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When laxatives and enemas don't work
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When laxatives and enemas don't work

Hello, a very close friend I feel is in trouble and I wondered if you could tell me what she needs to do. She has been using laxatives for most of her life, she is elderly and she is not in good health. She has tried more laxatives and they are not working at all now. Enemas aren't working either. She is very resistant to go to the doctor. Is it a probablility that neither will work and she will be in serious trouble? She is extremely stubborn and scaring me. What will happen if nothing works?

Thank you
Tags: bowel
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Avatar n tn
I should also add that she has been avoiding a colostomy for most of her life and is afraid of having one done.
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Avatar f tn
If your friend has used laxative for most of her life, she could be laxative dependent and that's not something that can be handled by OTC meds. It's a condition in which the bowel has become lazy and it's not going to respond the the usual methods of trying to 'force' it to 'go.'

I am afraid there is very little you're going to be able to do for her. There are some prescription meds that could be tried, but it's going to take a doc to get to them.

This could be serious if she can't move her bowels. Fecal material could block the bowel and become 'hardened' forming an obstruction. At that point, she might require hospitalization.
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Avatar n tn
thank you for posting, that's what I'm afraid of, that she'll need to go to the hospital and won't want to go. She tried an enema last night and it didn't work....
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Avatar n tn
Okay she is going to the ER tomorrow and her dr. said they would do an X Ray....do you think they will let her leave without helping her move her bowels or figure out what's going on? I mean I know it's the ER but it almost sounds as if she has an appt. so I am hoping they will not let her leave until the figure it out. I have no clue and just hope they don't send her home in the state that she's in...
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