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unable to pass stools completely, have tried laxatives...

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Hello Doctor,

My mother is left hemiparesis and in the recent one month have constipation. Sometimes she is unable to pass stools till 5 days.
Now she is unable to pass stools completely, have tried laxatives, still not helping.
Today she passed some dark stools few pieces which is very hard and was not able to pass.
Please suggest whether it is dangerous.
Can I give her castor oil or giving enema will help.

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replied January 26th, 2012
Digestive and Bowel Disorders Answer A30810
Hello and welcome to e health forum.

It is commonly found in patients with neurological deficit, to have chronic constipation. This is due to multiple factors including reduced intake of water, Diet lacking adequate fiber content, as well as reduced mobility.

The best way to address your mothers constipation would be by dietary and lifestyle changes which will help to give a better long term prognosis.

Some diet tips to achieve long term relief to solve the issues - Include food with high fiber ‎content including:- ‎
‎ Foods Rich in SOLUBLE Fiber: Oatmeal or oat bran; Brown rice; Orange, grapefruit, green plantain

‎ Foods that can act as laxatives: Prunes, figs, Psyllium husk, shredded wheat, flaxseed (oil), Senna, ‎‎‎‎Cascara sagrada, Aloe vera juice, Dandelion root, Molasses, Liquorice, etc. ‎

For the immediate relief of her symptoms , she can take over the counter laxatives, which will help to improve her stools.

In case, she has discomfort, or severe pain due to passage of hard stools, she may benefit by a rectal enema.

In case, she develops fecal impaction, and resultant symptoms like nausea, vomiting , loss of appetite, lethargy, etc, she may need to seek medical help immediately, so as to avoid occurance of complications like bowel obstruction, etc.

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