Probiotics are live bacteria cultures that come in supplements that people ingest. From powder and pills to incorporated into certain foods, probiotics are a billion-dollar industry today. Taking in enough “good” bacteria can help crowd out a digestive system that is full of “bad” bacteria. The body needs bacteria to help with digestion and other functions.
While there is little regulation of the supplements market, doctors can point family caregivers and elderly patients toward the strains that will be most beneficial.
How Can Probiotics Help Aging Adults?
Aging adults often struggle with a number of age-related illnesses that affect the gut, immune system and more. Research shows that probiotics can actually help improve gut health and the benefits don’t stop there. For seniors that suffer from all kinds of digestive disorders, probiotics can reduce symptoms of cramps, gas, diarrhea and more. Common conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, post-antibiotic diarrhea, malnutrition, recent food poisoning, and Crohn’s disease.
Of course, aging adults can also benefit from probiotics in ways that most people wouldn’t normally think. Interestingly, gut health is linked to the immune system, so seniors can resist germs and infections better when they have plenty of good bacteria inside. Probiotics can also help with conditions like allergies, asthma, skin disorders, yeast infections and even mood swings. Because seniors are more likely to struggle with these and other issues related to age, probiotics can be a true remedy.
Choosing the Right Probiotic for Aging Adults
With hundreds of probiotic supplements on the market, family caregivers and aging adults can easily be overwhelmed. Along with a doctor’s recommendation, they can follow these tips for choosing the right probiotic to take.
-Not all probiotics are the same. There are several strains of bacteria and different numbers of them in a dose. Caregivers should get guidance from the doctor on what strain and how best to take the probiotics.
-Only choose probiotics with verified claims. Because the supplements industry is not really regulated, there are many health claims out there for different probiotic products. Caregivers should only pick supplements that have verified research published in peer-reviewed publications.
-Avoid probiotics that make fantastic claims. It’s against the law for manufacturers to claim that their supplement can cure or treat diseases. Caregivers should work closely with doctors to know exactly what the probiotic can and cannot do.
Family caregivers can help out their aging adult relatives that are struggling with a compromised immune system, bowel issue or other illnesses. In time, many annoying and life-altering symptoms can be reduced thanks to probiotic supplements. Aging adults with an unhealthy gut can feel more like themselves again when they turn to probiotics under a doctor’s treatment plan.
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