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Bowel changes in the elderly

I do private home health care. One of my patients asked me a question that I cannot find a reasonable answer to. She has always had regular bowel movements. Once every morning and once in the afternoon. Lately she has had an increase in her BMs. She does not have any cramping, but they are watery. This all started when she began to take Boniva several months ago. She stopped taking it 2 months ago. I have suggested that it has not all left her system yet and this may take some time. She has not changed her diet or any meds. She is a creature of habit and eats and does the same things every day. She is 90 yrs old and still very able and mobile. She is on Lopressor 25mg, Mucinex 600mg, Aspirin 162mg, Aldactone 25mg, Lasix 20mg, OTC multivitamin, OTC calcium 500mg, and OTC iron. Her BP runs consistently in the 130's/70's with her pulse in the mid 60's.
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Avatar universal
Go with lots and lots of fiber, at least the minimun daily requirement and this should help unless she is developing IBS.  Try this and if it doesn't work have her see a GI dr.
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Avatar universal
Does she have any abdominal pain (where exactly?), nausea, fever (even slight), blood in the stool? What are her official diagnoses so far?

1. Common colon diseases in old people
- diverticulitis (often with left lower abd. pain)
- ischemic colitis (left lower abdominal pain, blood in stool) if she has atherosclerosis, or microscopic (lymphocytic colitis).

Blood test would show inflammation in most types of colitis.

2. If it started with Boniva this may be the cause but having lose bowel movements for two months after stopping it sounds as long period. Maybe drugs she is taking changed her intestinal flora and enable some harmful bacteria like Clostridium difficile to overgrow. It is a stool test to diagnose this. If possible, and with doctor's approval, she may try to stop some medications.

3. Foods that often cause diarrhea:
- dairy, if she has developed lactose intolerance
- fibre-rich foods
- ...

Stool test for parasites, bacteria, Clostridium difficile toxin and blood could be done...
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