What Causes An Elderly Person To Lose Weight?

Unintentional weight loss in persons older than 65 years is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The most common etiologies are malignancy, nonmalignant gastrointestinal disease, and psychiatric conditions.

Is it normal for an elderly person to lose weight?

About 15% to 20% of seniors experience sudden weight loss, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Though some weight loss can be a normal part of aging — partially due to shrinking muscle mass — losing a substantial amount of weight over a short period of time can be a sign of an underlying condition.

When should you worry about weight loss?

The point at which unexplained weight loss becomes a medical concern is not exact. But many doctors agree that a medical evaluation is called for if you lose more than 5 percent of your weight in six months to a year, especially if you’re an older adult.

What tests are done for unexplained weight loss?

Tests that are commonly done include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC): A CBC can show evidence of infections, anemia (a lack of red blood cells that can be caused by many conditions), and more.
  • Thyroid panel.
  • Liver function tests.
  • Kidney function tests.
  • Blood sugar (glucose)
  • Urinalysis.

What is the most common cause of weight loss in the elderly?

Unintentional weight loss in persons older than 65 years is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The most common etiologies are malignancy, nonmalignant gastrointestinal disease, and psychiatric conditions.

Why does my elderly mother keep losing weight?

Unexplained and unintentional weight loss in senior loved ones may indicate loneliness or isolation. Feelings of loneliness and social isolation can lead to decreased appetite or willingness to cook and prepare food, leading to weight loss. Social isolation can also lead to depression, also associated with weight loss.

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What illnesses can cause extreme weight loss?

However, unintentional weight loss may be a sign of one of these medical conditions.

  • Muscle loss. Muscle loss, or muscle wasting, can lead to unexpected weight loss.
  • Overactive thyroid.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Depression.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Endocarditis.

Is weight loss common after a stroke?

Conclusion. Weight loss >3 kg after stroke is common and appears to be an indicator of the need for closer observation of nutritional status. Monitoring of body weight may be useful, particularly among patients with severe stroke, eating difficulties, low prealbumin values, and impaired glucose metabolism.

How much weight loss is concerning in a month?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s 1 to 2 pounds per week. That means, on average, that aiming for 4 to 8 pounds of weight loss per month is a healthy goal.

Can heart problems cause weight loss?

Cardiac cachexia is unintentional severe weight loss caused by heart disease. The weight loss might be life-threatening. It can happen to people who have severe heart failure. Even with a very good appetite and high calorie intake, some people lose muscle mass.

What medications cause unintentional weight loss?

Medications associated with weight loss include antibiotics, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, sedatives, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, antiretrovirals, anticonvulsants, antifungals, antidiabetics, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and alkylating agents.

What medications cause weightloss?

Four weight-loss drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for long-term use:

  • Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave)
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda)
  • Orlistat (Xenical)
  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)

Can dementia cause rapid weight loss?

Studies have shown that once dementia reaches its final stages, one in every two or three affected people will experience severe weight loss. Weight loss may occur despite the person with advanced dementia being given all the food they want. Weight loss may be part of the process of dying from dementia.

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How can elderly gain weight?

The best food options to help seniors gain weight are your high-calorie foods such as healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, cold-pressed oils. Additionally, increasing calories by adding extra lean protein, additional portions of whole grains, or dairy products.

What is considered rapid weight loss?

Extreme weight-loss is defined as a loss of more than 1kg a week for a sustained period. Under such circumstances, your body is unlikely to be able to keep up and noticeable symptoms are bound to appear. Some may seem harmless on the surface, like minor hair-loss or feeling cold more frequently.

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