Humans have friendly and harmful bacteria that live throughout the gut. The helpful bacteria trigger the digestion of food and protect from diseases. Harmful bacteria can lead to bowel distress, digestive issues, and gastrointestinal problems. Probiotics are supplements of live bacteria that help restore the balance of friendly and harmful bacteria. Elderly adults especially can benefit from probiotics for maximum digestive health.
Scientists have discovered that elderly adults have a significantly lower number of friendly bacteria living in their intestines than other adults. Stress, age, weaker immune systems, lots of medications, and chronic illnesses can make it so elderly adults struggle to achieve a good balance. Doctors often recommend probiotics as part of an elderly care plan, and the supplements are often taken as pills, powders, or in some food like yogurt or fruit juice.
Here are a few conditions common in elderly adults where probiotics can really make a difference to their quality of life.
Seniors on Antibiotics.
Antibiotics, as the name suggests, are developed to kill bacteria, both good and bad. When an elderly person has just finished a round of antibiotics for an infection or illness, their gut bacteria will be way off. Probiotics can help restore the balance and boost the number of healthy bacteria.
There are common digestive issues that may be eased with probiotics, such as Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and others. A probiotic supplement can help control the symptoms, along with a controlled diet, and together they may restore proper function of the bowels.
Frequent candida, which is a yeast infection in the mucous membranes of the body, is a red flag that the body is full of bad bacteria. Probiotics can overwhelm the bad bacteria and keep its growth under control. Recurring yeast infections can slow down or cease in elderly people that regularly take probiotics.
Weakened Immune System.
Interestingly, gut health is linked to the immune system. Since elderly adults often have a weaker immune system due to age, poor gut health can cause even more problems. In medical studies, it’s been found that people who take probiotics are more likely to have stronger defenses against illness.
Food Allergies and Food Poisoning.
For elderly adults, food poisoning can seriously affect their health while adult onset food allergies can significantly affect their quality of life. Probiotics can help seniors withstand the bad bacteria that trigger food poisoning. The infusion of healthy bacteria can really have a positive impact on how elderly people approach eating.
When it comes to elderly care, family caregivers may not know which type of supplements may help or hinder gastrointestinal distress. With age comes an increased risk of bowel issues, infectious diseases, and increased antibiotic use, so elderly adults and their caregivers need to ask a doctor whether probiotics might help.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from elderly care in LaFayette, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.