Just as your eyes change over time, your other organs are susceptible to aging. The stomach is a crucial organ that takes a lot of wear and tear over the years. Food poisoning and influenza are two ailments the stomach is strong enough to endure.
But, as you age, the stomach becomes more sensitive and less resilient. There are a handful of common stomach problems that occur after retirement age. Luckily, taking the right vitamins can seriously reduce your risk of developing one of these problems.
Common Stomach Issues That Come with Aging
Constipation is a condition where your digestive tract has trouble passing stool. It could mean you take infrequent bowel movements, and when you do take them, they’re hard and painful to pass. Constipation is sometimes associated with hemorrhoids, stomach cramps, and bloating.
The number one most common stomach issue among the aging population is constipation. While this issue doesn’t take place in the stomach, it can cause stomach pain. And, the food you eat affects your entire digestive system. As we get older, we tend to slow down. We spend more time sitting down, watching TV, and resting instead of being active. Our stomach and digestive muscles also slow down.
You can jump-start your digestive muscles by getting active. Spend at least half an hour each day doing something aerobic. That could be fast-walking, going for a run, or even vacuuming the house. You also need to make a point of drinking more water than you’re used to. The aging stomach absorbs more water from our food than a younger stomach. This leads to dehydration and constipation. Boost your water intake and get moving.
Vitamins to Take for Constipation
You can prevent constipation and even treat it by taking the right vitamins. First, vitamin C is a stomach-health superhero. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient with osmotic effects. This means that it retains water and then releases the water in your digestive tract. The increase of hydration in digestion makes the stool softer and easier to pass. Secondly, if you are deficient in vitamin B12, you are prone to constipation as a result. Prevent this condition by getting the recommended doses of vitamins B12 and C.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a common stomach condition for the aging population. It affects 60 percent of the American adult population. In this condition, acid and fluid from the stomach come up the esophagus. This is dangerous because it can burn the esophagus, cause esophageal cancer, or cause dysphagia. The initial symptoms of GERD are frequent heartburn and regurgitation. When these two symptoms are combined with one of the following, it’s very serious: burning throat, pain swallowing, blood in vomit, weight loss and choking.
People develop GERD when they age because the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak. This could be due to general muscle weakness from age, or due to obesity. Certain medications can also cause GERD, like some blood pressure medications, painkillers, and antidepressants.
In elderly patients, GERD becomes extra serious. Gravity affects the movement of acid up the esophagus which is why it’s recommended to sit straight up when experiencing heartburn. Many seniors spend ample time in bed due to illnesses and mobility issues. Laying flat creates the perfect setting for gravity to work with GERD.
Vitamins to Take for GERD
When treating GERD, you have to do more than take acid-blocking medication. Acid reflux is a major symptom of GERD, but it’s caused by inflammation. Sufferers need to take vitamins that address the inflammation in the stomach to further prevent acid reflux alongside their medication. Anti-inflammatory vitamins include coenzyme Q10, magnesium, and vitamin B.
After the age of 40, we become more susceptible to developing diverticulitis. This gut condition occurs when small pockets develop anywhere in the digestive system. Sometimes the pouches are harmless, other times they become inflamed and infected. When they become inflamed, the sufferer feels intense abdominal pain. They may also experience fever, vomiting, bloating, and their abdomen becomes sensitive to touch.
It’s not uncommon for people under the age of 40 to get diverticulitis, but your chances increase substantially over that age. It’s estimated that 50 percent of people over the age of 60 have it, and that percentage increases again over the age of 80. Although it’s a fairly common disease, it doesn’t always require treatment. As long as the pockets don’t get inflamed or infected, patients can live a normal life.
Lifestyle and diet significantly affect whether a person gets diverticulitis. Obesity, smoking, minimal exercise, and low-fiber diets are all contributing risk factors. You can prevent this condition by living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Also, by taking the right vitamins for your body.
Vitamins for Diverticulitis
First, you need to work on getting more fiber into your diet. Our digestive systems rely on fiber to soften the stool which reduces pressure as it passes. It’s crucial for balancing the bacteria in our stomachs as well as strengthening the colon walls. Besides eating fiber-rich foods, you can take a fiber supplement to boost your intake. Another vitamin that can help prevent diverticulitis is vitamin D. This powerhouse of a nutrient controls inflammation in the colon and strengthens the mucus layer in the gut. You can find vitamin D supplements in many forms. But, it’s also recommended you go outside for five to 10 minutes a day to get vitamin D naturally from sun exposure.
Just like the eyes, the stomach is susceptible to different age-related conditions. Diet and lifestyle are crucial to preventing these types of diseases from developing. Taking the right vitamins can also make a huge difference. Luckily, our Ocu-Plus Formula contains tons of nutrients that are great for the stomach in addition to the eyes. You can protect multiple organs from age-related conditions with one nutrient-rich supplement.