Most people experience some type of issue with their gut during their lifetime. But as we get older, these problems become more frequent. With age, our physical health changes. One of the factors that influences our overall well-being, but mainly the gut, is poor diet. Because of it, our digestive enzymes are reduced, and our gastrointestinal flora becomes imbalanced. All of this affects our digestive system. It becomes agitated and can spread the adverse effects onto other parts of our body.
How Does the Gastrointestinal System Affect People as a Whole?
During youth, most people associate the gut with common phrases, such as “going with your gut,” and “butterflies in your stomach.” Some people even call their gut their second brain. Most of these sayings have something in common. They are associated with the function of our stomach. ENS is commonly known as the enteric nervous system. It is hidden in our gut (in the walls of the digestive system) and has a saying in our digestion, mood, and overall health.
This system doesn’t have the same abilities as our brain. What it does is maintain a secure connection and communication with our central nervous system.
It can cause people to react overly emotionally when dealing with issues such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain, and stomach upset. In more severe cases, its connection can be traced to conditions such as anxiety and depression. People who have irritable bowel syndrome or a bowel which isn’t functioning normally are at a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression.
Potential Connection to Parkinson’s
According to a study from Rush University Medical Center conducted by Jeffrey Kordower, there is a strong possibility that conditions such as Parkinson’s disease may originate from the gut. He claims that there’s a chance that PD is created in other parts of our bodies and that it spreads to the brain and through it. Because of what he claims, more people are now looking into the ways in which the gut affects our overall health. But all research is still in the early stages, and much work is left to be done.
While there is a lot of research left to confirm this, we can tell you right now that the gut affects both mood and mental health. It is proven that what we eat sends positive signals from our stomach to our brain, and thus we feel better and more satisfied as a result.
Why Is Gut Health so Important for Seniors?
When you remain healthy in your golden age, your gut has a unique bacterial ecosystem. But as you start having issues which make you change your diet and take prescription drugs, your stomach will change. The gut of your youth has minimal similarities to your older one.
Scientists still need to determine all the ways in which aging affects our guts. But what’s clear is that it’s affected by diet and various other health conditions. With all the diseases that can happen to the elderly, they should keep an eye on the health of their gut.
What Can Be Done to Prioritize Good Gut Health?
Yes, with age your gut will change, and it will get damaged on the way. But its state can be reversed through testing, nutritional changes, and supplements. The best approach to have is to follow the 4R’s of gastrointestinal and digestive health. They are remove, repair, restore, and replace.
The best way to stay true to the 4R’s is to avoid sugar and processed foods while basing your diet on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. If your gut is feeling unwell, you need to start treating it immediately. You will do yourself a favor.
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