When Bowels are All Show but NO GO.
10 Reasons why Elderly are more Prone to Constipation:
- An ageing colon, as per the rest of a Senior’s body, is just not as peppy as it used to be
- Some medications (eg: pain meds) mean Constipation as a pesky side-effect
- Diuretics cause people to wee more resulting in an increase in fluid loss ie: dehydration
- Retirement and leading a more sedentary lifestyle: slow down your life = slow down your bowels
- Dietary changes (eg: during travel) or a loss of appetite mean a lack of nutrition (fibre, fibre, FIBRE!)
- Drinking less allows for more chance of the dreaded dehydration
- Digestive issues mean the likelihood of Constipation is increased
- Various medical conditions are symptomatically liked to Constipation – MS, Diabetes, Parkinsons
- Being sick and/or bedridden for long periods encourages a lower metabolism rate
- Depression, anxiety, stress, lack of sleep all contribute to a sluggish bowel by upsetting bodily functions and throwing hormonal balances out of whack
Unfortunately, it is the elderly in our lives who seem to suffer more frequently from bouts of chronic Constipation - and usually it's found to be a symptom of an underlying health condition.
That's nice Dollie, but is it story time yet?
How about the time I helped an old lady write in her Poo Diary?
Unfortunately though, she’s put up with a lifetime of suffering from various ongoing gastro-intestinal complaints. Long story short Annie since the day she turned 65, has been diagnosed with the crappiest lot of bowel disorders imaginable - ranging from IBS, Diverticulitis until now most recently, they have decided she may have Colon Cancer.
A simple user-friendly chart, the BSF enables people such as Annie (who would rather DIE than discuss their bathroom habits to another living soul) to use a picture-type rating system to best match up with the appearance of their own stools. So rather than having to write horrific words like “runny” or “hard pebbles” Annie only has to work discretely off her BSF guide and record the corresponding number of the day... into her Poo Diary (once she got brave enough to actually start looking into the toilet bowl first that is!)
|What kind of STOOL am I?|
“I think today Dollie, I’m more of a 2 than a 3” Annie always likes to update me when I see her.
*** To see how your own poo measures up (and to win a prize) - feel free to click on this link
(go on, you know you want to...)
But before we go, here's Part 2 of the story (of the No.2...)At the other end of the Constipational spectrum, I should definitely make mention of another of my cherished clients, Mrs Maggie Cementballs. Not only does 91 year old Maggie NOT require the Bristol Stool Form chart to categorise her Constipation, but because she is deaf (and refuses to wear hearing aids) – we get to discuss it LOUDLY.
Which is hardly much fun when you're a frail old girl of 91 and, much like every other Constipation sufferer in the world, all you want from life is a happy ending. LITERALLY.