Diarrhea in 82-yr-old Grandmother
Dear Ted: I learned about you and your vast natural medicine knowledge through earthclinic and communicated with you by email last year. Today, I am writing to ask your expert advice on behalf of my grandmother. She is 82-years old and after having diarrhea for over a year that was them continuous from February 29, 2012 through the end of April of 2012, her Potassium got "dangerously low" and she was hospitalized. She was diagnosed with microscopic colitis that showed on the pathology after a colonoscopy with multiple biopsies was done. What makes this extremely difficult is that she is completely paralyzed on her left side as a result of a stroke in January 2008 due to her history of atrial fibrillation and unable to take care of herself at all. She is cared for in her home by her husband and children so you can imagine, the incontinent diarrhea sometimes up to 8 to 10 times a day is a very challenging situation! She is taking Coumadin, Metoprolol and Digoxin for the atrial fibrillation. She also takes Armour thyroid for hypothyroidism. I had recommended trying apple cider vinegar back in March but they didn't notice any help.
After her diagnosis of the microscopic colitis, the gastroenterologist, put her on tincture of Opium in hopes of stopping the diarrhea. At the time, she had no appetite and was barely eating. The Opium stopped the diarrhea for 1 day. She then started eating a little bit and the diarrhea promptly returned so Opium was stopped. The gastroenterologist also put her on a steroid, Entocort (3 every morning). The family pharmacist recommended Donnatol and she started taking that and for a few days was down to 2-3 liquid bowel movements daily which was an improvement over the 8-10. After a few weeks, the doctor placed her on Asacol intending for it to be the long term medication and started tapering her off of the Entocort. The liquid incontinent bowel movements increased to 3-4 and are now up to 5 times daily with her on the Asacol and Donnatol 3 times a day and the Entocort just 1 in the morning. She also has been avoiding dairy products for almost 3 weeks with no improvement.
She has been tested numerous times for bacteria and is always negative. She has extreme difficulty taking pills and complains they "gag" her. Her taste buds have been "defective" for a long time now. She used to enjoy "sweets" and now can't stand sweet things. She doesn't like salt or sour tastes and can only tolerate "bland" food. She also is starting to have occasional confusion.
Any recommendations or advice you might have would be very much appreciated! Thank you for your time.
Richardson, Tx, Usa