Can Seniors Suddenly Develop Celiac Disease?

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Many people believe celiac disease only develops in babies and younger children, but it’s becoming more common among seniors, especially if they’re taking medications that contain gluten. There’s no cure for this disease, but it can be managed. Here are some of the ways celiac disease can develop as well as what seniors can do to prevent the disease or stop it from getting worse.

Development of Celiac Disease in the Senior Years

Even if your aging loved one tested negative for celiac disease in his or her 50s, he or she could still test positive at any time. There’s no age limitation for celiac disease, and it can develop later in life. The condition is becoming more common in older adults because of unhealthy habits that increase with age. The good news is there are healthy lifestyle changes seniors can make to prevent the disease from developing.

In Naples, elderly home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

The Symptoms

Knowing the warning signs of celiac disease can help you get immediate treatment for your loved one that could alleviate the symptoms. Although there’s no cure for celiac disease, you’ll need to find positive ways to enhance your loved one’s wellbeing to prevent other health conditions like heart disease, some cancers, and depression. Some of the most common signs of celiac disease are:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation 

Digestive issues can be especially problematic for aging adults. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Naples seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Healthy Diets to Consider

Foods full of gluten can trigger an immune response in the body that causes inflammation and significant damage to the immune system, which is known as celiac disease. However, your loved one can prevent the disease by eating healthy in the senior years. Instead of eating pasta, gravies, crackers, pies, salad dressings, cakes, and other foods that have high levels of gluten, he or she should try to eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs, and nuts. Your loved can still enjoy some grains and sweet treats from time to time, as long as the foods are gluten-free.

Physical Activity

Keep your loved one active and be on the lookout for sudden changes like excessive weight gain. Celiac disease can be managed with a healthy diet, but exercise is just as important because physical activity helps seniors maintain a healthy weight and boosts their immune systems. Regular movement each day can reduce the inflammatory response in your loved one’s body. If your loved one has to take medication to decrease inflammation, he or she could end up increasing the risk of celiac disease. Keep in mind that adults are more likely to use multiple prescriptions in their senior years due to various age-related conditions. However, exercise is a natural way to alleviate inflammation, burn calories, and increase circulation, leading to a stronger immune system.

Professional caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and support for seniors who have celiac disease or are trying to prevent it. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care services. Naples families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (239) 449-4701.