What happens to peristalsis as I age?

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
For up to 75 percent of people, peristalsis slows with age. The reason is that the number of neurons in our gut drops by half. When you don't have the normal nerve-firing sequences to control peristalsis, food doesn't move through the system smoothly, leading to indigestion and constipation. In a good system, the food moves like toothpaste through a tube if you're squeezing from the very end. In people with slowed peristalsis, it's like you're pushing the paste out from the middle of the tube, so the pattern becomes irregular, choppy, and unpredictable. And I certainly don't have to tell you what irregular, choppy, and unpredictable movements in your gut feel like.
You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

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You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

International bestselling authors of YOU: The Owner's Manual and YOU: On a Diet give you all the tools and know-how to stay young and defy the ageing process. Drawing lively parallels between your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.