What are the common gastrointestinal diseases in old age?

Aging is also a factor in reducing stomach acid. 80% of people aged 80-90 have a decrease in gastric acid secretion.

Gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding are common in the elderly. One of the most common gastrointestinal diseases is gastritis or ulcer caused by chemical, infectious and neurological factors.

The most common cause is Helicobacter pylori infection. 60-70% of cases of gastric ulcer have been attributed to Helicobacter pylori.

This infection causes chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa, stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers and even cancer. Consumption of salty foods intensifies the effect of Helicobacter pylori on the gastric mucosa, and this damage reduces the absorption of vitamin B12 and causes a type of anemia called pernicious anemia.

In this case, the elderly need vitamin B 12 supplementation. In addition to salt, the presence of nitrates in food, low consumption of vegetables and fruits, low consumption of antioxidants, especially vitamin C help the growth of Helicobacter pylori.

Broccoli, due to its substance called Sulforaphane, prevents Helicobacter pylori infection and tumor formation.

Probiotics also prevent bacterial pathogenesis and tumor formation by increasing the concentration of bifidobacteria.

Long-term use of aspirin and some other drugs, alcohol, even beer, and smoking weakens the mucosal system.

Inadequate nutrition and inadequate public health also play a role in the onset and severity of symptoms and delay recovery.

Excessive consumption of spices, especially red and black pepper, causes wear and inflammation of the mucous membrane and its irritability.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and other seafood are a protective factor against mucosal damage caused by drugs or Helicobacter pylori.

Consumption of vegetables, fruits and fiber will reduce the effects of Helicobacter pylori. It is better not to consume coffee, fried foods and sauces. Patients should eat less and more often.

D) Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This disease, which is very common, mostly occurs in young people but is also seen in the elderly. It is less common in people over 60 years old. Women are more affected.

In this disease, the nerves and muscles of the intestine are overly sensitive and contract too much after eating, causing diarrhea shortly after eating.

Nerves may be overly sensitive to bowel tension, resulting in pain.

The disease has one of the three symptoms of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain. Abdominal distention, gas accumulation, and abnormal bowel movements are seen in these patients.

Foods that cause this condition are dairy, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods and carbonated beverages.

Coffee, cabbage, peas, beans, eggplant, fatty foods, cheese and ice cream are all factors that aggravate the disease.

One should avoid consuming too much fiber and keep oneself away from psychological stress. The disease is exacerbated by emotional stress.

Affected people are often sensitive and irritable, and anxiety and depression are common.

E) Colon ulcer

Colorectal ulcers are also a common gastrointestinal disease. An infected person develops intestinal bleeding and is more likely to develop cancer in the long term.

The patient’s food should be liquid. Foods should be low in fiber, decaffeinated and sugary. In these patients, malnutrition impairs digestion and absorption.

They should be prescribed protein, vitamin supplements and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and other seafood, antioxidants, and fermentable fibers (probiotics) are treatments.

And) constipation

This complication, which means emptying the intestines less than three times a week, is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases in this period, which is caused by inactivity, low water consumption and low consumption of dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, which should be consumed. Avoid vegetables, fruits, especially kiwis, and moderate consumption of whole grains as well as adequate water intake.

Other causes of constipation in the elderly can be low food intake.

When an elderly person suffers from constipation, it is better to eliminate the causative agents than to use laxatives to eliminate it.

Some medications also cause constipation. Endocrine disorders, depression, and dementia are also implicated in constipation.

One way to fight constipation is to increase bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the gut, which are supplied by consuming yogurts with probiotics and fermented milk.

G) Diarrhea

In old age, diarrhea often occurs due to infection or the use of laxatives or diuretics.

Diarrhea also occurs due to electrolyte disturbances (sodium, potassium, chlorine, bicarbonate).

This complication is also caused by changes in eating habits. Acute diarrhea is the result of infection and long-term diarrhea is the result of inflammation, such as ulcers and Crohn’s disease.

Celiac disease, a gluten-sensitive disease found in wheat and barley that is common in children and adolescents, has also been reported in the elderly.

In addition to the above, other gastrointestinal diseases threaten these people. Some of them are described below.

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