

So grinding the flax seeds acts like a stool softener? This is important because the last few days i am under the suspiscion that the chia seed pudding i have been giving my mom is creating a back up in my moms digestion. That or the raw goat kefir slowed things down. If i grind flax seeds and add water to this, i am assuming that adding some water to the ground up flax seeds will create a gelatinous mixture which will retain its moisture in the colon more so than if the flax were consumed whole, The risk of the flax or chia is that i think they absorb alot of the hydration in my moms body and that makes the stool dry out a bit.

I cannot say whether or not this will help your mom. Freshly grinding the flax seeds releases the oils, which is where the benefit lies. Whole flax seeds are hard and tend to stay whole through the digestive tract. - Surviving

Yes, I agree, I was eating the chia seed pudding and it backed me up terribly. It was supposed to be a replacement for the flax, but had the opposite affect. I stopped using the flax after about a year, because it started making me feel raw. I even tried to limit it to every other day or every third day, and it still had that same affect on me.

So, I went back to the drawing board to find a gentler option. I tried the psyillium husk or metamucil, but it bulked me up too much and bowels were still too slow. It was softer coming out, but just wasn't as efficient as I wanted.

I ended up eating fruit daily, especially berries which I really hadn't been before. Raw veg daily, just a few pieces. Fermented pickle or sauerkraut, daily. Stewed prunes in the evening and warm lemon water in the morning. After a couple weeks of this, my bowels started running a lot smoother again. I haven't been eating the prunes as much, because I just don't like the taste, but will probably incorporate them back in.
I was also taking a stool softener during the worst part of my constipation, and they really helped keep the stool soft, until I got myself back in order.
It really is a process when the bowels slow down, especially as we get older.

Why do you think this is the case with the CHia seeds? You think perhaps you needed to be mindful to increase water to keep the intestines hydrated ebough to support the seeds?

I actually read up on that, and the articles I read did say you would need to increase water intake when consuming chia. And, I did that to no avail! No more chia for me.

Have you read if grinding either chia or flax and soaking them first to expand them to their full capacity would keep their gelatinous consistancy all the way through the digestive track in and out? Maybe only that way, can they NOT be such a demand on the intestines regarding the amoung of water they soak up again? I assume they being already soaked to full size there is no more need for them to take water out of the intestines. I had success for approximately 4 days where my mom had a 4-7 inch BM every day and i am unable to duplicate it . I gave the chia but soaked them in coconut milk and gave with strawberries. But i think i also gave 2 caps of Oxy power and 10ml of Lipsomal vit C at bedtime. We were extremely busy that month and i have stopped writing down and keeping track of what i was using. I sadly have not been able to duplicate the success so that is why i am earnestly trying to understand.

Yes, always soaked them first. I am not surprised by the changes. I have always had slow moving bowels, and it does seem that what works sometimes, doesn't another. I have read that some people just have slower moving bowels than others, so a daily or every other day is pretty normal, but when it starts getting beyond that is when the trouble starts, especially as we get older when everything slows down anyway.
Sounds like you have this pretty well under control. Best wishes with continued success.