Work of the intestines in old age


Digestion in the elderly: how does it change with age, and how to improve it?

After a certain age, the natural wear and tear of all organs and systems begins. Thinking becomes less clear, memory begins to fail, vision loses its sharpness, and joints and spine begin to ache and treacherously crunch.

In the digestive system of an elderly person, similar changes occur, as in many other organs. Over the years, there is a decrease in digestive functions, nutrients are worse absorbed, the risk of certain diseases and disorders increases.

What changes occur in the stomach?

With age, the digestive processes in the stomach begin to fade. Often develops atrophic gastritis, reduces the acidity of gastric juice. The mucous membrane is smoothed, the ratio of hydrochloric acid and protective factors is violated, which opens the gate of infection and other damaging factors. Increased risk of erosion, peptic ulcer. Because of the decrease in the elasticity of the walls, the stomach contains less food.

Cells of the gastric mu

cosa in old age synthesize less than the internal factor (Castle) - an enzyme, which is necessary for the assimilation of vitamin B12. This can lead to the development of anemia.

How does the liver and pancreas work?

In the elderly, the amount of bile produced and pancreatic juice decreases. Bile performs important functions: it promotes absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins, and stimulates bowel motility. With a decrease in its amount, the contractions of the intestinal wall become less intense, and atopic constipation occurs.

Due to the thickening of bile in elderly people, the risk of cholelithiasis is increased. Many of the elderly patients have already removed the gallbladder by this age, which imposes additional restrictions on the digestive system.

The pancreas produces enzymes necessary for the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Reducing their amount also worsens digestion.

How does aging affect the functioning of the intestine?

Features of digestion in the elderly impose their imprint on the intestines. The mucous membrane ages and smoothes along the entire length of the digestive tract, which is why the absorption of nutrients deteriorates.

In the small intestine, excessive reproduction of pathogenic bacteria can be noted - this condition is known as excessive bacterial growth in the small intestine. It manifests itself in the form of abdominal pain, swelling, weight loss.

The ileum is involved in the absorption of vitamin B12, the violation of which leads to anemia. Symptoms - pallor of the skin, weakness, increased fatigue.

As a result of imbalance of enzymes in the elderly, intolerance to dairy products containing lactose can develop.

Older people often suffer from constipation. The main reasons for this are as follows:

  • Cal moves in the intestines more slowly than in young people.
  • The walls of the rectum lose tone, weaken less when filling with calves.
  • In the elderly, many people lead a sedentary lifestyle. This is not the best way to affect the work of the intestine.
  • Many elderly people suffer from chronic diseases, are forced to take medicine. Some drugs contribute to the appearance of constipation.

With age, the risk of malignant tumors increases, including in the digestive system. If an elderly person is concerned about persistent constipation, an appropriate examination should be performed to exclude oncological diseases.

Improving digestion in old age: how to avoid problems with stools?

There are several useful recommendations that will help the elderly person to normalize the work of the intestines and reduce the risk of constipation:

  • Adhere to the principles of healthy eating.In your diet should be present a sufficient number of vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals - foods rich in fiber.
  • Lead an active lifestyle.Physical activity is an indispensable condition for the normal operation of the intestine. In the elderly, there are usually health problems that do not allow you to perform intensive exercises, as in youth. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor who will choose the appropriate complex, will advise the load, adequate in your case.
  • If the constipation began to bother after you started taking any medications, tell your doctor.Perhaps the doctor will cancel the drugs, replace them with others, change the dosage.

If constipation does occur, you can use mild laxatives. For example, Mikrolaks - this drug is effective and has a high safety profile, it can be used in the elderly, young children, pregnant women.

The three active components contained in Mikrolakse. soften dense stool mass, facilitate the departure of the stool.

If the problem persists, stool is absent for a long time, defecation occurs less 3-4 times a week, if you have abdominal pain and other symptoms - you should immediately visit doctor. In older age, constipation can be a symptom of a serious illness.

How is the treatment of constipation in the elderly?

  • A number of reasons leading to constipation
  • How to get rid of problems?
  • What other measures need to be taken?
  • Folk remedies that are used for constipation

Most elderly people notice difficulty in bowel movement. Although constipation is common in elderly people, treatment is possible if a number of products are available in the diet that contribute to the regular excretion of feces. Constipation is affected by patients who are sedentary, so it is worth paying attention not so much to physical load (at this age it is difficult to do), but rather certain manipulations aimed at successful work intestines.

If a person has a delay in bowel emptying for 2 days or there is a withdrawal of feces in small amounts, this is considered a manifestation of constipation.Such a problem is quite significant and it gives many elderly people a lot of trouble. Up to 60% of patients over the age of 65 suffer from constipation.

