The Health Consequences of Constipation in Elderly People
No matter your age, Constipation is a very uncomfortable situation. It is a condition that can be serious for older adults.
In this article, you will learn how to prevent and treat sphinx in older adults.
Constipation is a term used to describe when you have three or fewer bowel movements in a week. It can also be used to describe a situation where you’re unable to completely empty your bowels. Many people even consider themselves to be constipated when they need to strain to have a bowel movement.
Constipation happens to everyone, but when it becomes regular, it can be a problem.
When stool accumulates in the large intestine or colon for too long, it can become hard and dry, and more difficult to pass. About 16 percent of adults experience chronic constipation. This percentage increases to about a third of adults over age 60 and about half of all adults living in nursing homes.
Primary and secondary scrutineers are the main types of scrutineers in people of all ages.
“When your problem is related to your bowel function, and not caused by a medical condition or medication, you’re called primary constipation. The three groups of functional constipation are:”
- transit is normal
- Slow transit.
- Defecation disorders.
“It is possible to have more than one of these types of functional constipation at once. When your stool moves at a regular rate but is hard to excrete, it’s called normal transit constipation.”
In Slow transit., the bowel itself moves stool slowly for one reason or another, with delays in emptying. This often happens in people with metabolic disorders like diabetes and hypothyroidism.
With Defecation disorders., problems in the musculature of the rectum dampen the urge to defecate, causing stool to build in the colon without release.
Secondary constipation is when your bowel problems are caused by a variety of problems. It can be caused by a medication or treatment. Examples include:
- Taking more than five different drugs.
- Having a chronic disease.
- Having mental health concerns.
As we age, we see a lot of changes in our bodies. Systems lose efficiency. Living situations and diet change.
Constipation increases in frequency throughout adulthood. This is true for people who live in assisted care facilities.
There are many causes of irruption among older adults.
- reduced mobility
- Multiple chronic illnesses.
- Not eating or drinking enough.
As we age, the risk of various medical conditions and structural changes goes up. This can include things.
- colon is becoming more thick
- The anus has a narrowing of the arteries.
- The rectum bulges into the vagina.
- Hemorrhoids are caused by bleeding.
- The abdominal strength has been lost.
- Inflammation of the motility disorders.
- bowel obstructions and perforations
If you have a lot of medical conditions or take a lot of medication, you may think that you will get sick from it. Older adults can take steps to make sure things run smoothly.
- drink a lot of water.
- Stay active.
- Get regular exercise.
- aim for 25 to 30 grams (g) of fiber in your daily diet
- time your toileting efforts regularly after meals
What are the best foods for older adults with constipation?
Plenty of fiber and water are the keys to addressing constipation with diet. High fiber foods include:
- Whole wheat bread.
- Whole grain pastas.
- Black beans.
- There are a lot of soybeans.
- The berries are large.
- There are pears.
- The apples have skin on them.
- The carrots are large.
- There is broccoli.
- There are almonds.
- There are peanuts.
- There are some nuts.
Fast foods, fried foods, and processed foods should be avoided. High sugar foods and dairy can increase your risk of becoming constipated.
You should be able to resolve your bicyle issues without the use of drugs.
“The first goal in treating sphinx is to reduce symptoms. The second goal is to have regular, soft bowel movements that don’t require you to strain at least three times a week.”
Your doctor will usually suggest exercise, hydration, and diet changes to you to reach your goals.
If nonmedicinal methods don’t work, your doctor may examine you for fecal impaction. This is a condition that develops when hard, dry stool becomes packed into the colon, making it difficult for stool to pass. In some cases, liquid stool may be leaking around the impaction, concealing the impaction. This is called overflow diarrhea.
If you have impacted stool, resolving this issue must be the first step. This condition is treated either with an enema or manual disimpaction. Manual disimpaction carries risk, so be sure to let your healthcare professional perform this task, or instruct you carefully on how to do it.
There are a number of behavioral and medication options you can try to help with your bowels.
Behavioral options may include things.
- The toileting efforts are scheduled after the meal.
- It is planned to attempt a bowel movement.
- using a stool under your feet during a bowel movement
- Providing privacy and time.
- avoiding bedpans
Medication options are divided into categories based on how they work. It may help to understand what type of constipation you have, and what’s causing it when choosing the right medication.
“If these don’t produce results, your doctor can give you other prescription options, but you have to take OTC products.”
These medications add bulk to your stool to increase your urge to have a bowel movement. These medications, and their recommended dosage, include:
- 19 g a day is the amount of methylcellulose powder.
- Polycarbophil tablets have 1,250 milligrams of fiber per day.
- psyllium fiber (Metamucil), 1 teaspoon or 1 packet one to three times a day
Osmotic laxatives work by attracting water to your colon. This helps keep your stool soft and hydrated to make a bowel movement easier. Examples of these, and their recommended dosage, include:
- lactulose solution, 15 to 30 milliliters (mL) per day
- magnesium citrate solution, 150 to 300 mL as a single dose or for short-term daily use
- 30 to 60 mL of magnesium hydroxide suspension per day.
- polyethylene glycol powder (Miralax), 17 g per day
- sorbitol solution, 2 to 3 tablespoons as a single dose or for short-term daily use
Stool softeners do just what they say — they make stools easier to pass. The main type of stool softener is docusate sodium capsules or Colace.
Stimulant laxatives work by triggering contractions in the intestines to help move your stool. These types of laxatives, and their recommended dosage, include:
- 5 to 15 tablets of the drug are used a day.
- Senna tablets are 15 tablets a day.
Reaching the age of 60 is a risk factor for constipation all on its own, but there are others, too.
Women have constipation
- A low fiber diet is good for you.
- Are sedentary or immobile.
- They are dehydrated.
- “Don’t drink or eat too much water.”
- Take multiple drugs.
- There is not enough time and privacy for bowel movements.
Most people will experience constipation at some point in their lives, but chronic constipation is much more common in older adults and those living in nursing homes.
Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy high fiber diet can help. Injuries, medications, and aging issues can make avoiding sputum difficult.
There are many treatments available for constipation. If you’ve tried OTC methods without relief, talk with your doctor about additional treatment. This can help you avoid complications like bowel obstructions, perforations, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Can milk or dairy cause constipation in older adults?
Milk or dairy can contribute to constipation, but not always. For some people who are sensitive to the proteins in cow’s milk, dairy can also cause diarrhea. It may help to keep a food diary of what you eat before becoming constipated. Also, try limiting the foods that appear to be linked to your constipation.
Can constipation cause confusion in older adults?
Constipation can lead to confusion in many ways. Older adults with conditions like dementia are more likely to be confused by the pain and bloating that can come from being too secluded. In severe cases, additional training or medication may be required.
Is constipation different in older men and older women?
Both older men and women have an
Constipation is something that is faced by everyone at some point in their lives, but it is more common for older adults.
A healthy diet with lots of water and exercise can help reduce the risk of becoming constipated. There are many treatments and medications that can help if you have sphinx.
If you become constipated and OTC medications and lifestyle changes aren’t working, talk with your doctor about other options to avoid more serious complications.