8 Foods That Can Cause Constipation in Seniors & Home Remedies to Prevent It

With December being Constipation Awareness Month, it is an opportunity to spread awareness about uncomfortable conditions and help individuals lead a better quality of life.

Constipation is a very common health issue of all ages in the United States. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 33 out of 100 individuals suffer from the symptoms of constipation. The prevalence of this uncomfortable condition increases as we age. This is mainly because of the slow down of the systems, diet changes, and lifestyle changes.

Constipation increases its frequency throughout adulthood. and it takes a massive shift among seniors 60 years and above. Though it isn’t a disease, its existence makes elderly loved ones very uncomfortable.

However, there are ways to prevent constipation in our seniors. Our caregivers who are proficient in managing constipation among older adults have listed out a few foods that cause constipation. It is important to try and avoid these specific foods and to also consider some of the mentioned home remedies to help with constipation.

Foods that can cause Constipation  

Foods that can cause Constipation

1. Foods Containing Gluten

As we age, our body loses its ability to tolerate gluten and this can lead to celiac disease. This is a condition where a small amount of gluten can cause an autoimmune reaction. Avoiding foods with a lot of gluten not only helps our loved one’s when they are constipated, but it can also help them from dry skin, weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, muscle soreness, and bloating. Foods that are high in gluten include bagels, pies, pasta, brewer’s yeast, etc.

2. Milk & Dairy Products

Dairy products can cause constipation when they are taken in large quantities. In addition, these can also cause constipation in people having sensitivity to the protein that is found in cow’s milk. When your loved one is experiencing constipation or has sensitivity to cow’s milk, try to limit/avoid dairy products.

3. Red Meat

Red meat is not good for the elderly for several reasons. It is low in fiber and high in fat. This nutrient combination can explicitly increase the risk of constipation when a person reduces their total daily fiber intake. Help elderly in substituting protein and fiber-rich alternatives to prevent constipation.

4. Alcohol

The older you become the longer alcohol stays in the liver. Alcohol has the ability to decrease the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which helps our kidneys in managing the amount of salt and water in our body. When your loved one experiences less ADH, they urinate more, get dehydrated and this leads to constipation. Make sure to help the elderly in limiting their alcohol intake and when consumed, help them stay hydrated.

5. White bread

White bread can cause hard and dry stools when consumed in high quantities. It is made up of less fiber and contains a huge amount of starch. This delays digestion, slows down bowel movements, and leads to constipation. Instead of choosing white bread, have them eat whole-grain bread as it is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

6. Eggs

Eggs are generally low in fiber. They do not affect the health of the elderly when consumed in a limited amount, but they can affect your loved one’s health when they consume larger quantities. It is better to avoid eggs when your senior loved one is experiencing constipation, and/or diarrhea.

7. Fried Food

Fried foods such as cookies, chips, donuts, etc., are high in fat, salt and low in fiber. The nutrient combination of fried food has the tendency to slow down the digestion process and increase constipation. Help the elderly in skipping fried foods and when consumed help them to stay hydrated to prevent constipation.

8. Processed & Frozen Food

Though frozen and ready-made foods are convenient, they impact adversely on our loved one’s health. Processed and frozen foods are low in water content and high in fat, salt, and processed sugar. The combination of these characteristics slows down the digestive system and results in constipation. In addition, these aren’t a healthy option either. Make sure to provide fresh and fiber-rich food to help seniors stay healthy.

Natural Constipation Remedies for Seniors

As stated earlier, constipation is a state that increases with age. Though food intake can be a major cause of constipation, there are several other reasons too. Medication side effects, health conditions, weakened digestive system, lifestyle habits, etc., can all lead to constipation.

Follow the home remedies mentioned below in order to help seniors reduce and overcome constipation.

  • Consume fiber-rich food such as prunes, apples, avocadoes, etc.
  • Take probiotic supplements
  • Eat Figs
  • Drink more water
  • Consume healthy fats
  • Use laxatives
  • Drink Coffee
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Establish a regular bathroom routine

Constipation is an uncomfortable condition and many seniors experience this at some point in their lives. It increases gradually with aging, so, it is important that we help our loved ones to prevent and overcome. Consider choosing our caregiving services for your loved one’s healthy living.

Caregivers at Assured Home Nursing are well-experienced in preparing healthy diet plans and lifestyle habits for seniors. Our one-on-one focus and personalized care plans not only assure peace of mind, but also support seniors to live independently with dignity. We take pride in securing the health of seniors and love to accept every opportunity that helps them.

To keep your senior loved ones healthy in the comfort of their home, consider our in-home care services. For a free consultation, speak to our Clinical team today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Get rid of constipation by following a few natural remedies such as exercising, drinking more water, eating healthy fats, etc.
Foods that can make constipation worse are red meat, white bread, fried food, processed & frozen food, etc.
Slow-down of the systems, diet changes, lifestyle changes, medication side effects, and a decrease in efficiency are reasons for constipation in the elderly.
Though constipation isn’t a disease, its existence can make our senior loved ones very uncomfortable.

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