Let’s start this off with a disclaimer – I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Always seek medical advice from licensed medical expert if your loved one is experiencing gastrointestinal issues causing constipation, or irregularities in bowel movements.
With that said, what I can say is that for us: chronic condition + medications = constipation. It’s an uncomfortable topic for many, but the fact is that when you’re dealing with an illness – whether short or long-term – it may impact the bowels. And the thing about constipation is that while your body is doing all that work trying to have a “movement,” it can wear your loved one out without them even actually doing anything.
After discussing with a medical professional and ruling out any other causes for the constipation, we decided to take a more natural + Over-the-Counter (OTC) approach, rather than to add another prescription medication to the mix.
The natural approach we follow includes a super high fiber breakfast that ALWAYS includes a small bowl of oatmeal with some type of berry fruit. The oatmeal recipe is below – and can be customized to make it softer for those who are still eating solids but have trouble swallowing. There’s a lot of good flavor in a well-balanced bowl of oatmeal – so even if the texture isn’t there, it still tastes good.
The OTC aspect of our combat against constipation includes water. LOTS of water. Sixty ounces per day, to be precise. Thirty of those ounces are mixed with a capful of MiraLAX, the other 30 oz is just plain, filtered water. Be sure to talk to your loved one’s physician before adding any OTC to their daily regimen. Better safe than sorry.
Water, though, can be a tricky thing for some loved ones who may be older and dealing with neurologic conditions. Dehydration is common – which is a risk factor for constipation. Making it easier to drink may help. In our case, drinking water is a challenge because of a cerebellar tremor. My darling uses the Contigo AUTOSPOUT Addison 32 oz bottles to get his daily allotment. They don’t leak, they have a lock feature on the lid which guards against leaking if you must pack water in a bag to take along with you. And the spout is durable, but soft enough so that he doesn’t break his teeth when he bites down on it to drink. Washing them is a bit of a pain – you must have a very fine bottle/tube brush cleaner to get the gunk out of the spout/lid and the plastic straw base.
Aiming for a bowel movement per day seems lofty, but for the most part this regimen helps him/us. Have you found something that helps with your loved one’s constipation? Share your remedy with us!
Darling’s Oatmeal Mashup
- 1/3 cup Quaker Oats Old Fashioned
- 1/4 cup Great Value Unsweetened Organic Coconut Flakes
- 1/8 cup Pecans
- 1/8 cup Sliced Almonds
- 1 cup water (or more depending on the consistency you want)
- 1/3 cup Berries of Your Choosing – mix it up!
- 1 Tbsp. Great Value Clover Raw Honey
- Pinch of Cinnamon
Instructions: Mix all of the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl until you get to the berries. Place, covered, in a microwave on high and cook for 1-2 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. Remove from the microwave and let sit on the counter while you are distracted by small children (or pets, or coffee.) Remember that you must finish making oatmeal and stir in the honey and put the washed berries on top, mix them in if so desired. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste. Enjoy.