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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all,

This should really my husband's post, but he is not able, so I am speaking for him.

Five years he had a stroke leaving him with quite a profound disability, including the need for PEG feeding. All has been well until about five months ago, when I spoke to his GP about periodic diarrhoea, constipation, wind. The doctor thought that IBS could be the problem and prescribed Buscopan to help the wind. Fine, but constipation was the difficult side effect. I stopped Buscopan and have now started giving him Merbeverine. I have tried to get help from his dietitian - 'Play it by ear'!! The GP said more or less the same. I have Movicol which I give to help constipation, but today, for example, he has had diarrhoea x 2. (Difficult for him and for me) His bolus feeds are Ensure Plus Milkshake and Fibre x 3 daily feeds alternating milkshake and fibre. He has no other nourishment, except for small cups of coffee and the occasional chocolate biscuit!

His general health is good with no other relevant factors. He is 74 years old. He used to walk a lot, but now that is no longer possible and he spends all his time either in his chair or in bed.

Are there any others with IBS and who also need PEG feeding? I am so frustrated that I have not been able to get any help from the professionals.

I would be so grateful for any help, from anyone.

Thank you.
 

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I know the "play it by ear" is hard to hear, but unfortunately with IBS everyone is a little different so what will be safe for one person may cause huge symptoms for someone else. So it can be hard to say what needs to be done for any given individual and most of what I might recommend won't be applicable with the special feedings.

If he is consistenly one way or the other it can be easier to guess, but with alternating issues it can be a problem. One thing that can happen is when people get constipated they will have diarrhea to follow it up as the body tries to flush things out, so sometimes preventing the constipation can be part of avoiding the diarrhea.

You might see if it is OK to give him a probiotic (if he can't take a pill you might be able to open a capsule into the ensure and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, Kathleen M, for your help.

When you say 'probiotic' what form do you mean? I can buy probiotic yogurts in the supermarket. Would that be OK? It is so difficult as his basic diet is not adaptable. Though I can try out different things so long as I am able to liquidise them to go through his tube or they are soft and in small amounts and he is willing to take them by mouth!

| don't know much about IBS but I'm learning and any help is very welcome
 

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You can get probiotics in pills or powders as well as a yogurt, I was thinking a capsule might be easy to open and add to one of the drinks if he can't swallow a pill on his own.

There are some probiotic drinks as well, Yakult, which could also work. Yogurt can be thinned out in like a smoothie for drinking as well.
 

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You can try mixing some enzymes in his food as well. I recommend Enzymedica Digest or Digest Gold capsules. You can open the capsules and mix some inside his food, although I have no idea if it will alter the taste of the food, and if he'll be bothered by the taste. The enzymes will not only help w/ digestion, but will help improve the quality of the stool. The enzymes are vegetable sourced, so I can't see it contradicting w/ any medications. In the past, before I discovered enzymes and had IBS-D, I had stools that were often sticky and pasty in nature, and had difficulty defecating sometimes. I could imagine if an elderly person who's already weak and have the same problem... it would probably be considered constipation. In any case, enzymes would definitely improve the quality of the stool. If he's lactose intolerant, Enzymedica Digest has more lactase (lactose enzymes), although not quite enough for dairy and not enough for someone completely lactose intolerant. Either stick w/ lactose free milk or supplement w/ lactase enzymes (available everywhere) in those cases. The enzymes should also help relieve gas and diarrhea over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another big thank you for another post. I am so grateful and will look into your suggestion.

After struggling on our own for months, all of a sudden, we have help from you all!!

Thank you again and have a good day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a quick update. My husband has been taking one probiotic capsule daily for a week now and I think that things have settled, though I am quickly learning that the condition can change day by day. I found that adding the capsule contents to his bolus feed was not a good idea! It all clogged up. But he found that, so long as he was sitting up well and had a cup of cold juice, he could manage to swallow the capsule with little difficulty.

Thank you for your help, and all the best to all.
 

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My late mother had her fourth and most debilitating stroke when she was 77. She was completely paralyzed and had to be fed via PEG. In her 7 bed-ridden years, we had no problems with her basic functions...

Like you we fed her something like Fibrex and Ensure... but we also gave her one or two ounces of prune juice with every meal. That kept her stool regular. We also added a few drops of Clark's minerals in her water along with a natural heart mix (I can't remember the brand) but it was similar to the one sold here: http://premiernaturalhealth.com/organic-heart-formula/ to keep her immune system up and her heart strong.

Best to you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a quick update. I want all who were kind enough to give us a few suggestions on how to cope with my husband's unpredictable bowels. After a couple of months of taking one probiotic capsule daily, things seem to have settled. If he is sitting up well, he can swallow the capsule with a cold drink. I tried opening one and giving the contents to him through his PEG but the granules just clogged together.

Many thanks for all the help.

Regards. E
 
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