Constipation in older adults

As we get older, our bodies go through many different stages and changes. Constipation in older adults is very common. Before it can have an impact on your happiness and quality of life1, it's important to understand what's happening to your body and what you can do to get things moving again.

Causes of constipation in older adults

Constipation in older adults is very common, particularly after the age of 652.

There are many different causes of constipation in older adults. These can include inactivity, poor diet, depression and confusion, as well as certain medications. There are also certain disorders which affect the nervous system of the bowels, responsible for stimulating the bowel muscles and moving food through the digestive system1,3,4.

Your body is changing

As people get older, the process of digestion slows down. The ageing bowel needs more time to move food through the digestive system, which can trigger constipation1.

Taking medication

Many older adults take long-term medication. Some of these medicines can cause constipation as a side-effect.

New lifestyle habits

When we get older, we tend to move around and exercise less. Our diet might change overtime as well. Lifestyle changes like this can have an impact on our digestive systems2.

What happens to your body as you get older?

Constipation can often be a sign of changes that are happening in your body as you get older. Let's explore some of these changes:

A few tricks to get things moving

There are a number of simple things you can try - at any stage of your life - to prevent or relieve constipation.

The Dulco® range

Dulco® products help get your digestive system moving. We have different types of relief available, including gradual relief, overnight relief and fast relief. All will make you feel lighter, brighter and more comfortable.

Stay in the know

Constipation can be bothersome and persistent. Because we know how frustrating and stressful it can be, we can help you identify the causes of constipation and how you can prevent it.

    1. De Giorgio R, Ruggeri E, Stanghellini V, Eusebi LH, Bazzoli F, Chiarioni G. Chronic constipation in the elderly: a primer for the gastroenterologist. BMC Gastroenterol. 2015 Oct 14;15:130.

    2. Müller-Lissner SA, Kamm MA, Scarpignato C, Wald A. Myths and misconceptions about chronic constipation. Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;100(1):232-42.

    3. Schuster BG, Kosar L, Kamrul R. Constipation in older adults: stepwise approach to keep things moving. Can Fam Physician. 2015;61(2):152-158.

    4. Bharucha AE, Lacy BE. Mechanisms, Evaluation, and Management of Chronic Constipation. Gastroenterology. 2020 Apr;158(5):1232-1249.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.034.

    5. Camilleri M, Ford AC, Mawe GM, Dinning PG, Rao SS, Chey WD, Simrén M, Lembo A, Young-Fadok TM, Chang L. Chronic constipation. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2017 Dec 14;3:17095.

    6. Basilisco G, Coletta M. Chronic constipation: a critical review. Dig Liver Dis. 2013 Nov;45(11):886-93.

    7. John Hopkins Medicine. Health conditions and diseases – Constipation. 2021. Accessed 14/11/2022

    8. Mayo Clinic 2019 Accessed 14/11/2022

    9. World Gastroenterology Organisation. Coping with common gastrointestinal symptoms in the community: a global perspective on heartburn, constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain/discomfort May 2013. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2014 Aug;48(7):567-78.

    10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Constipation. 2018 Accessed 14/11/2022