Irritable bowel syndrome is a painful and frustrating disorder than can affect your senior’s intestinal tract. IBS can cause problems with diarrhea, constipation, and inflammation in the bowels that can be debilitating. Treatment can involve medications, lifestyle changes, and even surgery in serious cases. If your senior is dealing with IBS, here are some ways you can help.
Talk with Her Doctor about What’s Going On.
The very first thing to do when you suspect your aging family member is dealing with irritable bowel syndrome is to get her doctor involved. Your senior’s doctor can run tests and recommend a variety of different solutions that might help depending on what she’s experiencing. Keeping her doctor informed about what you try and how well it works can help to find other treatments down the line.
Keep a Journal of What Works and What Doesn’t.
One of the best and easiest ways for you to determine how well specific treatments are working is to start tracking what’s happening. A simple journal kept in a spiral notebook is easy to update and carry with you to appointments. Make sure that everyone who helps your senior knows what to track and what to make notes about in the journal. You’ll want to keep track of as much as possible from diet and sleep to how often your senior is experiencing bowel movements.
Use that Data to Make Some Adjustments.
As you start to collect data, you and your senior’s doctor can use that information to make adjustments to what you’re trying in order to keep her as healthy as possible. On a daily basis, you and your senior might opt for adjusting over-the-counter medications based on what she’s experiencing or opt for different exercise options based on how she is feeling and sleeping.
Consider a Dietary Change.
For many people with IBS, a dietary change can accomplish way more than you might think. Foods that are higher in fiber, fewer carbonated beverages, and more fruits and vegetables can make a huge difference. To help your senior cope with drastic changes to her way of eating, it might help to have elder care providers on hand to handle meal preparation.
It might take a little while for you, your senior, and her doctor to figure out the right combination of solutions to get her IBS under control. Once you have a system that works well, monitor and adjust as you need to in order to keep symptoms managed as well as possible.