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Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
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Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

My aging granddad is having several problems, among them insufficient nutrition and constipation when using dairy products.

I wanted to get him to try a drink like Boost or Ensure for the vitamin supplement and perhaps some extra calories, too. (He doesn't seem to want to take vitamin pills.) He has severe constipation problems when he uses dairy products, so I checked the ingredients lists. Both brands seem to contain "milk solids" among other things which led me to wonder what about milk causes constipation.

A quick internet search didn't lead me to an answer. Does anyone know what part of milk causes constipation, or more specifically does anyone know if Boost, Ensure or similar supplement drinks can contribute to constipation?

Thanks!
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 01:02 PM   #2
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

I had to lose 41 pounds to qualify for a new transplanted pancreas. My internist said one way would be to go on a starvation diet using Slimfast only. He said that a side-effect would be horrible constipation. I passed.

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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 01:03 PM   #3
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

I have heard of elder folks becoming lactose intolerant due to a change in body chemistry.........

Try soy milk. *If the trouble persists, see an allergist. *I have heard of it before. *There are a LOT of ways to get nutrition into them, fresh fruits and veggies always work................
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

My Mom has advanced Parkinson's, constipation is a common complication, as is sufficient nutrition to offset the calories consumed by tremors. *She drinks the nutrition drinks, is given stool softeners and offered fruit known for stool softening atributes. *It is a fine balancing act because 'accidents' are very depressing.

It is very important to avoid impaction. *If he lives in a care facility their food service folks should be a part of your health care team. *If not seek a dietitian's advise.
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

My guess is that it's not what's in milk but, rather, the lack of any bulk or roughage in the product. Added to a low bulk diet, no change in results.
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 01:16 PM   #6
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
My guess is that it's not what's in milk but, rather, the lack of any bulk or roughage.
Some health conditions and medications impact the muscles of the digestive tract. A dietitian can help sort this out. Stool softeners are only a short-term solution.
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 01:38 PM   #7
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

I wonder if whoever is looking after him could make him a vegetable puree daily. You can get a lot of fiber and nutrition into a petty small volume of food that way, and it can be very tasty too.

Nice of you to be looking out for your Grandpa, Jim.

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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

How about yogurt, preferably with cut-up ripe fruit and wheat germ or granola (can he chew well enough?)? Or yogurt-based smoothies with extra protein powder (if needed) and lots of fruit and/or juice.
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure
Old 08-17-2006, 02:59 PM   #9
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Re: Health Question: Constipation and Boost / Ensure

Jim,

Every case is different, of course, but here are a few pointers:

1. The constipation is usually due to lack of activity, water, and fiber. There are liquid Boost-like supplements that have fiber added - check at the pharmacy.

2. Lactase is the problem for most people with milk intolerance, and while it usually causes cramps and diarrhea, it can cause constipation, too.

3. Drugs (including Sinemet for parkinson's disease) are a big cause, as are pain meds and others. Might check with his doctor on that. Ask about sennakot and miralax used early and regularly.

While people often joke about constipation, I reguarly have to admit patients to the hospital for this while they are on opiates. You are right to attend to it briskly. Good luck.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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