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Common Digestive Diseases in Seniors

If you are responsible for the senior care of your aging mom or dad, you know how important it is to watch out for anything unusual in their health and wellness. Early detection is important in treating a lot of age-related illnesses and diseases. Digestive issues may not be at the forefront of your mind, but it is very common for elderly adults to develop digestive illnesses and diseases.

Senior Care in Vestavia Hills AL: Common Digestive Diseases

Senior Care in Vestavia Hills AL: Common Digestive Diseases

Here’s a look at some of the more common digestive disorders that can affect elderly adults.

Functional Dyspepsia.

If any elderly person suffers with nausea, belching, bloating and indigestion, they may have functional dyspepsia. This is a disorder of the upper digestive tract and while the cause is unknown, doctors can help seniors deal with it via medication and diet change.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause indigestion and heartburn, along with a sore throat, coughing, and regurgitating food. It is extremely common in seniors and may be exacerbated by being overweight or obese. A change in diet and certain medications can help alleviate symptoms.


When seniors have difficulty swallowing due to impairment from something like a stroke or Parkinson’s disease, it is known as dysphagia. Poor dental health and weakening esophageal muscles can also cause it. Physical or occupational therapy, plus dental care, may be able to improve swallowing and chewing problems with the elderly.

Diverticular Disease.

When small bulges develop on the wall of the colon and then become infected or inflamed, elderly adults may experience diarrhea, cramping, bloating, and abdominal tenderness. Usually, doctors will prescribe a low fiber diet along with antibiotics. In extreme cases, seniors need surgery to get over diverticular disease.

Celiac Disease.

This disease is an immune reaction to gluten and it can develop in seniors that have never had it before. It causes the body to attack the walls of the small intestine. Over time, this can affect how well the intestine takes nutrients out of the food. When seniors with Celiac disease avoid gluten, the symptoms disapppear.

Ulcerative Colitis.

When an elderly person develops ulcerative colitis, their bowels become inflamed and ulcers form on the wall of the large intestine. It can lead to diarrhea, cramps, and even rectal bleeding. It is treated in the elderly with medication and sometimes surgery.

Lactose Intolerance.

Even if an elderly person has enjoyed dairy food their entire life, they can develop lactose intolerance in old age. In an aging adult, the body may slow down or stop producing the enzymes that digest lactose. The treatment is for the elderly person to avoid dairy food in the diet.

Elderly adults that are dependent on family caregivers and senior care assistants need support in getting to a doctor if they are experiencing issues with their digestion. Once a doctor diagnoses them with a certain condition, they can implement treatment and get back to their typical lives without pain or inconvenience.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional senior care in Vestavia Hills, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.






Dennis and Kelly Lipford

Dennis is a graduate of Auburn University and is a U.S. Army veteran. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Alabama and is a life long resident of Birmingham.

They have three teenage children and are actively involved in their church and community – both teach high school Sunday school while Dennis coaches youth sports and Kelly leads a women’s Bible study. Dennis & Kelly personally manage the daily activities of the company.

It is their passion and commitment to providing quality and responsive service that has made their company the fastest growing home care agency in Birmingham.

They believe that being an independently owned and operated company gives them the flexibility to manage their business in a way that better serves their clients.

They understand you have a choice in care providers and they will do their utmost to earn your trust.

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