Gastritis is the term doctors use to describe several conditions that have inflammation in the lining of the stomach in common. Gastritis is painful and can make it hard for older adults to eat and get all the nutrition they need. Understanding what gastritis is and the symptoms that indicate your aging relative has the condition may help you to ensure they receive medical care and allow you to better respond to their needs.
Signs a Senior Has Gastritis
Gastritis is one of those illnesses that can either happen suddenly or take a long period of time to develop with symptoms starting slowly and building up. Not everyone with gastritis experiences the same symptoms, but some of the more common ones are:
- An upset stomach or nausea that keeps coming back.
- Pain or bloating in the abdomen.
- Vomiting, which may contain blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds.
- A feeling of burning or gnawing in the stomach that occurs between meals or at night.
- Lack of appetite.
- Stools that are black and tarry.
If the older adult vomits blood or has tarry looking stools, they should see a doctor right away. In the case of other symptoms, see the doctor if they are especially troublesome or if they persist for a week or more.
Risk Factors for Gastritis
Gastritis happens when the stomach lining is irritated by something and becomes inflamed. There are several things that can increase the likelihood of an older adult getting gastritis, such as:
- Using Pain Relievers Regularly: Taking nonprescription painkillers frequently can lead to an irritation of the stomach’s lining because, over time, they reduce a substance in the stomach that is key in preserving the stomach’s protective lining.
- Aging: As people age, the stomach’s lining tends to get thinner, so it is more prone to irritation.
- Alcohol Consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can irritate and eat away the stomach lining.
- Stress: Severe stress caused by surgery, infections, or injuries can lead to gastritis.
How Elderly Care Can Help with Gastritis Symptoms
If your older family member develops a case of gastritis, it is treatable, so they should see a doctor. An elderly care provider can help them to recover by assisting them to follow some lifestyle changes that help to ease the symptoms. For example, an elderly care provider can prepare small meals for the older adult to eat more frequently rather than having them eat three larger meals. Elderly care providers can also make foods that don’t contain ingredients that can further irritate the stomach, such as spicy or fatty foods.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN ZEBULON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.