Dwayne’s elderly father, James, had just finished a course of antibiotics from a recent serious illness. However, during and after the treatment, he actually felt worse when it came to abdominal cramps and diarrhea. James’ elder care aide recommended that he ask his doctor about taking probiotics. At the next appointment, Dwayne and James inquired about probiotic supplements and the doctor agreed that it was a good idea for the elderly man to start taking them to ease his digestive conditions.
Probiotics are live bacteria cultures that are taken as supplements to help balance out the helpful versus harmful bacteria that live in a person’s gut. There are many conditions that can tip the balance and allow those harmful bacteria to overwhelm the more beneficial strains. Seniors are especially susceptible to developing health conditions that allow the harmful bacteria to dominate their bodies. Family caregivers and elder care aides that notice abdominal discomfort, gastrointestinal distress, and other bowel issues should prompt the elderly adult to inquire about probiotics.
Here are 9 great reasons why seniors should take probiotics if their doctor recommends it:
- Probiotic supplements can really help out seniors when it comes to relieving symptoms like abdominal cramps, diarrhea, gas, and even yeast infections.
- The helpful bacteria found in probiotics can provide relief for those with common conditions that cause gastrointestinal distress like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, malnutrition, post-antibiotic diarrhea, and ulcerative colitis.
- Supplements can easily be taken as a pill or in powder form mixed with other food or juice. There are also foods that have probiotics added to them. Plus, certain foods naturally contain probiotics, such as kefir, vinegar, yogurt, and kimchee.
- For seniors with a weakened immune system, probiotics can actually help boost the body’s ability to fight off infections, bad bacteria, and other diseases. The links between gut health and immunity are well-researched, and seniors are often dealing with a weakened system due to age.
- Studies show that probiotics can also help with other health benefits that include healthier skin, a reduction in cold and flu cases, relief with asthma, and even better breath.
- Probiotics can also benefit seniors with chronic infections, such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and other similar conditions. There’s even some early evidence that shows probiotics may help reduce the risk of other pathogens like viruses and parasites.
- Better digestion means that the body can better absorb important vitamins, minerals and nutrients to stay healthy, like iron, magnesium, B12, fatty acids, and glucose.
- Seniors that suffer with severe allergies may also get a boost when taking probiotics. Some strains of probiotic bacteria fight off the antigens responsible for allergic reactions.
- More doctors than ever are recognizing the benefits of probiotics for aging adults. Of course, no senior should ever begin taking probiotics without talking to their doctor about whether the supplements are appropriate for their needs. In some cases, seniors should not take probiotics if they are dealing with an immune deficiency or undergoing cancer treatment unless the doctor approves.
Family caregivers should take the time to see whether probiotics can help their elderly relative enjoy better health and reduce annoying or painful gastrointestinal symptoms of distress.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Crawfordville, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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