Losing Control: Aging & Hemorrhoids

It doesn’t seem very fair, but losing some control over our bodily functions as we age is a fact of life.

On the plus side, there are things we can do to diminish those losses, especially when it comes to preventing hemorrhoids. Much as we know not to pile our plates with greasy, fried food, there are other steps we can take to ensure our continued ability to stay on top of our digestive process.

As we get older, it’s important to remember that our bodies slow down. That’s definitely true of the digestive system, which isn’t as efficient or as fast as it was in our younger years. The muscles there are weaker, and damaged tissue doesn’t replace itself as quickly. That means we can expect more of these issues:

  • Heartburn
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gas

These conditions can lead to hemorrhoids, and a sure way to keep them to a minimum is to be vigilant about diet. Plenty of fruits and vegetables help ensure a smooth digestive process, for example, while lot of fat and fried foods will do just the opposite.

It’s important to remember that many medications also can throw off the digestive process. If your prescription says, “take with food,” then heed that advice. If you don’t, you can risk everything from indigestion to ulcers.

In addition to watching your diet, here are some other tips to help keep the digestive process operating at peak efficiency:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat lots of fiber.
  • Exercise portion control.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Keep your weight down.

If you’re doing all this and still develop hemorrhoids, or are afraid that you might, see your health care professional. He or she has lots of tips, and may also want to look you over just to make sure that there’s nothing going on that needs additional attention.

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