Diarrhea can happen at any age, but it can be particularly worrisome for vulnerable populations, like young children and the elderly. Thankfully, the most common causes of and ways to relieve diarrhea are the same regardless of age. With a few tips outlined here, you can support diarrhea in the elderly and help to relieve it.
Common Causes of Diarrhea in The Elderly
Most bouts of diarrhea are caused by viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, allergies or intolerance to food and medication, or lack of hygiene.
Seniors who are on medications may have a higher chance of suffering from diarrhea, so if you feel that a medication could be the cause, consult with your doctor.
Now, let’s look at how to relieve symptoms.
Hydration should be top priority for seniors (and anyone else) when dealing with diarrhea. Dehydration from diarrhea can potentially be fatal in older adults and children, so drink plenty of water, coconut water (no sugar added), broths, and electrolyte solutions. Drinking consistently, in small amounts may be easier on upset stomachs.
On the flip side, avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee, alcohol and soda while experiencing diarrhea.
Choose Your Foods Wisely
Stay away from foods that are high in fat, insoluble fiber, or spicy as these can be hard on your digestive system. Instead, stick to foods that are nourishing and easy to digest, like bananas, unsweetened applesauce, and broth-based soups and stews.
Have DiaResQ On Hand
Since you can’t always prevent diarrhea, it’s important to have some relief on hand. DiaResQ is a food for special dietary use that is a safe, effective and gentle way to quickly restore normal intestinal function. DiaResQ delivers beneficial nutrients including amino acids, fats, carbohydrates, and immune factors which work to quickly relieve symptoms of diarrhea.
Diarrhea in the elderly should be taken seriously. Since dehydration can be dangerous in the elderly, the Mayo Clinic urges you to seek medical attention if diarrhea lasts more than two days without improvement, stools appear black or bloody, there are symptoms of excessive thirst, severe weakness, little to no urination or fever of more than 102 degrees.