Elderly Are more Prone to Hemorrhoids
Statistics have shown that the prevalence of hemorrhoids increases as the person gets older. In the recent count almost 50% of people with hemorrhoids are also over the age of 50. It is usually associated to the changes that the body go through as we age.
As we get older, vulnerable rectal sphincter muscles, in conjunction with other aging problems helps it be possible to acquire hemorrhoids without them having to exert any strenuous effort.
Although there are many factors that can contribute for the elderly to develop this condition, it is said that there are only two factors which could significantly irritate hemorrhoids: persistent constipation and unrestrainable soiling.
Chronic Constipation is a Very Common Problem for the Elderly
For many, this is caused by eating foods that are easy to chew and swallow. The bad news is that these types of food have very little fibers or roughage - as a result, the stool becomes very hard, dry, and difficult to pass.
- Because the elderly usually have a difficulty in passing stool, many resort to using laxatives to help with the bowel movement.
- Prolonged utilization of laxatives is in fact not helpful in the long run.
- People may become dependent and cannot pass stool without needing them.
The opposite of chronic constipation, some elderly have anal sphincter muscles that are so weak that they cannot control bowel movements. As a result of this, they suffer from incontinence and uncontrollable leaking of fecal material from the anus. In addition to causing chafed skin and ulcers, constant soiling can irritate the hemorrhoidal veins in the rear end and anal canal, and therefore lead to hemorrhoids.
Helping the Elderly to Take Care of Hemorrhoids
You are caring for an seniors suffering from hemorrhoids, below are a few tips in taking care of them whilst not to aggravate their condition.
- First thing that you have to do is to tell them to avoid using laxatives.
- As we have mentioned earlier, laxatives can do more harm than good in the long run.
- Instead, encourage them to consume foods who have laxative properties such as prunes, prune juice, figs, and dried fruits.
- If there is really a need to use a laxative, choose those fiber based stool softener in order to get buff the stools and make it easier to pass.
To guarantee the easy passage of stool, you are able to lubricate the rectal canal with petroleum jelly before a bowel movement.
May Also be Helpful to Put Them on a Warm Sitz Bath or Cold Compress
Allow them to take a seat on tepid to warm water in order to ease the pressure in the lower anus then alternately apply cold shrink on the afflicted area. This can be done a few minutes in a day to provide temporary relief from hemorrhoids.
- Modification in their diet is also necessary.
- Let them eat more fiber-rich foods.
- Despite of popular belief, there are plenty of fiber-rich foods that are not crunchy or difficult to chew.
- For example, oatmeal, barley, peas, steamed vegetables as well as stewed fruits are rich in disolveable fibers.
- Along with that, let them drink plenty of liquids also.
- It is also helpful to let them drink water with food, instead of between meals, as this can help soften the fiber and make it easier to pass.
The Seniors Usually Feel Helpless When They are Stricken With Any Kind of Condition
Hemorrhoids leave a patient with an unpleasant feeling, so it is the responsibility of the younger generation to spare all of them from the discomforts of this condition by guiding these in ideas to prevent the occurrence of hemorrhoids.
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