As we grow old, our circulation system may work less efficiently. It’s not uncommon for older adults to have low blood pressure, constricted blood vessels, or to be at risk of blood clots. All of these factors can contribute to the development of bowel problems if it means blood is having a harder time reaching the gut. For example, ischemic bowel disease in the elderly is one possible consequence of a reduction in blood flowing to the bowels.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is among the most common GI disorders among older adults. That’s because a small ring of muscle helps separate the esophagus and the stomach. And it’s not uncommon for that muscle to weaken with age, leading to symptoms like heartburn, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, and chest pain. Likewise, loss of bowel control in elderly adults can be due to damage of similar muscles around the anus. - 9 minutes ago