A number of reasons leading to constipation

Several factors contribute to the development of senile constipation:

  1. Lengthening of the intestine.
  2. Weakened muscles and reduced its elasticity.
  3. Reducing muscle tone and the force of their contractions.
  4. Admission of a large number of drugs that contribute to the treatment of chronic diseases, but have contraindications.

At the same time, the intestine is not completely emptied and unstable. Effects on this drug, which are used in most cases in cardiology: calcium antagonists, drugs that have a central effect, inhibitors, diuretics. They can cause chronic constipation.

  1. Lack of fluid. In addition to the fact that the food is taken dry, during the day a person does not drink much water. Such constipation is called alimentary.
  2. Violation of nervous mechanisms, when a person can not emptied due to lack of toilet or turn. Other causes # 8211; mental overstrain, conflicts, diseases of the central nervous system, such as neuritis, paralysis, psychoneurosis, etc. This type of constipation is called neurogenic.
  3. The elderly, who are constantly in a recumbent position. Because of the decrease in bowel motility, his muscles are weakened, the stool regimes are disrupted. This chronic constipation is called hypodynamic.
  4. Hemorrhoids, rectal fissures. All this causes a delay in the stool and characterizes the proctogenic constipation.
  5. The presence of various types of tumors of the intestinal wall or cancer adjacent to the intestine organs. Gut contraction as a result of scarring, enlargement of the uterus or its appendages. All these doctors are referred to as the mechanical type of stool delay.
  6. Abnormal conditions of intestinal development.
  7. Diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and a number of other ailments of the endocrine system lead to chronic constipation.

After 60 years, such deviations are fairly stable. Constipation in elderly people can arise without a reason, but more often they are caused by a combination of several factors at the same time: malnutrition, restriction of mobility, bowel disease.


Back to contents

How to get rid of problems?

Treatment is not only carried out by laxatives, but also includes a number of special products in the diet. These are fermented milk (kefir, fermented milk, varenets, matzoni, yogurt), sour cream, buckwheat and millet porridge, wheat bread with bran, mashed beet and carrots in raw and cooked form, prunes. It is necessary to saturate the salads with vegetable oils. In the diet, daily foods containing not less than 35 g of fiber should be present. Do not drink juices that cause fermentation, especially grape. Eliminate apples, beans, radish, garlic, radish, onions, milk.

Forming new dishes for the body costs gradually. Otherwise, unwanted gassing or abrupt relaxation of the intestine, characterized by diarrhea, can occur. It is enough to saturate the menu with new products once a week. It is better if the implementation of the doctor's recommendations will be monitored by relatives or people caring for the elderly.

Mineral water is useful in a cool form. You need to drink a glass 40 minutes before each meal. The diet is selected individually. To adjust the work of the intestine is necessary so that you can accustom yourself to a regular chair at a certain time.

Irregular stools in the elderly can be adjusted in the treatment of concomitant diseases. In this case, you should take drugs that optimize the microflora of the intestine: bifidums and drugs with lactobacilli.

Try to avoid frequent use of enemas. So, useful substances are derived from the body. Chronic constipation is eliminated by several types of laxatives:

  1. Substances causing irritation of the intestinal receptor apparatus.
  2. Means that prevent the rapid absorption of water.
  3. Elements that increase the contents of the intestine.
  4. Substances whose action is directed to softening the stool.

Assign tablets, candles. Despite the fact that the illness begins to be intensively treated, one should not lose sight of and the ability to move more often and carry out certain physical activities. This is breathing exercises, exercises for training the muscles of the abdomen and pelvis.

Back to contents

What other measures need to be taken?

For the treatment of constipation, the elderly also use physiotherapy. If there are no contraindications, are useful:

  • electrophoresis;
  • mud wraps;
  • phototherapy.

A mandatory decision should be a change in lifestyle with an increase in patient activity.

The best means of constipation for the elderly for treatment (candles, diet and not only)

Constipation in the elderly is more common than in other categories of the population. At the age of over 60 years, constipation affects 60% of people, after 70 years they suffer 80% of men and women. What is constipation?

The medical definition of constipation is a violation of the regularity of emptying the intestine, obstructed defecation. Normally, it should be emptied three times a day to three times per week. Each person himself determines what is normal for him. More often, the constipation rate is considered less frequent than twice a week for the constipation criterion.

Than dangerous

In the elderly, all metabolic processes are slowed down. There is a partial atrophy of the musculature. Less food is consumed because of a decrease in appetite, a need for food. The main component of feces is cellulose, which stimulates intestinal motility. The appearance of constipation has several reasons for the elderly:

  1. Decreased motor activity of a person. This simultaneously reduces the motor activity of the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, the abdominal press. Especially often there are constipations in recumbent people.
  2. Decrease in the volume of food masses. Difficulties in digesting plant fiber due to pathology of the digestive tract (chronic pancreatitis, cholecystitis, gastritis, enterocolitis). Diseases of the rectum causing pain in the emptying of the intestine.
  3. Use of semi-liquid or mushy food consistencies due to dental problems. This food contains little fiber. Kala is formed too little.
  4. Chronic diseases (cardiovascular system, kidney), limiting the use of water. Diseases of the endocrine system that reduce intestinal motility (hypothyroidism, decreased function of the sex glands, pituitary gland).
  5. Taking medications that reduce the work of the intestines (antihypertensive, antiarrhythmic, other drugs). Neurogenic stool retention (conscious suppression of the intestinal emptying reflex in uncomfortable conditions).

