It may be hard to notice small changes that take place in gradual phases. This is how we have a high tendency to leave the issue of unexplained weight loss in seniors go unattended. However, it is actually possible for us to notice if we keep a close eye out for these changes in our loved ones. As a caregiver, we must pay attention to our surroundings to identify early onsets of weight loss to prevent the situation from escalating into detrimental health concerns.
The Dangers of Unexplained Weight Loss in Seniors
Unexplained weight loss should always cause alarm. It is true that some seniors who are overweight stand to benefit from health weight loss. It can help them alleviate pressure on their joints and improve cardiac function. However, weight loss needs to always be controlled to ensure that the individual is losing fat instead of valuable muscle mass. Loss of muscle mass can cause other adverse side effects that include serios health risks.
Following unexplained weight loss, the body’s immunity can deteriorate which leaves seniors with higher vulnerability to illness and infection with a lower ability to recover. Seniors may also experience fatigue which can prevent physical activity and socialization which are important aspects of life that help maintain overall body wellness. Lack of body movement will also cause seniors to be more prone to falls and injuries which are highly risky for their age.
How Can Seniors Still Lose Weight Without Trying?
Weight loss may look like the same process from the surface but what its origins may be totally different from one another and can have direct implications to their long-term health. The first step to take in making sure your loved one’s health is not implicated is to determine the root of the weight loss. Make a trip to the doctor’s office and offer certain observations like the following:
- Has their eating or physical activity behavior changed recently?
- How long have they been losing weight unintentionally?
- Have they been complaining of experiencing difficulty in eating or in having a proper rest?
- Do they seem depressed or stressed lately?
Any details that you are able to provide to the doctor will be helpful in identifying the root cause of the imbalance. If the senior under your charge does not have an existing condition, it is good to consider getting the expert advice of a geriatric specialist. You can better understand the specific complications that can arise in the mind, body, and spirit as a person ages.
Possible Causes of Unintentional Weight Loss
Below are some possible causes of unexplained weight loss in older adults:
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Food insecurity
- Independent abilities
- Isolation and loneliness
Physical Eating Challenges
- Jaw or teeth pain
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Nausea or altered taste