Weight loss in seniors can have many reasons, some more serious than others. Here are five reasons why a senior may be losing weight and when it is worth seeking advice from a doctor.
An overactive thyroid can cause sudden and unexpected weight loss in seniors. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate metabolism, among other things. When an imbalance occurs, the metabolism slows or speeds up too much, leading to weight loss. Weight loss is usually in conjunction with other symptoms, like hand tremors, bulging eyes, and anxiety.
Seniors may experience unintentional weight loss due to cancer. Certain cancers, such as pancreatic or lung cancer, can cause substantial weight loss due to the impact of the disease on the digestive system and other organs. Often, seniors with cancer may not realize that their weight is decreasing until it has become a significant concern. Seniors must pay attention to their health and get regular medical check-ups in order to spot any changes in bodyweight early on.
Digestive issues like frequent vomiting or diarrhea can have a large impact on a senior’s ability to keep on weight as they age. Seniors suffering from digestive ailments may find themselves losing more than intended despite taking in adequate nutrition for their needs.
Depression can lead to unwanted weight loss in seniors. Additional symptoms such as low energy, sleep disruption, and low self-esteem can also contribute to a lack of motivation for exercising and eating. It’s important for seniors who suspect they may be suffering from depression to seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible. If left untreated, the negative effects of depression can further exacerbate an existing weight loss problem.
Inadequate Nutrition Intake
As people get older their dietary needs remain the same but often times, they find themselves unable to fulfill these requirements due to limited mobility or access to healthy foods. If this becomes a long-term issue, then an inadequate dietary intake can lead to both short-term and long-term problems with sustained undesired weight loss eventually occurring.
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is another medical condition that can cause seniors to experience weight loss. This occurs when food or drinks become lodged in the throat and prevent them from going down to the stomach properly. As a result, seniors who suffer from dysphagia are often unable to take in enough nutrition to maintain a healthy body weight. Treatment for dysphagia requires the assistance of a doctor or specialist as there are several treatment methods available for those experiencing this condition. Problems like dysphasia need careful management, although products like thickening gels can help. Check the ingredients for SimplyThick thickener if you have any food intolerances or allergies.
There can be many medical reasons why seniors experience weight loss. From thyroid ailments to dysphagia, it is important to consult a doctor if unexplained and sudden weight loss occurs in order to determine the cause and create an adequate treatment plan. With the proper support, seniors can achieve a healthy body weight and live life as they want.