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Dealing With Constipation In The Elderly

Age has many different types of affects on us starting from loosing the elasticity of our skin to a slower metabolism, which often interferes the bowel movement promoting constipation. Constipation in the elderly is a common factor, as the digestive system often cannot handle the same amounts of food intake especially if the rate of activity decreases due to a medical state or just old age.

Here are some tips and suggestions on how to recognize and deal with constipation in the elderly on an every day basis in order to keep regular and healthy.

Constipation Symptoms

Constipation symptoms manifest the same in everyone irrelevant of age or gender and they usually are of a sensation of bloating of the stomach, unable to pass the regular stool that you are used to and painful and/or dry stool. Many people are used to having bowel movement everyday and that may have been being regular for them however, the case of constipation only exists when you have less three bowel movements a week.

The cause of constipation varies from person to person but constipation in the elderly occurs mainly because of a poor diet, water intake, lack of exercise and administering drugs for an existing medical condition.

Treating Constipation In The Elderly

It is important you see a doctor before you adopt a treatment for constipation in the elderly and that is because there may be more then one cause of this irregularity. However, natural remedies can always be helpful in treating constipation in the elderly and there are some healthy choices you can make today.

Adopt a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables that are natural carriers of fiber, which in turn promotes regular bowel movements. Try to avoid food that is hard to digest such as, red meat, fried food and starches as they will promote constipation or if you do have any of the above items try and have moderate servings with a lot of vegetables on the side.

Exercise as much as possible depending on your present state of health; walking is a great exercise that does apply strain to the body when done moderately. Last but not least drinking water will also help keep your body hydrated and promote regular bowel movements.

Helpful Tip

Constipation in the elderly can occur due to numerous reasons and therefore it is extremely important to determine the cause first before you start a treatment with laxatives or any other type of medication, as most of them are habit forming and it may cause more harm then benefits in the long run.

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Constipation disproportionately affects older adults, with a prevalences of 50% in community-dwelling elderly and 74% in nursing-home residents.
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