Common Digestive Issues Among Seniors and How Probiotics Can Help
Various health conditions become more prevalent with age. Medicine, lifestyle, and physical inactivity can all take their toll and contribute to digestive problems as you get older.
This may be the result of a variety of factors, including:
- Little movement and dehydration: These issues are very common, and they can worsen constipation
- Changes to diet: These can bring about health issues like chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart problems, and cancer.
- Multiple medications: Medication can alter the gut microbiome. This may cause a variety of GI issues, like diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Common digestive issues
Constipation is common among elderly people. It’s often the result of less physical activity, dehydration, a low-fiber diet, and multiple medication side effects.
Those with constipation can benefit significantly from probiotic supplements. Probiotics help improve the frequency and consistency of bowel movements by:
- Rebalancing gut flora
- Increasing mucus production
- Weakened immunity
80% of the immune system is located in the gut. If the gut is weak, and so is the immune system, and this is very common also among elderly people. Their immune system is weak due to various factors.
Taking probiotic supplements can prevent your body from becoming infected with harmful pathogens that weaken immune function.
- Certain strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli help strengthen the gut barrier. They also create an intestinal environment that is unfavorable for bacteria and viruses.
- Lactobacilli prevent viruses from being able to replicate in the intestinal wall.
- They enhance the immune system by providing antiviral effects
- Flatulence and bloating
Bloating causes the sensation of fullness, tightness, and an expanded belly. It occurs when certain bacteria produce too much gas. It’s an indication that there is an overgrowth of harmful microorganisms in the gut. As these microorganisms reproduce and digest the food particles in the intestine, they produce a large amount of gas. For instance, a Candida overgrowth causes bloating, flatulence, and sugar cravings. Bloating and flatulence can also be caused by food intolerance. People who are allergic to gluten or lactose may experience nausea, bloating, and gas.
Taking high-quality, multi-strain probiotic supplements can help address the issues by restoring the balance in the gut flora. Additionally, a certain strain of probiotics can kill pathogens that cause you to bloat. They also help restore the proper balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
- Impaired cognitive function
Some elderly people suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. What does this have to do with gut health? The gut and brain are actually connected. They constantly communicate, and the probiotics in the gut play a vital role in the process.
When dysbiosis happens, inflammation occurs. If this goes on long enough, harmful bacteria, food particles, and chemical substances may eventually reach the brain. This may result in inflammation of the brain. Scientific studies show that inflammation of the gut may contribute to decreased cognitive diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Taking probiotics may help address the underlying issues of dysbiosis. It also increases the diversity of bacteria in the gut. Some bacterial strains enhance the gut wall to prevent bacteria from leaking into the bloodstream, which reduces inflammation in the colon.