What Causes Poor Appetite in the Elderly?
Lack of appetite in an elderly person can be caused by:
- Cardiovascular diseases;
- Pneumonia, influenza, hepatitis or infection;
- Cirrhosis, acute heart failure, or chronic renal failure;
- Cancer of the stomach, colon, blood;
- Inflammation of the alimentary canal, intestines;
- Diabetes mellitus, low thyroid hormone levels, endocrine problems;
- Certain types of dementia;
- Autoimmune diseases;
Various mental disorders. For example, the appetite of older people may be spoiled due to schizophrenia. Medicines like anesthetics, antibiotics, diabetes medications or chemotherapy may also lead to the loss of appetite in seniors. The above reasons do not include all the factors that cause poor appetite in an elderly person. We should not forget that its deterioration may be associated with bad habits, excessive consumption of fatty foods and sweets. Sometimes it is impossible to determine what causes the loss of appetite in the elderly.
If the elderly have no appetite, this may lead to weight loss, loss of strength, and general weakness. Sometimes because of this, all body systems fail. At times, it may also lead to brain disorders as the nutrients and micro-elements they need do not enter the body with food. Thus, poor appetite in the elderly can be a serious issue. Poor appetite may also result in muscle atrophy and problems with the musculoskeletal system. Anorexia is a common disease that occurs among the elderly. As a rule, the patient has no complaints, they gradually lose weight but do not feel hungry. In such situations, the symptoms may turn fatal.
If a poor appetite for an elderly person causes weight loss, then you need to consult with a specialist. As a rule, this signals the presence of a serious illness. The doctor can examine the patient and prescribe some tests to find out the reason for the absence of hunger. Through a blood test, a specialist will find out what caused an older person to have a poor appetite. For example, the condition might be associated with liver disease, diabetes, or even impaired hormonal functions of the body. A urinalysis can also be prescribed to check whether a poor kidney infection is caused by an infection in the kidney, and a chest x-ray will be needed to detect lung cancer or pneumonia.
To find out the exact cause of the disorder, it is necessary to conduct medical procedures. We are talking about barium enema, blood test (complete), ultrasound scanning of the abdominal organs, testing of liver, kidney functions, examination of the thyroid gland, urinalysis and X-ray of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. About Senior Folks and Medigap Coverage: The 2020 Medicare Supplement plans allow older folks pay for out-of-the-pocket costs. Some of these might consist of coinsurance, deductible, etc.