What Is Sudden Weight Loss For Seniors
Sudden senior weight loss is quick, unintentional, and unexplained weight loss in older adults. About 15% to 20% of seniors experience sudden weight loss, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Though some weight loss can be a normal part of aging, losing a substantial amount of weight over a short period of time can be a sign of an underlying condition. Weight loss in older adults is considered a problem when theres a loss of 5% body weight in one month or 10% over a six-month period.
Some of the health consequences of sudden senior weight loss can be serious:
- Loss of ability to perform activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and grooming
- Medical Author: Dan Brennan, MD
Reviewed on 6/15/2020
These symptoms are present in a wide variety of medical processes, including low calcium levels, exercise-related and other medical conditions. Rapid onset of these symptoms may require urgent or emergency care. If you find that your symptoms are persisting, then you should reach out to your doctor.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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Try A Variety Of Relaxation Approaches
- Keep your focus here and now: Try to live through your senses, not just your head. The more mindful you are, the more this will help to reduce your cortisol levels.
- Take a break in nature: This can not only reduce your stress hormones, but also boosts natural killer cells that increase your immunity.
- Enjoy regular touch: Through hugs, making love or enjoying a massage. Enjoyable physical contact triggers the release of oxytocin, which has calming impacts.
- Persist with meditation if its not working for you: Try visualization or listening to soothing music with your eyes closed. Chanting for just 12 minutes a day can also reduce stress levels and lower inflammation in people who are stressed.
- Slouch: Instead strike a power pose. Try the victory pose and the wonder woman pose . Research from Harvard University shows that these kinds of poses, drop your cortisol and raise your testosterone, so you feel more in control and more able to handle risks and tricky situations. Amy Cuddy, who is an expert in this area, gives a fantastic Ted talk about the impact of body language on hormones and emotional states.
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
DKA is a serious, short-term complication of diabetes. It occurs when your body has high blood glucose and a buildup of blood acids called ketones. Since people with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin so their body can use glucose for energy, their body may burn fat instead to get energy. Burning fat causes the production of ketones, which can be toxic in the bloodstream.4-6
DKA most commonly occurs in people who are sick with nausea, vomiting, and not eating. Therefore they do not take their insulin. It can also occur in people who do not know they have diabetes and their pancreas has already failed to produce the necessary amount of insulin. Illness also increases your need for insulin because blood sugar rises as your bodys response. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually develop quickly, and in extreme cases can cause a person to go into a coma. It should be treated as a medical emergency. If you experience symptoms of ketoacidosis, call your doctor right away.4-6
While maintaining a healthy weight is a healthy part of type 2 diabetes management, it is important to note that rapid, unexplained weight loss requires immediate medical attention.
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How Is Unexplained Weight Loss Treated
Unexplained weight loss is treated by identifying the underlying condition . If no underlying condition is identified right away, your doctor may recommend a wait-and-see approach, along with a special diet.
For instance, your doctor may recommend that you use nutrition shakes to get more calories, or add flavor enhancers to your food to improve the taste so that you eat more. You may be also be referred to a dietitian for advice and counseling.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/31/2018.
You Recently Lost Weight
It would be really, really nice if lost weight stayed lost. But just the opposite is true.
Our body weight and body fat are tightly regulated, and will act to maintain balance, Butsch says. Put another way, any pounds you manage to drop are likely to returneven if you keep up your weight-loss routines, he adds.
So if you recently dropped some weight, its very likely that youll put some of it back onregardless of how much youre eating or exercising.
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Underlying Causes Of Chronic Fatigue And Weight Gain
Fatigue and weight gain are not severe conditions, as they can happen to anyone due to their busy routine and poor eating habits. No wonder, overworking, lack of sleep, poor eating habits can cause fatigue and weight gain in a person. Yet, a person might still experience fatigue and weight loss even if theyre not experiencing any of the preceding causes. There may be some underlying reasons for this.
So, why do we experience chronic fatigue and weight gain?
Several reasons can cause chronic fatigue and weight gain, including lack of essential nutrients in the diet, congestive heart failure, viral or bacterial infection, chronic fatigue syndrome, medication, hypothyroidism, insomnia, polycystic ovary syndrome, depression, crushing disease, and menopause.
Let me disclose each individually, read on.
Table of Content
Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
Traditional allopathic Western medicine doesnt recognize adrenal fatigue, even though the changes it can cause are now starting to be confirmed by science. Referring to it as exhaustion syndrome research from Umeå University in Sweden has found that people suffering adrenal fatigue have lower activity in their frontal lobes and also altered regulation of cortisol.
The study also found that people more prone to this condition are often over-achievers and perfectionists. This is not news to functional and integrative practitioners who see women suffering from this problem every day. They arrive feeling absolutely at the end of the line and suffering from these kinds of chronic complaints:
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How Senior Living Communities Help Manage Unintentional Weight Loss In Elderly
Senior care facilities often keep track of factors contributing to your loved ones sudden weight loss as part of their regular services. Most communities, especially nursing homes, measure weight and vitals regularly. Many communities will also work with residents and their families to develop special diet plans to help the seniors manage their weight and improve their overall well-being.
