How To Deal With Digestive Disorder In The Elderly

Japanese man suffers from digestive issues

Digestive disorders and aging

It is important to realize, with age our system gets weaker,  Causing our elderly to suffer from various digestive disorders. Another key point is, indigestion, and constipation, are some of the common indications of a poor digestive system. Also, there are various factors that explain the reason to why our elderly loved ones suffer from digestive disorders.

Factors of digestive disorders

  • Health conditions
An inevitable part of old age.   For one thing, several health conditions can have a significant impact on the digestive system of our elderly. As a result, this may eventually cause our elderly to suffer from alternate bouts of constipation and diarrhea.
  • Metabolism
Gets sluggish and poor working.   For this reason, as we age, our metabolism tends to get slower.  Giving rise to various digestive problems. It is important to realize, a slowed metabolism causes constipation.  Which is one of the commonest forms of the problem suffered by the elderly population.
  • Medicines
The known culprit.  In addition to, various medications that our elderly need to pop in during old age.   Can cause constipation and even GI bleeding. Also, certain medications such as:
  • Pain relievers
  • Non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Narcotic pain relievers

are all known to cause constipation in older adults.

  • Weight gain
The common problem of old age.  It is important to realize, weight gain often becomes inevitable during old age.   Due to poor physical activity and slowed metabolism. In this case, fat deposition is usually more in the abdominal area.  Which causes our elderly loved ones to suffer from acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Inactivity
Old age buddy.   With age, arthritis becomes more unmanageable, causing our elderly to become inactive. Moreover, with age, otherwise healthy elderly individuals tend to become inactive and succumb to a sedentary lifestyle. In both the situations, inactivity almost kills our digestive power, paving way for indigestion, dyspepsia and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Types of digestive disorders in our elderly

A point often overlooked, old age is not a pleasant journey for many of our seniors. Along with several degenerative diseases, their gut health also undergoes a decline. Here are some of the

common digestive disorders 

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Acid reflux
  •  Peptic ulcers
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Heartburn
  • Diverticulitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Tips for taking care of digestive disorders in the elderly

For this reason, digestive disorders often pose a lot of problems for our elderly loved ones. The following tips can be of great help for our elderly to overcome digestive disorders.
  • Make dietary changes
Having a high fiber, low carbohydrate diet ensures better digestion and eases the bowel movements. In order to improve the fiber content of the diet, add more of fruits and vegetables to your daily meal. A high fiber diet ensures proper bowel clearance, thus reducing the chances of constipation.
  • Add more fluids
Hydration is also extremely important for keeping our digestive system working fine. Drinking more of alcohol and coffee can make our elderly dehydrated.  And therefore, it is necessary that we encourage them to drink more water.
  • Physical activity
Being physically active is the best way to keep your gut in a happy state. However, due to ill health and advancing age, physical activity takes a back seat.  And seniors gradually begin to enjoy the sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, it is necessary that as caregivers, we encourage our seniors to exercise.  And stay physically fit, so that their digestive system stays in a good state.
  • Beverages
Beverages such as tea, coffee, aerated drinks and alcohol, cause dehydration. Do not take in excess and enjoy in moderation.
  • Medications
Many medications have adverse side effects in our gut.  And significantly impact the functioning of the digestive system. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss all the medications with the doctor, before you give them to your elderly loved ones. In addition, it is also necessary that you regularly discuss all the medications with your doctor at regular intervals.
  • Pay attention to the warning signs
As caregivers, you need to carefully take note of all the symptoms your elderly is experiencing. Do not ignore a chronic stomach ache, bleeding, diarrhea, sudden weight loss and unexplained fatigue. Take necessary steps and demand a thorough medical examination at the earliest.

Conclusion

Finally, all the above-mentioned tips are sure to help your seniors overcome the problem of digestive disorders.  Also, enable them to lead a healthy life.  For more information, check out this site.  Also, check out my post on other digestive issues.  

How To Help Your Loved One With Constipation Issues

Japanese man with digestive issues

Anatomy of the Eye and Eye DefectsReport this post

  The following slides take a look at some of the signs and symptoms of some of the most common eye diseases. Anatomy of the Eye The anatomy of the eye is complex. The main...

Leave a Comment