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KayMcDonnell(Listowel Therapy Centre)

Digestive Health

digestive health

Love your Belly

As you age, digestive issues such as heartburn, gas, constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis begin popping up more and more.For good reason.First of all, as you age the muscles in your digestive tract become stiffer, weaker and less efficient at "moving things along."Plus the tissues along your intestinal tract are more susceptible to damage because new cells aren't forming as quickly as they once did.But far and away, the most significant factor is that as you age, your body's ability to produce digestive enzymes decreases. Fewer enzymes for the job leads to messed-up digestion.Which means you get an aching gut.

The muscles in your stomach don't open like they should to let your partially digested food (called "chyme") pass into the upper part of your small intestine (your duodenum).
The duodenum is where the MOST digestive action takes place--NOT in your stomach as so many people believe.
So if your food (chyme) isn't passing into your digestive like it should,  what gets screwed up?
And that can mean all kinds of "nasties" like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and poor nutrient absorption (which can then lead to weight loss and malnutrition).If your food ISN'T going into the duodenum like it's supposed to, that means it's overstaying its welcome in your stomach.When this happens the food can actually harden  and cause a blockage that can be life-threatening.And lastly, food that sits (and rots) in the stomach too long can lead to harmful bacteria overgrowth in your stomach, which can make you extremely ill.
According to Francisco J. Marrero, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Digestive Disease Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, in addition to its usual wrath, diabetes can also cause movement problems in your intestinal tract.
In addition, Dr. Marrero says that artery blockages (atherosclerosis) can affect blood flow to the bowels.
What happens is blood flow to your intestines decreases in a similar way that blood flow decreases to your heart when you're having a heart attack or your brain when you're having a stroke!This can cause serious tissue damage and make your bowels even MORE sluggish. 

 "Biggies" that can wreck your digestion--arthritis and hypertension.Many people take a variety of medications to manage chronic conditions like arthritis and high blood pressure, and the drugs used to treat both of those conditions can have disastrous digestive tract side effects.
Plus, the side effects of many of the popular high blood pressure drugs include constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain and/or vomiting.
People think this piece of writing does not affect them because they are young and this piece is only for older people.
Children as young as toddlers are on acid reducers.
Arthritis is one of the major causes of disability in people as young as 18!
Currently about 25 million people in the US have diabetes, and health experts estimate that by the year 2050, as many as 1 in 3 people could have it.
Digestive complaints are consistently among the top 5 reasons that people see a doctor at ALL ages.
People as young as their 20's are being prescribed high blood pressure drugs. At no other time in history have these things happened.  These are new occurrences. 

And the primary cause of all of this is:

Diets of processed foods, fast food, soda and refined carbs is seriously lacking essential nutrients, uses up LOTS of your precious enzymes and creates a tremendous amount of acid wastes.

Our bodies are not being given the vital nutrients they need to survive and thrive AND the onslaught of acid wastes from our foods puts our bodies into a state of constant inflammation.In other words, we're causing our bodies to age prematurely, day in and day out.So it becomes not a question of if, but when, will you develop a chronic condition.And that might be a lot sooner than you think.

What you can do
No matter WHAT your age, you can help slow (and even stop!) the effects of physical degeneration and chronic conditions in your body.It can be slowed or stopped by just following these 2 steps:
1- Eat in a way that nourishes your body, encourages efficient digestion and minimizes acid wastes
2- Help compensate for any damage that may have been caused already to your enzyme making capability
 by acid reducers and hard to digest meals

Unfortunately, the effects of aging are hitting us and younger and younger ages because we are asking for it with our diets.But the good news is, this cycle can be turned around.When you embrace the power of the right diet and supplement with enzymes as needed, you are taking two of the most significant measures to slow your biological clock at ANY age, prevent or alleviate chronic conditions and feel great from head to toe!

