Anatomy and physiology of ageing 3: the digestive system

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Abstract

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Abstract Ageing can have drastic effects on the functions of the digestive system. One of these is reduced appetite due to changes in hormone production and an alteration in smell and taste. Physiological changes in pharyngeal skills and oesophageal motility may lead to dysphagia and reflux. In the intestines, several factors contribute to changes in the regular gut microbial fauna, making older people more prone to bloating, pain and bacterial infection. There is also a drastic age-associated rise in the incidence of several gut pathologies including cancer of the colon. This third article in our series on the anatomy and physiology of ageing explores the digestive system.

Citation Nigam Y, Knight J (2017) Anatomy and physiology of ageing 3: the digestive system. Nursing Times; 113: 4, 54-57.

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