The popularity of probiotics has skyrocketed over the past decade, and more people than ever are finding relief from common digestive issues. While probiotics are appropriate for adults of all different ages, many family caregivers wonder if the supplements are appropriate for elderly adults. When family caregivers learn more about probiotics, they can bring it up with their loved one’s doctor and adjust the elderly care regimen if necessary.
What are Probiotics?
Everyone has different kinds of bacteria throughout their gut. There are good kinds of bacteria, which helps with digestion and aids the body in fighting off infection. Bad gut bacteria triggers issues like diarrhea and cramping. When the bacteria levels are thrown off balance through stress, age, poor nutrition and chronic illness, it can result in negative health issues that can seriously affect a person’s quality of life.
Probiotics are supplements that contain the healthy live bacteria that adults can take to restore balance in their gut. When people ingest enough of the live bacteria, they can benefit the body. There is more evidence than ever that probiotics can prevent problems, there are plenty of medical experts that have seen them work in their patients. Several different foods include probiotics like yogurt and sauerkraut or people can take them via pills or powders. Like most supplements, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate probiotics for effectiveness or safety.
Can Probiotics Work for Seniors?
Many doctors feel that senior patients that suffer from certain digestive or gut issues really do benefit from taking probiotics. Key health issues that usually prompt probiotic treatment in the elderly include chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, vaginal yeast infections, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or similar conditions. Even seniors taking antibiotics can often suffer with diarrhea, so probiotics may help keep the body in balance.
The elderly person’s doctor will be able to recommend a particular type of probiotic that will best help their elderly patient. They may also recommend that the elderly adult take prebiotics, which is a type of fiber that the body doesn’t digest. It lives in the gut and is the ideal food for probiotic bacteria to feed off. Prebiotics can be found in food such as onions, garlic and bananas. There are also prebiotic supplements in pill form as well.
Seniors should only take probiotics under the treatment of a doctor. They shouldn’t take them if they are undergoing cancer treatments, like chemo or radiation. Also, those with an impaired immune system should not take probiotics.
The bottom line is that probiotics may be one of the best supplements on the market to address the health and wellness of an elderly person’s digestive issues. While new research is always needed to further prove those benefits, doctors will continue to advise their elderly patients of the benefits of probiotics. Because the medical community’s consensus is that probiotics are safe for seniors, family caregivers should inquire as to whether they should become part of their loved one’s elderly care health regimen.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Elderly Care Services in Hampton PA or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Extended Family Care of Allentown. Call today at (610) 200-6097.
Carole gained most of her formal managerial training by attending Pennsylvania State University in pursuit of her degree in Health Policy and Administration. She attributes her informal training to have been acquired on a more personal level. Carole understands first-hand what families may experience when allowing a home care provider access to their home while providing care to their loved one. She was a caregiver for two of her grandparents until their passing and believes in the importance of allowing family members the opportunity to remain in the comfort of home if they so desire. Carole is also the mother of a child with multiple medical conditions who requires nursing services in the home. It is because of her personal experiences that Carole understands first-hand how important it is to manage a quality, high-integrity home care agency in which clients and families can place their trust and be confident they are receiving the best care possible. Carole also believes in the importance of giving back to the community. Therefore, she volunteers and spear-heads fundraising activities for a variety of charitable and professional organizations, namely the Pennsylvania Home Care Association, Autism Speaks and Avengers Baseball, Inc.
Carole, a resident of Lehigh County, is married and has 2 children. In her free time, she is the “team mom” for her son’s tournament baseball team, enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and friends, and is an avid NY Giants, NY Yankees and Penn State football fan. Carol is a verified Google Author
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