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Diarrhea & Loose Stools in Older Adults – Causes and Remedies

Diarrhea & Loose Stools in Older Adults – Causes and Remedies
January 31
17:32 2019

Someone once said that aging is not for the faint-hearted. Our skin gets thinner, loses its elasticity, sags and gets spotted. Our hair turns to silver, grey or white and thins out. Unfortunately, baldness or degrees of baldness are not confined to men as it seems a growing number of women also get very thin hair in areas that could be considered a form of baldness. Our eyes dim and we squint more to see.

Our hearing isn’t what it used to be and many of us are missing some or all of our natural teeth. Our joints, back and feet ache, especially with changes in the weather or trying to do some of the things we used to do when we were younger. We also find out that we don’t have the muscle tone or strength we used to have either. Our sleep patterns change as does our eating habits. Foods we used to like no longer tastes good or interest us while some we never liked suddenly tastes good. Many of us find that we eat less or more than we used to.

These are all things that many of us don’t hesitate to discuss with others, but there is another change that happens to many that we seldom, if ever talk about. Our bowel habits also tend to change as we get older.

For some, they struggle with bouts of constipation. This can range from just being uncomfortable to very painful. Although there are a host of laxatives and stool softeners on the market, some of us prefer to use natural remedies like fiber supplements and dried fruit. The age-old standard is prunes, but many others turn to dried apricots and raisins. I have found that dried papaya helps and besides, that not only is the papaya loaded with fiber, but it has nutrients that help boost the immune system.

Then there are others who develop the opposite problem as they age. They begin to find that their stools are looser and sometimes experience bouts of diarrhea. While not as painful as having a problem with constipation, it can be more embarrassing and limiting to one’s activity.

If you ask a pharmacist, they usually recommend Imodium or something similar, but taking those can easily change the loose and runny stools to constipation.

Therefore, there are some alternative things that can be used to help reduce the problem.

Here are some tips I found online of things one can take to help reduce diarrhea and loose stools:

  • Probiotics
  • Zinc
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes without the peel
  • Rice
  • Toast
  • Chicken soup
  • Bananas
  • Bee balm
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Oregano
  • Blonde psyllium
  • Carob
  • Fermented milk
  • Folic acid
  • Guar Gum
  • Lactobacillus
  • Saccharomyces boulardi
  • Soy

If these things don’t help, then perhaps look at your diet to see if you are eating things that could be causing your problem. Stress and worry can also cause loose and runny stools, so perhaps you need to find a way to reduce your stress or learn not to dwell on problems and concerns. Some age-related diarrhea can also be due to Microscopic colitis and other health problems

If all else fails, talk to your doctor. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but you may be suffering from something called Microscopic colitis, Crohn disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis or another health condition. It’s best to have your doctor to help you discover the cause and what treatment would be best for you.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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