Malnutrition Among Seniors Is a Growing Concern: Can You Spot the Signs?

Malnutrition can occur if someone is not getting enough food or if they are getting too little of some nutrients. Cases of undernutrition occur if a person does not lack the needed nutrients because they are not eating enough food overall. Individuals who are suffering from undernutrition may not have the minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients the body requires to function.

Unfortunately, cases of malnutrition are more common in facilities offering Senior Independent Living Near Me than many people realize. While this is true, understanding the signs and impact of this can help ensure family members take action if they believe it is an issue.

If a senior develops malnutrition, it can lead to issues with focus, a higher risk of infection, slower recovery from illnesses and wounds, and both short- and long-term health and wellness issues. There are even some deficiencies that may result in more specific health concerns.

Malnutrition Among Seniors Is a Growing Concern Can You Spot the Signs

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A is a crucial nutrient for people of all ages. If someone is not getting enough vitamin A, it can lead to vision issues.

Vitamin C Deficiency

If someone does not get enough vitamin C, it can lead to something called scurvy. While this is rare in the U.S., it can still occur. Older adults are particularly prone to this condition, which is why it is something that should be monitored.

Overall Deficiencies

If someone is lacking all nutrients, it can lead to something called kwashiorkor. This word is used to define the most severe form of malnutrition. One of the most common symptoms of this condition is a distended abdomen.

Another possible result of nutritional deficiency is marasmus. Someone with this condition will have minimal fat or muscle on their body.

Symptoms Caused by Cases of Malnutrition

There are several symptoms and signs of malnutrition. Some of the most common signs of this condition include the loss of body tissue, muscle mass, and fat, depression, no appetite, always feeling cold, inability to focus or concentrate, irritability and tiredness, more complications after surgery, the longer time required for wound healing, and an increased risk of becoming ill. At some point, the person may also experience issues breathing or heart failure.

In some situations, treatment is possible. However, malnutrition can result in serious, long-term effects. For example, anorexia nervosa, a mental health condition, can lead to malnutrition. It is important to learn as much as possible about this to avoid it.

Malnutrition Among Seniors Is a Growing Concern Spot the Signs

Malnutrition Causes

There are several reasons that malnutrition may occur. One is a low intake of food. There are some people who develop this because they do not have enough food available or because they have a hard time absorbing nutrients or eating. Sometimes this occurs to individuals who are dealing with cancer, taking medicine that makes eating hard, conditions that cause nausea, or liver disease. Mouth issues may also cause a problem, including dentures that do not fit properly.

Identifying the Signs of Malnutrition

When it comes to malnutrition, there are more than a few factors to consider. Being informed and knowing what these signs are is the best way to ensure that action is taken when needed. While this can be a scary situation, identifying the signs early can help a senior get the treatment needed to restore their health.

 

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Malnutrition Among Seniors Is a Growing Concern: Can You Spot the Signs?