Why does our ability to digest food as we age change

Posted by Jackie, Alumna Mentor @travelgirl, Apr 14, 2018

I have noticed that it has gotten more difficult to eat several foods the older I get. What happens in our bodies that causes us to no longer tolerate certain food?
Some of ny most favorite foods make me sicker than a dog to eat. Like rich creamy ice cream or pizza.
Does our ability to process certain foods change with age? Or is there something different with the food we are eating?
Within 30 minutes to 1 hour my stomach is a mess.
And these are just two foods I am mentioning. There are several more foods that I normally enjoyed and can no longer eat.
Have others experienced this?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health group.

Hello @travelgirl, I'm no authority on food, storing food, or cooking methods. Plants have certain chemicals they produce to help in their defense against bugs and insects that want to eat on them which may not be good for humans either. Many animals also eat some of these plants. Oats and wheat products are found to make arthritis pain worse for instance. FDA for instance, requires that canned beans such as Pinto, White, Black, Kidney, Lima, etc be cooked in a pressure cooker if it's to be sold to the public due to Lectins. However, if someone doesn't have a pressure cooker and love their beans, then it is considered safe if beans are soaked for at least 5 hours, water discarded, and cooked at a high boil at least 10 minutes before reducing heat. Some slow cookers are not recommended for cooking beans. This is just 1 food.
When considering all the various meats and vegetables, how their stored whether refrigerated or frozen, expiration dates, and cooking methods could possibly make a difference as to how well our bodies may digest them safely. I know I haven't been perfect when storing or cooking foods and I'm sure my mom did her best but probably made mistakes or some things might not have been up to today's standards.

There are too many situations and variants in regards to food and how our bodies may react to them for me to go into each one.
Here is a link to State Food Safety.com; https://www.statefoodsafety.com/Resources/index/category/Resoures which can shed some light on food safety.

I always heard that milk was good for you and people should drink at least 3 – 8 oz glasses a day. Well I have always preferred milk over any other drink including beer. I have always been a big milk drinker and over the past 12 + years I've been known to drink 5 gallons a week. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with Diabetes 2. I was surprised as I'm not a big candy or sweets eater. After learning about carbohydrates and dairy contributing to our glucose intake I realized that my diabetes was brought on mainly by my milk intake. I didn't know that things like rice, spaghetti, pizza, bread, milk, etc would be processed into sugar by the liver. Heck, might as well ate candy.

I realize this is getting long and have only skimmed the surface. We all inherit different things from our parents and grandparents, and our bodies act different to exercise as well as foods we put into our bodies. I would probably have to say, YES, as we age some organs may not work as good as they did in our younger days and our bodies may be attempting to warn us that something needs attention.

Excellent topic!!! How long have you been noticing these changes? Have you started keeping a journal of the foods you take in and the effect it has on your digestive system?


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Hi @travelgirl,

While researching a Connect member's message, I found this interesting article related to your question:
Changes in Interstitial Cells of Cajal with Age in the Human Stomach and Colon https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2999641/

Let me know your thoughts, once you read it.


@kanaazpereira Thank You for sharing. Very interesting article. Explains some possible reasons as to the difficulty of processing food as we age. I am curious to see what future studies reveal about ICC..

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