Tag Archives: fiber

The constipation chronicles

All of those health experts weren’t kidding when they kept saying, “Eat your fiber.”

If you are caring for a senior now, carefully monitor their fiber intake. The typical American diet is woefully deficient in fiber.

My mom actually eats healthier than most people her age. Lots of vegetables, oatmeal, nuts, etc.

Slice of brown bread

But [and pardon if it is TMI] constipation has been the bane of her existence this past year.

And the bane of mine.

Last week was a very busy week, as I’m training someone new at work. I’m working late night weekend shifts at the moment, and of course, there was the time change. I knew I wasn’t going to get much sleep Sunday. I finished work after midnight (which I was already computing in my mind as 1am.) It was after 2am when I went to bed.

Then my phone started buzzing at 5:50am. Mom.

Of course, my heart started pounding as I rushed to answer the phone from a dead sleep.

Mom said her stomach hurt and was bloated. She couldn’t sleep. Yes, she may have skipped her tea (a fiber/stool softener liquid that was prescribed for her) one day.

I told her to take some Milk of Magnesia and tried to go back to sleep.

I’m still convinced there is something else besides old age causing Mom’s irregularity, but it has become a chronic health issue that must be managed aggressively.

Many medications and common health issues can cause constipation, and it can cause a great deal of suffering.

There are many ways to add fiber to the diet, from supplements to naturally high in fiber foods. The key is finding sources of fiber your loved one enjoys (or at least tolerates) on a consistent basis.

How have you dealt with this problem as a caregiver?

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