The idea of your body digesting food may seem strange and abstract, but it’s a very real phenomenon that affects every person at some point in their lives. The digestive system has many functions, but its main function is to break down food so the rest of the body can absorb it. Because of this, digestion plays an important role in how our bodies age.
Read on to learn more about how aging affects digestion with age, as well as some helpful tips on how to improve your digestion.
As people age, their digestive system slows down, which can lead to constipation. This is because the body doesn’t produce as much stomach acid and digestive enzymes as it did when people were younger. This can make it difficult for aging adults to break down food and absorb the nutrients they need.
Fortunately, there are many ways to treat constipation in aging adults. Some simple tips include increasing physical activity, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating high-fiber foods. If these measures don’t provide relief, your doctor may recommend medication or other therapies.
It also important to remember that constipation can be a sign of a more serious health problem, so it’s important to seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
There are a number of medications that can affect your digestive system. Some, like anti-depressants, can cause bloating and diarrhea. Others, like anti-histamines, can affect your appetite and cause weight loss. Probiotics are also becoming more popular as research finds that certain strains of bacteria can positively affect our digestive system. What’s more, there is also a range of medications that don’t have an obvious impact on the digestive system, meaning you shouldn’t get too hung up on worrying about them. That said, if you’re on a medication that could affect your digestive system or if you’re taking a new medication, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.
One of the first signs of aging in the digestive system is an increase in colon cancer. The incidence of colon cancer is increasing in most developed countries. It’s estimated that over 50,000 new cases of the disease occur each year in the United States alone. Though more common in those over 50, this type of cancer can affect anyone at any age.
Diverticular disease is an inflammation of the digestive tract caused by an abnormal formation of intestinal tissues. There are two types of diverticular disease. The first is the “iceberg” type, where only a small portion of the intestine is affected, while the remainder is completely normal. The second is the “snow avalanche” type, affecting the entire tract. The exact cause of the diverticular disease is not fully understood, though it may have something to do with the constant changes in your digestive system with age. What’s more, it’s also been associated with a low-fiber diet and chronic inflammation.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. Though it’s more common in younger people, about 10% of the population over the age of 50 suffer from GERD.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which your liver accumulates fatty liver tissue. Though it’s more common in people with excess weight, it can affect anyone. The exact cause of NAFLD is not known, though it may be caused by the state of your digestive system.
Your digestive system is an incredibly complex system, one that is constantly under attack from bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Aging, however, can cause your digestive system to show signs of wear and tear. This can affect your appetite, your weight, and even your efficiency when digesting food. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to keep your digestive system healthy as you get older. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet, eating more fiber foods, and staying hydrated.