Seniors Are More Susceptible To Digestive Disorders
When the digestive system works properly, it breaks down foods into forms that the body uses to build and nourish its cells, and to
provide the fuel and energy we need to live. Of course, it does not always work to our liking. We have all had an upset stomach at one
time or another. It’s a rotten feeling – cramps, nausea, etc. Hopefully, the symptoms go away quickly and our appetite returns.
In addition to a tummy ache, there are a variety of digestive disorders that people can encounter. These ailments can develop in
people of all ages, however, they are more common with seniors. They may have less secretions from the digestive organs. Also, as
we age, swallowing and the contractions that move food through the digestion process decrease. In fact, John Hopkins Medicine
reports that nearly 40% of older adults have one or more digestive disorder symptoms each year.
Here is a list of more common digestive disorders,
many of which you have probably heard of.
Heartburn (acid reux)
Diarrhea and constipation
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Colon polyps and colon cancer
Pancreas, liver, and gallbladder problems
The digestive system is a continuous tube that processes food and liquids in the body. Extending from the mouth to the anus, it is also
known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It consists of various parts, including organs that play supporting roles. Here are the major
parts of the digestive system.
Mouth (teeth, tongue, salivary glands)
Throat (pharynx, esophagus)
Small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum)
Large intestine or colon (ascending,
transverse, descending, sigmoid)
Rectum and anus
(Sources: HealthInAging.org, JohnHopkinsHealthAlerts.com, MayoClinic.com)