Digestion and Aging - Tips to Maintain a ‘Healthy’ Relationship

Digestive Health issues in Seniors

Good food is good health. But have you ever wondered that there is an important component without which the above statement is incomplete? Your guess is right and that important component is your digestive system.

A good health condition is the result of making conscious efforts towards keeping up with the bodily changes, supporting each system to perform its activities, and providing an internal environment.

Every key system in the body such as skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, sensory, urinary, reproductive, and digestive systems undergo tremendous changes and these changes will become more rapid as the person ages.

Talking about the digestive system, there will be a gradual but slow decline in the ability to get the food digested as the person advances in age. However, it does not mean aging will have a significant impact in the process of digestion.

This blog here throws some light on the effects aging will have on the digestion process and the ways you can keep your digestive system intact from issues such as abdominal bloating, Gastric reflux problems, indigestion and so on.

Aging and Digestive Health -

Even though digestion problems issues can occur at any age, aged people are more likely to get these issues. Here are a few common digestive health issues in seniors.

  • Issues with mouth - Mouth is the first touchpoint in the process of food digestion. Due to poor dental hygiene, loss teeth as a result of aging, and with the issues in swallowing can lead to indigestion.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease - One of the common digestive conditions observed in the elderly. Eating spicy foods, canned diet, fried and oils, can form acid in the stomach that later stock up and push towards the esophagus causing acid refluxes. This leads to heaviness in stomach, heartburn, and inflammation sometimes.
  • Slowed Contractions - The movement of food is an important process in the digestive function. And, it moves through as a result of contractions. As the person ages, these contractions might become less, forcing the food to take more time to reach the colon. This not only causes constipation but also disrupts the whole digestive function.
  • Ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding - Usage of few medications and having poor diet habits can lead to ulcers and would at the side walls of the digestive tract. Especially frequent usage of medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can put the digestive system under the risk of ulcers that cause internal bleedings.
  • Constipation - Even though there are many reasons for constipation, it majorly occurs due to the reduced fluid content, contractions, and lack of fibre sources. Stress, drinking less water, and eating spicy foods are the other triggerants.

Apart from that, there are other conditions such as Hernia problems, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and hemorrhoids that are mainly observed in the older adults.

Food can change everything! The source of life needs some thought, at least, before it is consumed. Here are a few good food sources, digestive habits, and personal hygiene that help you find peace with your digestive system and put your issues away.

  • Best foods for digestive health -
    • Ensure there are enough greens, vegetables, fruits, and probiotics in your plate.
    • Drink more water, and more water. Staying hydrated is the best way to be in good health.
    • Avoid foods that are too spicy, canned, salted, and fried.
  • Good digestive habits -
    • Involve in some kind of physical activities everyday.
    • Maintain a healthy lifestyle that does not give any scope for stress or anxiety.
    • Practice yoga postures that focus on the parts in the abdominal region.
  • Personal hygiene -
    • Good personal hygiene that involves better oral care is the way to go
    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially before going to the bed.
    • Consult your dentist at regular intervals.

Medical issues related to digestive health should not be overlooked as the functionality of other important systems are fuelled by the ability of the digestive system.

If you feel any sort of uneasiness, discomfort, blackened stools, or any pain in the check or upper thoracic region, consult your nearest gastro care specialist or a gastric doctor at the earliest.

For more information, please consult these Hernia Surgery Specialists.

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