My father’s constipation

My 70 year old father, who is a retired soldier, is always constipated. Kindly let me know what we can do to help him.

Ibong (by SMS)

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Constipation in elderly people is a very common condition as it develops much more often in older age. Experts estimate that two-thirds of people over the age of 65 experience constipation.  A number of issues can cause chronic constipation—from those that make the stool move too slowly to those that prevent it from being eliminated effectively, leading to hard and dry stool. Some of the causes include; dehydration, Not getting enough dietary fibre, physical inactivity, having mental health issues like depression or an eating disorder. Some medications such as sedatives, muscle relaxants and antidepressants among others can also cause constipation in the elderly.

Treatment include making sure to drink plenty of fluids, as well as increase in fibre intake in order to increase the overall weight of the stool and speed its passage through the intestines. It is also important for your father to be physically active every day since exercise increases the muscle activity in the intestines in order to speed up the passage of stool. In addition, the use of laxatives when other treatment suggestions fail should be considered.

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