Q: “I’ve noticed lately that I feel uncomfortably full after meals. Does our digestion change as we get older?”
Maria, via email
A: Nutritionist Cindy Williams replies:
“As we age, our stomach, liver and pancreas secrete a little less of the substances necessary for digestion; the surface area of our small intestine diminishes slightly; and the movement of food through the digestive tract slows down. However, these small changes should not cause any noticeable effects.
Another cause could be some medications, such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and some antibiotics which delay gastric emptying.
To avoid feeling over-full, try eating smaller meals; chew your food well; steer clear of fatty foods, which delay your stomach emptying of food; don’t lie down straight after a meal and exercise regularly. If the feelings of fullness persist, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any serious causes.”