Humans go through a plethora of changes as we enter our twilight years. In both the male and female genders, specific key bodily changes mark the transition into old age – from grey hairs and wrinkles to reduced bowel movement, menopause (in women), and slightly more brittle bones. At Home Senior Care in Newton, MA, we take exquisite physical care of you or your loved ones, with particular attention to age-related ailments and conditions.
In seniors, sudden weight loss is a dangerous warning sign that is often overlooked as another condition that comes with aging – this isn't always true. We're going to examine the condition briefly and talk about why we shouldn't ever ignore it. Meanwhile, you can call us today to get even more information on the condition and arrange personal care for yourself or your loved ones.
Understanding Sudden Weight Loss in Seniors
By nature, sudden weight loss presents as a rapid, involuntary, and unexplained loss of weight in older adults. Statistically, this condition presents in about one of seven seniors in the USA. While some degree of weight loss is expected as we get older (due mainly to shrinking body muscle mass), the sudden, unexplained, and drastic kind is usually a warning sign for a much more dangerous ailment.
Medically, sudden weight loss is classified as an issue when there is a 5% drop in body weight over a month or a 10% drop over the course of six.
The Underlying Health Risks of Sudden Weight Loss in Seniors
At our home care agency, we make sure that all our patients go through rigorous health testing. Once an individual has been diagnosed as suffering from sudden weight loss, further tests are necessary to identify any underlying health issues. This is because, if left untreated, it can open the door for other conditions like:
- Increased fatigue
- Prevalence of severe psychological abnormalities like mood disorders
- Increased risk of injuries and bone damage
- A decline in the ability to perform day-to-day tasks
- Cancer: This has been identified as the leading cause of sudden weight loss in seniors (at 25%) and is a severe ailment in itself.
- Appetite loss due to depression
- Gastrointestinal illnesses
- Alzheimer's or any form of dementia
- Alcohol or substance addiction
- Side effects of different medications, etc.
In addition, sudden weight loss in seniors may be symptomatic of more dangerous ailment, some of which include:
Visit us at Home Senior Care in Newton, MA, to give your aging loved ones the care and attention they deserve!