Constipation relief for those with dysphagia

Constipation relief for those with dysphagia

18 February 2016

solulax_1Whilst developing our Slõ Milkshakes+ to help dysphagia patients increase their nutritional intake, we became aware that constipation is a frequent problem. It should be obvious?

Constipation is mainly associated with an inadequate fluid and /or fibre intake and decreased activity.
Symptoms those with dysphagia frequently present with and why the condition is often referred to as “a diagnoses for dehydration and malnutrition.”

Those with dysphagia don’t drink enough partly because they don’t enjoy thickened drinks and according to one study*, “because they are offered 50% fewer thickened drinks than patients on ordinary fluids.”

They can’t consume enough nutrients or high fibre foods for several reasons. High fibre foods include wheat bran, edible skins and seeds of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, fruits, oats, barley and beans. They are impossible to make into a smooth puree.

But the main reason is eating takes a long time and is very tiring. Consequently, finishing a complete meal and the nutrients contained within it is rarely achieved.

Soluble laxatives would provide relief, but they can’t be changed into thickened drinks.

The active ingredients in laxatives like Movicol or Laxido prevent ordinary gum and starch based thickeners working. So when added to these drinks they don’t thicken or only thicken for a short time then separate.

It is also essential to remember these products must be made with 125ml of water to work effectively. That requires a specific amount of thickener which is impossible to measure with a scoop.

Our Slõ Solulax sachet therefore contains a thickener that does work with Movicol and Laxido and a specific amount for 125ml of water. It does not interact with them or affect how they work; it only slows them down so they can be swallowed without worry.

A food and drinks first approach is always best. But when someone with dysphagia is struggling with constipation and wants relief Slõ Solulax could help. You can find our more information here [Slõ Solulax], but remember it is essential to check with a health care professional before using!

*K.Whelan: Inadequate fluid intakes in dysphagic acute stroke
Constipation


Fibre – wheat bran, edible skins and seeds of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, fruits, oats, barley and beans.

Fluid – water, juice, cordial, tea, coffee, milk, milky drinks, and soups. Excessive intakes of tea and coffee can lead to dehydration and tea inhibits iron absorption.

Dehydration
Common causes

  • Older people do not feel as thirsty
  • Kidney function declines
  • An increased amount of water is lost via the skin
  • Immobility and or confusion
  • Medication

Urinary incontinence
The effects

  •  Increased risk of pressure sores developin
  • Drowsiness, confusion and or constipation
  • Water infections
  • Increased risk of falls

It is important to encourage adequate fluid intake to prevent these problems.