Dangers to life constipation is not. This is just a nuisance, which manifests itself in bloating, heaviness. During defecation with constipation, anal fissures with bleeding may occur. formation of hemorrhoids, in rare cases, mucosal prolapse is observed. Sometimes constipation is one of the manifestations of a serious disease - cancer. Therefore, if the presumed causes of constipation are eliminated, keeping it for three weeks should be a reason for going to the doctor, examining and prescribing possible treatment.

Methods of therapy

Constipation in the elderly is treated in several ways, which improves the quality of life of the elderly. First of all, an attempt should be made to eliminate a possible cause. If this fails, then prescribe drugs that are called laxatives (drops, suppositories, pills). Consider the methods of treating constipation of the elderly:

  • Treatment will be most effective if the cause of constipation is eliminated. Elderly people are recommended to expand the motor system within the limits of the possible. Especially useful are long walks with walking at different tempos. In the presence of orthopedic problems, recumbent lifestyle of the elderly, all kinds of medical and health gymnastics are necessarily used.

The most important thing is that the duration of gymnastics (as well as walking) is at least 40 minutes twice a day, giving pleasure to the elderly. It is not bad to spend gymnastics elderly "for the company with collective or the partner. This increases interest to it, creates a stable positive reflex of movements. Exercises should cause muscle tension in the anterior abdominal wall, all major muscle groups of the pelvic girdle, perineum.

  • Diet with constipation in the elderly includes the normalization of the drinking regime, the amount of food administered, these issues are consistent with the doctor. In the absence of contraindications, the volume of fluid consumed by an elderly person per day should be, l. Some experts advise adhering to the formula of water demand: 30 ml per 1 kg of body weight.
  • The volume of food creates fiber, its amount per day should be at least 30 g. These are food bran, porridge (oatmeal, buckwheat, pearl barley), fruit, dried fruits. It is important not to allow the development of fermentation processes in the intestine. To introduce products containing fiber in the diet of the elderly should be gradually, adding no more than 5 grams per week.
  • A good effect is provided by the creation of the ritual of bowel evacuation. For this purpose, a certain time is allocated. They create conditions that are comfortable for the elderly person.
  • You can start treatment with a cleansing enema. The volume of its 1 liter of boiled water at room temperature, do it before defecation. The enema can be oily (150 g of any vegetable oil in a warm form is injected into the rectum at night), it can make the stool masses soft. Its effect is expected in about 8 hours.

Treatment with laxative funds begins when all the efforts of non-drug methods are unsuccessful. The choice of laxative remedy for constipation for the elderly is better provided to the doctor. By the mechanism of the effect, laxatives are divided into 5 large groups of agents:

  1. Chemicals causing irritation of the mucous membrane of the colon, which helps to reduce the muscles of the intestine. Such substances (preparations of buckthorn, hay leaves - guttalax, bisacodyl) - like drops taken through the mouth, castor oil, and rectal suppositories - cause defecation 6-8 hours after ingestion. Candles cause irritation of the mucous membrane of the rectum. Long-term treatment with their help is inefficient, they are addictive, which requires an increase in the dose.
  2. Osmotic laxatives are substances that retain water that are not absorbed in the intestine. These include saline laxatives, lactulose (dyufaklak preparation). They soften the stool masses, increase their volume. In elderly people, treatment with lactulose drugs has an effect in about half the cases.
  3. Bulk laxatives or fillers (bran, sea kale). Increase the volume of dietary masses. Treatment with their use is the most physiological, since they are components of food. Their use in the elderly begins with small doses, selecting the necessary dose for well-being.
  4. Laxative oils (vaseline, any vegetable) soften the stool masses. Can be used as a component of enema or rectal suppository, and also through the mouth. Usually, treatment with their use begins with a tablespoon of oil in the morning on an empty stomach. The expected evacuation of the intestine occurs in 8-16 hours. Candles with vaseline oil can be done at night.
  5. Resolor - a new laxative stimulant, is available in tablets. Causes a natural peristalsis without irritation of the intestinal mucosa. It is recommended to take elderly people with persistent constipation, since the drug is not addictive.

Constipation medications for the elderly give a good result in case they are selected by a doctor. Treatment with the use of medications (tablets, suppositories, drops) is prescribed in combination with dietary methods. This allows you to make it the most effective.



No comments yet!

Share your opinion