How to Evaluate, Prevent & Manage Constipation in Aging
What is constipation？
If you've ever exchanged tips about eating prunes or drinking lots of water to stay regular, then you've probably had personal experience with constipation.
More than 4 million Americans feel constipated frequently, according to a National Institutes of Health survey. Although constipation is common in all age groups, people over age 65 suffer from it the most. Constipation is a problem for less than 2 percent of people who aren't elderly, but the rate is considerably higher in people over age 65.
Constipation is generally thought to be less of a problem of digestion than motility, a technical word for the muscle contractions that move feces through the gut. The main factors that put you at risk for constipation are generally the same as in younger people -- lack of exercise, a low-fiber diet and low fluid intake.
Some seniors may be constipated simply because they don't get enough to eat. You may also find yourself constipated if you're lactose intolerant or if you don't -- or can't -- exercise; metabolic disorders or weak muscle tone can also contribute to irregularity. You may also take a medication that's constipating, such as Pepto Bismol, aluminum antacids, narcotics, diuretics, antipsychotics or tricyclic antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, iron supplements, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, and some anticonvulsants.
As for where the problem originates, your colon is generally the culprit, since that's where the fluid is removed from the stool in the bowel.
Constipation occurs when contractions in the colon are irregular or there's not enough water in your intestines to move the stool into the lower bowel and out of the system. At that point, you may find yourself unable to defecate.
No matter what's causing it, of course, constipation can be more than an annoyance. Gastroenterologists, who often deal with the most stubborn cases of irregularity, point out that although it's seldom life-threatening, chronic constipation can erode a person's quality of life.
How do you treat constipation?
Minor constipation in seniors usually responds well to a change in diet. Fiber is a tried-and-true remedy for constipation, especially when it's accompanied by regular exercise and plenty of water each day. (Temporary side effects from increasing your fiber intake can include bloating and flatulence, so adding fiber gradually is a good idea.) Some gastroenterologists believe daily walks are especially valuable in combating constipation.
Be sure to see your doctor if your constipation lasts more than three weeks or if you've gone more than four days without a bowel movement, especially if you have other symptoms such as bloating, cramps, pain, and an unusual amount of gas.
If your constipation isn't the result of disease, simply altering your diet or adding extra fiber may get your bowels back in order. Here are a few suggestions:
You can also choose to use probiotics, which help restore good gut microbiota.
So what are the benefits of probiotics for constipation？
Usually consume a certain amount of probiotics in patients with constipation can accelerate intestinal function, to solve the problems such as constipation has very good effect, and have in addition to accelerate the intestinal probiotics operation, also can effectively resist the invasion of bacteria, can promote nutrition digestion and absorption, so help is very big to the body.
Thankfully, Life-space has a probiotic for elderly constipation. Let's take a look！
This probiotic can support the daily health and welfare of the elderly, help enhance the immune system function of the elderly, support digestive system health, support healthy intestinal function and help restore good intestinal flora.
Taking these small steps towards a healthier microbiome will not only maintain your health today but also support your health in the future.
Whatever the cause, if you're more constipated than usual and also have a swollen abdomen and experience steady or severe cramps and vomiting, go to an emergency or urgent care center.