Patient information : See handout on unintentional weight loss in older adults, written by the authors of this article. 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. Overall, nonmalignant diseases are more common causes of unintentional weight loss in this population than malignancy. Medication use and polypharmacy can interfere with taste or cause nausea and should not be overlooked. Social factors may contribute to unintentional weight loss. Recommended tests include a complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, liver function tests, thyroid function tests, C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, glucose measurement, lactate dehydrogenase measurement, and urinalysis. Chest radiography and fecal occult blood testing should be performed. Abdominal ultrasonography may also be considered. When baseline evaluation is unremarkable, a three- to six-month observation period is justified.
My mother is years old. Usually, an unrecognized cancer will have other symptoms or abnormalities of laboratory tests, in addition to unexplained weight loss. Elderly might also help loss see if they can assist with some kind of calorie counting and evaluation of how much he is actually taking in. Anticholinergics, antihistamines, sudden Catapres, loop diuretics. A comprehensive medical examination is required, weight with a what regimen review and depression screening. Contact causes aafp. Peer Exchange. Unintentional weight loss in older adults [published eldwrly appears in CMAJ.
Q: My year-old father lives in his own home about miles from us. I thought he looked rather thin last time we saw him. Should I be concerned? Would you recommend he start drinking a supplement such as Boost or Ensure? A: This question comes up a lot for families. It is indeed very common for older adults to experience unintentional weight loss at some point in late-life. The brief answer is that yes, you should be concerned. Now, in most cases, some nutritional supplementation is in order. But before focusing on this, you should first get help figuring out why your father is losing weight. So in geriatrics, we usually recommend that an older person — or their caregivers — monitor weight regularly. This enables us to spot weight loss sooner rather than later.