On an average, an individual consumes close to 35 tons of food during a lifetime. Given this, it is only natural that your digestive system undergoes a little wear and tear with age. The extent of this wearing out depends a lot on the types of food consumed, the frequency of food consumption, physical exercise as well as water intake.
The twilight years of your life can bring a host of digestive problems with it, if not given due attention.
As you grow older, it is not just the joints and muscles that cause problems. A very common complaint among older folks is of constant constipation. It is mostly caused by poor diet, insufficient water intake and lack of exercise. The digestive system slows down naturally owing to deteriorating muscle tones of the body, eventually absorbing more water from the food and leading to constipation.
The cause for constant heartburn can be medication or even improper meal timings. Older people are advised to have early dinners and avoid excess of fast food or fried food to avoid heartburn.
Ulcers are small boils on the lining of the stomach, mostly caused by a lot of acidic food consumption. They cause loss of appetite and weight loss. These ulcers can cause shooting pains in your stomach intermittently, and in some cases, even vomiting. They are more common among those who have diabetes or take multiple medicines.
Although some of the adverse effects of aging are inevitable, there are some ways you can reduce the risk of severe digestive problems.
For those who are not active or hardly step outside the house, it is natural to feel less thirsty. However this can lead to insufficient water intake needed for efficient digestion and distribution of nutrients.
Your diet requirements not only change with age, but also with the level of physical activity. As you grow older, physical activity levels dip, storing more fat in the body. Hence, it is advised to reduce fat and sugar intake. You can consult a nutritionist for a list of healthy foods and portions that suit your age and daily routine. More fibers and less carbs are a good starting point.
Short walks in the morning and evening keep your body agile and healthy. It also helps in digesting your food better and regularizing bowel movements.
Keeping these routines in check will not only make you feel better, but also keep unwanted medication out of your system.