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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes indigestion in an elderly person?

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Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 1938 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 17 Apr 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: My 82 year old wife has poor digestion and bad teeth and has resorted to only eating heavy cream soups, and getting protein from Boost and another protein drink-- with vitamin spiked fruit/protein shake in the morning. Last night, she had Salisbury steak for the first time in years. She wanted to try that frozen dinner-- which was really quite good. I advised her to take some apple cider for digestion acid before and after along with a pre and probiotic to assist her digestion which she did not-- due to a poor attitude toward "supplementation" I try to teach her. I guess I saw the ad for this online doctor advice service and thought I'd see what you have to say about it.

I don't think she had a bowel movement this morning-- though she says she did... to cover for her mistake. She enjoyed the soft steak but I'm concerned that her digestion process is very sensitive-- and that she needs to be more careful than the rest of us-- I've tried adding ox bile to her diet but she won't swallow the capsule... afraid of capsules-- and it's taste is terrible if you open it and mix it into something. Her bile is likely very low. Anyway-- what say you? Thanks. (I'll continue to push her toward the pro/prebiotic/bile/applecider/restraint-from-solid-food solution today.)

There's no immediate problem but this is rather a continuing chronic problem-- that just goes on and on. She does occasionally complain about something stuck in her abdomen-- and "massages" it for hours, then goes without complaining for weeks at a time. I can't discuss any solutions with her without risk of her cantachorous mood blowing back on me.
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Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Supplementation is a good idea.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks choosing HealthcareMagic for your query.
Have gone through your details and i appreciate your concerns.

My dear attendant your strategy for your patient is excellent.As our body gets old the capability of our body to function as a system decreases.
From gut flora to absorption of essential elements as well as digesting capacity of macro elements like carbohydrate fat protein etc is decreased therefore supplementation with Predigested proteins ,Good fats,Probiotic and prebiotic is a excellent way to compensate the body for loses.
A predigested protein blend should be used daily.It would help degenerating muscles to recover fast.
Amino acid supplements can be taken daily.
A multivitamin and anti oxidant should be taken daily.
For joint health collagenase supplement should be taken.
External digestive enzyme as well as lactobacillus supplementation can be taken.

I think you are doing perfectly right and should ask your wife to follow it.
Thanks!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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