Is it normal for our digestive system to be more sensitive after 40?

It’s absolutely normal to expect some alterations to your digestives system as you age. It’s a culmination of years of effects from diets, your lifestyle, diseases and certain medications. So many new medical issues can arise with age. Conditions like cancer, colorectal disease, irritable bowel syndrome and even celiac disease.

It’s unfortunate that our digestive tract starts to slow down as we age (I’m 41 and have noticed this happen to me). You may find yourself going from constipation to diarrhoea with no explanation – or your digestive issues worsening as you age.

It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and eating plan from early on within your life, although it’s never too late to turn things around. Make it a health choice to eat nutritious foods at all times. Foods such as protein, cruciferous veggies, complex carbohydrates and lots of water will positively influence your digestive system and your health as well.

Being active too is very important. I’m not going to tell you to undertake endless hours of cardio, but I will say that moderate to light exercise is recommended, as well as strength training. Use weights to change your body shape, lose weight and build that much needed muscle mass. Weights also help to strengthen our bones as we age. The sheer weight of what we lift forces our bones to become stronger. It’s important to maintain this as you age, to lessen the potential of fractures and breaks.

In summary, your diet and lifestyle are a key factor in how your digestion works, and how sensitive it becomes. You must pay attention to the way you react to certain foods. If you do feel uncomfortable after eating something (and it’s a regular occurrence) eliminate it from your diet and see your health professional for an examination.

I also want to point out how badly stress affects our digestive health. Too much stress can cause negative effects on our digestion – and cause irritable bowel symptoms. This is when we need to implement both relaxation and meditation techniques, as well as finding ways to calm those stressful and anxious moments. This one thing can lead us into thinking there is something most definitely wrong with us – when in fact, it’s stress.

Make it a habit to eat well every day and get enough fibre plus keeping hydrated on a daily basis. A sedentary lifestyle will not help your health or your digestion. It’s so important to exercise regularly and maintain an active lifestyle. These are pretty much the basics of good digestion.

Some people may be ok leading up to old age, but some of us wont. It’s important to contact your doctor or specialist if you are suffering different symptoms, or you are finding digestive issues difficult to cope with in your life. There is only so much you can do on your own, and the assistance of an examination may be needed.

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