Common causes of unintentional weight loss in seniors
- Cancer, which can affect weight and appetite in many different ways.
- Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, which can change eating habits.
- Gastrointestinal issues, which may lead to malnutrition.
- Hyperthyroidism, which accelerates the body’s metabolism.
What does it mean when an older person loses a lot of 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.
What health problems can cause rapid 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.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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)
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.
Is weight loss in the elderly normal?
After the age of 65, it’s typically normal to lose 0.2 to 0.4 pounds of body weight every year. Unintentional weight loss can be dangerous if you lose 5% or more of your body weight every 6-12 months.
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)
Why am I losing weight for no reason?
Unintentional weight loss does not always have an identifiable underlying cause but, in addition to the causes already mentioned, it’s often the result of: depression. an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), or over-treating an underactive thyroid. cancer.
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 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.
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.
Is rapid weight loss bad?
According to many experts, losing 1–2 pounds (0.45–0.9 kg) per week is a healthy and safe rate (1, 2, 3 ). Losing more than that is considered too fast and could put you at risk of many health problems, including muscle loss, gallstones, nutritional deficiencies and a drop in metabolism ( 4, 6, 7, 8 ).
Can neurological problems cause weight loss?
Like Schwartz, many people with chronic neurologic diseases struggle with weight management. Disease progression, medications, and related symptoms and conditions such as depression can contribute to weight loss or gain.
Why do dementia patients lose so much weight?
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease may lose weight because they may burn more calories than elderly people without the disease. People with dementia frequently pace, wander, and are more likely to be in motion – activities that burn more calories. The effects of Alzheimer’s disease itself and aging.
How can you tell if someone is dying of dementia?
Experts suggest that signs of the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease include some of the following: Being unable to move around on one’s own. Being unable to speak or make oneself understood. Needing help with most, if not all, daily activities, such as eating and self-care. 3