One of the unfortunate side effects of the aging process is the host of digestive issues that often accompany this season of life. As you age, many body functions begin to slow down and deteriorate. While it may be tempting to brush off the issues as a natural part of aging, it is important to make attempts to identify the problem and treat it. Here are three of the most common things that might be contributing to digestive issues in yourself or a senior member of your family:
Regardless of if it is over the counter or a prescription, medicine can wreak havoc on the digestive system. Seniors need to be extra cautious of fillers and additives if they have food intolerances. Fortunately, there are a variety of steps that seniors can take to help to mitigate these digestive issues. Taking the medicine along with food will help to prevent nausea. Medicines that cause constipation can be combined with fiber supplements to negate these issues. Prescription medicines such as penicillin are prone to causing diarrhea and should be taken with a probiotic or foods that are high in lactobacillus.
Missing teeth and poorly fitted dentures reduce bite force and can contribute to the development of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Seniors with dentures need to be careful to diligently chew their food. Poor digestive issues begin in the mouth. One common condition associated with dentures is aerophagia. This excessive swallowing of air can lead to a severely distended stomach, poor digestion, and pain. Dental implants can help with digestive issues by supporting biting strength and chewing stability.
Diabetes and Gastroparesis
Diabetes is a common ailment in the aging population. This condition is a common cause of gastroparesis, a disorder distinguished by food taking a long amount of time to clear the stomach. People who suffer from gastroparesis experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and discomfort at the top of the stomach. This disorder cannot be cured and can only be managed through medication and proper diet. People with severe cases of the disorder often have to resort to tube feeding to get their nutrients because their stomach cannot process the food effectively.
Seniors do not have to suffer through the discomfort. The first step in treatment is a proper diagnosis. By recognizing the most common causes of digestive disorders in seniors, you can take steps to alleviate the issue.