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The reason your stomach hurts more as you age

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 4 months ago

Digestive issues can be a common problem as we age, affecting millions of Americans. Symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits can arise due to a combination of aging and lifestyle factors. The nerves and muscles in the gastrointestinal tract can become less effective, leading to slower digestion and communication between organs. The stomach lining can also become thinner, making it more susceptible to injury and inflammation. Slower motility in the small bowel can cause bacterial overgrowth and digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea. Additionally, chronic health conditions and medications used to manage them can further exacerbate digestive problems.

However, there are ways to optimize digestion as we get older. Chewing food more thoroughly can help with digestion and alleviate complications associated with trouble swallowing. Stimulating saliva production, which tends to decrease with age, can be done by using saliva substitutes and drinking water between bites. Eating a plant-based diet that is low in processed foods can maintain a healthy gut microbiome and increase fiber intake, which is crucial for digestion and bowel regularity. Staying hydrated, especially when increasing fiber intake, can help prevent constipation. Exercise can stimulate the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, while getting enough quality sleep is important for gut health and immunity. It is also crucial to take medications as prescribed to minimize gastrointestinal side effects.

If experiencing persistent changes in bowel habits or other concerning symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor. They may perform tests such as bloodwork, endoscopy, or colonoscopy to determine the underlying cause of the digestive issues. Overall, taking steps to optimize digestion can help alleviate age-related digestive problems and improve overall gut health.

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