Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Down In The Dumps?

He is a clinically depressed fecophilliac on Prozac. I am just a humble pragmatic caregiver. Yet I find I should spend a brief moment on the topic of poo.

Poo is important. Not as important as some tv commercials with annoying Women Of A Certain Age who seem obsessed with poo might have you believe, but important nonetheless.

Inability to poo is a very common side effect of a wide range of medications, including narcotic pain medication, some blood pressure drugs, some cholesterol drugs, drugs for overactive bladder, antidepressants, and a literal poo-load of others. Heck, even Sudafed can make pooing problematic.

There's lots of medical references that can give you an inordinate amount of medical information about Inability to Poo. Consult them for information on various medical strategies.

One of my favorite natural interventions happens to be the unique product Fruit-Eze. It's a jamlike combination of prunes, raisins, dates and prune juice. No fancy-schmancy dried plums here. Prunes. It's a genuinely delicious combo that tastes something like the inside of Fig Newtons, albeit without the little crunchy seed bits. You can eat a spoonful of it, or spread it on toast. It's got a hefty slug of fiber in it, and is a natural source of sorbitol, a sugar-like compound that increases.....well, suffice to say, it gets things moving again.

I was first introduced to the stuff by an oncology unit nurse who looked like Adlai Stevenson with a poodle perched on his pate. She went through life with a look on her face that said "man, do my feminine organs hurt". I have absolutely nothing nice to say about this woman, given that she lacked the basic human compassion of slime mold, except for her expert advice on Fruit-Eze as a treatment for gastric quagmires caused by chemotherapy and pain medication. There, she was spot-on.

There are various recipes on the Net for "anti-constipation paste" which is essentially the same thing - a fruit paste rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. Many of these recipes contain both fruit and senna, a plant-based stimulant laxative, so be careful. It's especially important to avoid senna and digoxin at the same time. Jon was known to whip up a batch when caring for his late mother. He enjoys licking it off his fingers. He's weird.

So the next time you find that there's a pileup on the Hershey Highway, consider Fruit-Eze as a natural option to get things moving again.


Jon said...

The version I made adds a cup of brown suger. It's really quite tasty! And yes, I am weird. :)

Anonymous said...

A homemade recipe works great.

1 1/2 c. of Allbran-ground up in the blender

1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup prune juice.
Cinnamon to taste.
Mix it all together, and thee tablespoons a day do the trick.

Linda Henderson said...

Ah, the poo conversations, how many we have had with Janie. We call them "the bowel reports".

On a medical note, we did learn, during a bout with a cracked pelvis, that constipation can quite quickly become toxic in the elderly. She was at a rehab facility in Ohio where the health are workers kept asking, "are you sure she isn't diagnosed with dementia"? We finally had to call in the "big guns" ie; one of her sons who is a midical malpractice attorney. It only took one visit from him - no threats just an explination of why they didn't have to explain all the medical terms to him when he sat in on the case discussion, to make them pay attention to her complaints as more than babble from someone with late stages dementia. It took three days for her system to get clean and probably two weeks for her mind to be clearly functioning again. Scary.