What Causes Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning, also known as foodborne illness or food-related illness, happens when a person eats food contaminated by parasites, bacteria, or viruses.
This can happen due to improper handling of food, improper storing, as well as not adequately cooking the food before serving. In some cases, cooked food left out for too long can cause food poisoning.
This happens because food can possibly be contaminated at any point before you eat it, which can cause you to become ill.
Why are the Elderly at Risk?
Most people who experience food poisoning usually recover without any serious problems. But when it comes to the elderly, their immune systems are not as strong as they used to, so they are more prone to chronic infections.
And as people grow older, their bodies undergo changes that can increase the risk of food poisoning.
One is that as people grow older, food stays longer inside the gastrointestinal tract. This means that any bacteria present in the food will have time to grow and cause illness. This is compounded by the fact that the stomach produces less stomach acids, which aside from digesting food, also helps kill any harmful bacteria.
The liver and kidneys also do not function as well in older people compared to younger people.
Some elderly people also have preexisting conditions such as kidney disease or diabetes, which can affect how their immune system functions.
This combination of factors is the reason why the elderly are at a higher risk of food poisoning.
What are the Effects of Food Poisoning in the Elderly?
The symptoms of food poisoning can vary from person to person. But when it comes to the effects of food poisoning in the elderly, the risk can be increased. This is mainly due to the fact that the elderly have weaker immune systems, which means they get sick easily.