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Seniors Love the Tea

300x300-constipation-helpAging  is not for the faint of heart! Even without the environmental toxins of today’s world that invade all our bodies — regardless of age — growing older has it’s own set of challenges that affect digestion, elimination and wellness.  As you read the info below, you’ll understand why baby boomers love the tea, and so do seniors.

A great number of our tea friends are well into their 80’s and 90’s. Some are independent, some are in nursing homes.  Many end up sharing the tea with their caregivers, who continue to pass it along.

They’ve found that the tea address the issues below in a very easy way!  Scroll down for their stories.

Digestive Problems as You Age

Constipation:  One of the most common things we see, certainly as people are getting into their 60s and 70s, may be a change in bowel habits, predominantly constipation, says Ira Hanan, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Symptoms include difficult or painful bowel movements, infrequent bowel movements, and hard, dry stool. There are a number of age-related factors that can cause constipation in older adults

Changes in the digestive system.  You 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, Hanan says. 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.

300x300-senior-woman-having-teaMedication use. Older adults take a lot of medications.  says Ellen Stein, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. 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,” says Stein. 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,” Stein tells Web MD. “They actually slow the gut.”

Inactivity
. People often become less active as they age, says Stein, and being inactive can make you constipated.  Bed rest uring 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,” Stein says.

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.

Diverticular Disease. About half of people age 60 and older have diverticulitis This occurs when small pouches in the lining of the colon bulge out along weak spots in the intestinal wall. While many people don’t have any symptoms, gas, bloating, crams and constipation may occur. “I tell my patients its part of the aging of the colon,” Hanan tells WebMD. “As we get older, we’re more prone to developing these pockets.” Why they occur with age is unclear, he says. While most of the time they don’t cause a problem and don’t require treatment, they can cause scarring and irregularity. If the pockets become inflamed, it’s called diverticulitis  which can cause abdominal pain, cramping, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.  Antibiotics,   pain medications, and a liquid diet treat diverticultis

Ulcers and NSAIDS.  Many older adults use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control pain from arthritis and other types of chronic pain.  Regular use of NSAIDs increases the risk for stomach leeding and ulcers. So while aging alone doesn’t make your stomach more prone to ulcers, the chronic use of NSAIDs does raise your risk. More often than not older patients don’t have pain from ulcers, says Hanan, but they can have painless gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. If you notice any type of stomach bleeding, such as vomiting blood, passing dark stools, or noticing blood hen you wipe, tell your doctor right away.

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 can also cause difficulty swallowing

Polyps. After age 50, the risk increases for developing polyps, or small growths, in the colon. Polyps may be noncancerous, they may become cancer or they may be cancer.   “We don’t know what causes polyps,” Hanan says. There’s been speculation that it’s something in the diet or something we don’t get enough of, plus genetics. It’s probably a cumulative effect over the years, he says. You can have polyps and not know it because they usually don’t have any symptoms. “That’s why screening colonoscopies are recommended for anyone over the age of 50,” Hanan tells WebMD. During this procedure, polyps can be removed before they become cancer. People with a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors may need to have screenings earlier

GERD. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common upper GI isorder in older adults, although people of all ages can get it. GERD occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing heatburn nd other symptoms.  Heartburn  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 high blood pressure medication hich many older adults take, can cause heartburn increases your risk for heartburn and GERD, so if you gain weight you get older, you could have more reflux.
(This Article features excerpts from WEBMED.com )

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