  • Changes in the digestive system.Your digestive system moves food through your body by a series of muscle contractions. Just like squeezing a toothpaste tube, these contractions push food along your digestive tract,  As we age, this process sometimes slows down, and this can cause food to move more slowly through the colon. When things slow down, more water gets absorbed from food waste, which can cause constipation.
  • And as we age, we start to have more health problems that require medications. Several common medications can cause constipation. One example is calcium channel blockers, used for high blood pressure. "Very good for blood pressure, very constipation causing, Narcotic pain relievers are another common culprit. An older adult who has knee or hip replacement surgery will often be given narcotics for pain. "Narcotics have effects directly on the bowel "They actually slow the gut."
  • Inactivity. People often become less active as they age, and being inactive can make you constipated. Bed rest during an illness can cause real problems. If a person has joint-replacement surgery, for example, it takes time to recover and be fully active again. Add narcotic pain relievers to the mix, and "that might change manageable constipation into something that's much more of a problem
  • Not drinking enough fluids.Staying hydrated helps prevent constipation at any age. It can become more of an issue for older adults who take diuretics for high blood pressure or heart failure. Diuretics lower blood pressure by causing you to lose excess fluid by urinating more often. Some people may avoid drinking too many fluids so they don't have to run to the bathroom all day long. Between urinating more and drinking less, you can become dehydrated.
  • Problems with the mouth and esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects our mouth to our stomach. Like the colon, the esophagus can also slow down with age, moving food through more slowly. This can cause problems swallowing food or fluids. Dementia, stroke, and conditions such as Parkinson's disease can also cause difficulty swallowing.
  •  Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common upper GI disorder in older adults, although people of all ages can get it. GERD occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. Heartburn is more common as you get older, says Stein, but it's often caused by factors not related to aging. Eating late at night and eating the wrong types of foods, such as fast food and fried foods, can all cause reflux. Certain medications, including some blood pressure medications, which many older adults take, can cause heartburn. Obesity increases your risk for heartburn and GERD, so if you gain weight as you get older, you could have more reflux.

How to Protect Your Digestive Health as You Age
Just like any other health problem, prevention is the best medicine when it comes to keeping your digestion running smoothly. These tips can help you protect your digestive health and your overall well-being.
  • Check your meds. Use your medications with care. Talk with your doctor to see if your medications could be causing any digestive symptoms. If you use NSAIDs for pain, work with your doctor to find the lowest effective dose, and be sure to take them with food. Also check with your doctor to make sure you are taking only the medications you need.
  • Stay active. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days week can help prevent many age-related health problems. It will also help keep you regular and decrease the risk for colon cancer.
  • Eat more fiber. Foods high in fiber, including fruits and vegetable, whole grains, and beans also tend to be high in nutrients and low in fat. High-fiber foods can help prevent constipation and ease symptoms of diverticulosis.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Drink enough so that you don't feel thirsty. If you are taking diuretics, talk with your doctor about ways to manage taking your medication so that you don't become dehydrated.
  • Manage your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent many age-related health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Avoiding health problems can reduce the number of medications you need to take, which means less worry about digestive side effects. Limiting the fat in your diet, choosing healthy portions, and choosing whole foods instead of processed foods will all help you manage your weight more easily. 
  • Get regular health screenings. Be sure to tell your doctor about any troublesome symptoms and ask about regular screenings.

Kay McDonnell

14 Comments to Digestive Health:

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Sports Recovery Methods on 28 May 2013 07:01
A perfect and fit body is a symbol that you are far away from diseases and leave a long and healthy life. Your weight loss suggestions are appreciative and implementable.
Reply to comment
Kaymcdonnell on 15 November 2013 08:49
Thank you. Appreciate the feedback. Smiles Kay

Buy Erlonat on 29 July 2013 04:59
That's the very nice post you have shared with us. I really liked it. Please keep sharing more and more information.
Reply to comment
Kaymcdonnell on 15 November 2013 08:50
Thank you very much.Glad you enjoyed. Smiles Kay

Breast Enlargement Surgeon on 04 September 2013 06:44
Great post, what you said is really helpful to me. I can’t agree with you anymore. I have been talking with my friend about, he though it is really interesting as well
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Cosmetic Surgery on 11 September 2013 06:02
Health is very important. Be it related to the digestion or it is related to the belly, fitness and the healthcare effects the body as well.
Reply to comment
Kay mcdonnell on 15 November 2013 08:52
Thank you for your comment.I totally agree. I am into fit and exercise a lot.Totally appreciate they both work hand in hand. Smiles Kay

Pharmacy Supplier on 12 September 2013 05:20
That's the very nice post you have shared with us. I really liked it. Please keep sharing more and more information.
Reply to comment
Kay mcdonnell on 15 November 2013 08:52
Thank you so much. Smiles Kay

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The details on the digestive health are appropriate and suitable for me. I think you have done an immense work on this subject.
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Kaymcdonnell on 15 November 2013 08:54
Thank you so much.Enjoyed writing it.See a lot of digestive problems in my centre everyday. Smiles Kay

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