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mrpooey
08-05-2011, 03:09 AM
Hi all,

I am concerned about a routine that my mother has adopted for many months now. She had constipation even as a child and at 43, still has not found a way to permanently treat it. She drinks a kind of tea called Bekunis which is not harmful in the short run and when taken in controlled dosages, but my mother takes four times the recommended dosage. Not to mention that she has been using it once to twice every week and it has been a long time since she begun drinking the tea. Instead of normal bowel movements, she has diarrhea instead and often has painful abdominal cramps after drinking it, so that she has to lay on the couch to rest for a while.

I'm worried that continuously inducing diarrhea will take a toll on her health in the long run and would like to know the exact impact of doing so (its effects). Secondly, it would be good if you could suggest an appropriate course of action to take, as she is not keen on visiting the doctor for a medical examination (we have tried persuading her for a long time) and dislikes the medicine usually prescribed for constipation for she says it is too sweet for her - it usually comes in a bottle and is indeed very sweet.

There is a second aspect which is more worrying- I'm afraid that this is part of an eating disorder. My mother does not eat full meals at times (having fruits or small snacks for dinner, or otherwise eating half of the usual portion). She also often repeatedly asks us (the rest of the family) to eat more when we tell her we are already full. This gets quite frustrating. Although she does eat a normal portion for breakfast and is not very picky about the food she eats (avoids fried/fast food only).. So I'm not sure if it she is merely being weight conscious and hence trying to watch her portions of food.

More info on her: she is a cancer survivor, is usually stressed out by work, does not exercise (we have encouraged her to as well), is 1.6m tall and weighs 45.5kg (Chinese). She eats vegetables and fruits almost everyday, mostly oranges for some odd reason...

Your help is greatly appreciated!

janewhite1
08-05-2011, 08:48 AM
That is indeed a problem.

The biggest danger of having diarrhea a lot is weight loss, inadequate nutrition, and, in extreme cases, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

She's quite thin. I know some Chinese women have very fine bone structures, but she still may be underweight. And since she is in her 40s, being too thin puts her at risk for osteoporosis and broken bones.

Ultimately, this is not a healthy plan.