Assisted living communities offer different services depending on each residents needs. Most assisted living communities offer meal plans and special dining options, medication management, health monitoring, and social opportunities to help keep senior residents active and safe.
Its common for senior residents in assisted living to have their weight and vitals checked monthly. If weight loss is a concern when the resident moves in, staff will likely check their weight weekly or more. Staff at assisted living communities tend to develop close relationships with residents, so it is unlikely for drastic changes in weight or eating habits to go unnoticed.
See: âCharacteristics of included systematic reviewsâ in and âCharacteristics of excluded systematic reviewsâ in .
Description Of Included Reviews
See: ‘Characteristics of included systematic reviews’ in and ‘Characteristics of excluded systematic reviews’ in .
The initial handsearch of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in March 2010 and a subsequent followup search in September 2010 yielded 520 titles of potential interest. We reviewed abstracts of these titles and identified 185 for further consideration with full papers being obtained. We identified 110 papers as having objectives and outcomes of interest to the overview. Two overview authors independently categorised the remaining papers for their relevance to the overview. After considerable debate we included systematic reviews where quality of life was a primary outcome measure, with fatigue or weight outcome measures separately reported. We also included systematic reviews reporting fatigue and/or unintentional weight loss as secondary outcomes if these were primary outcomes for the majority of the considered studies. We included 27 systematic reviews in the review and these are described in the ‘Characteristics of included systematic reviews’ in . Systematic reviews of interventions which impacted on the management of fatigue and weight loss in advanced illness but for which treatment of these conditions was not a primary intent of the intervention are listed in the ‘Characteristics of excluded systematic reviews’ in .
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What Everyone Should Know About Weight Gain In Cfs
While suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome it is not uncommon to gain quite a bit of weight. My personal experience with this illness saw my weight increase by 12 kilos .
Alarmingly, I experienced rapid weight gain in a short period of time when my illness progressed to its later stages.
12 kilos may not seem like a huge weight increase. But on a person with a small frame this amount of excess weight was substantial. As someone who has always exercised and worked hard to maintain a healthy body weight, carrying this unwanted weight was devastating.
No matter how I tried to maintain a healthy diet my body was seemingly working against me, and the excess weight kept piling on. This uncomfortable weight gain added to my many other symptoms making me pretty miserable with this debilitating illness.
My stubborn weight gain didnt begin to disappear until I started working with my naturopath. Before starting on the work to uncover the root cause of my illness my alarming weight gain kept increasing at a rapid rate.
However, once I was on the road to recovery, slowly but surely my weight started to normalize. As always though, it took much longer for the weight to reduce than it had to put it on. But this experience made me wonder about the reasons rapid weight gain happens when you have this baffling illness.
How To Treat Unexpected Weight Gain
There are various methods to treat unintentional weight gain. The best method would be depending on the conditions cause.
If the problem is hormonal balance, the doctor may prescribe you medicines to balance the hormone level. The medicine also depends on the affected hormones. These medications are typically for long-term use.
If the unexpected weight gain is due to the medications, your doctor may change the current medicine and prescribe an alternative.
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Causes Of Weight Loss In People With Cancer
Weight loss often starts with appetite loss. The underlying cancer and treatment-related side effects that may cause appetite loss are:
Changes in metabolism. Metabolism is the bodys process of breaking down food and turning it into energy.
Nausea and vomiting
Talk with your health care team about any symptoms you have. Tell them about new symptoms or a change in symptoms.
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Signs & Symptoms Of Fatigue & Excessive Hunger
Sometimes, you just feel drained, tired and hungry. However, you must be able to tell when those feelings are just that, or something more serious that may affect your health. Understanding the basic symptoms and signs of fatigue and those of excessive hunger help you to listen to what your body is telling you. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a good example of an illness that you may not know much about, but that may have a huge impact on your life 1. Symptoms of excessive hunger may mimic other conditions, as well.
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When Is Fatigue Considered Extreme
People can help their doctor identify the exact cause by recording any additional symptoms that they are having. The yield of endoscopic investigation for unintentional weight loss. Ferri FF.
Sudden or steady gain in daily weight ecxessive as 2 to 3 loss in 24 hours or 5 pounds over a couple of weeks shows that the body is retaining fluid and may be a sign of congestive heart failure. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Cleveland Clinic. Changes and symptoms of menopause can start several years earlier, including:. Fecal transplant treatment of C.
Overactive thyroid. In some people, depression may increase appetite. People with depression often struggle with chronic fatigue. This content does not have an Arabic version.
First Whats Considered Rapid Weight Loss
Treatment of IBD usually excessive weight loss and fatigue of nutritional support, medication, and in some cases, surgery. Egton Medical Information Systems Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Burning more energy and calories can lead to unintentional or unexplained weight loss. Crohn’s or Colitis Cryptosporidium infection Curcumin: Can it slow cancer growth? July 9,
Although cancer symptoms tend to vary depending on weght type, stage, and location of the disease, unexplained weight loss is sometimes a sign of cancer. Men vs. Learn about its risk factors, effects on the body, andâ¦. Other Causes. This is common with cancers of the pancreas, lung, stomach, and esophagus.
Ritchie C, et al. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Crohn’s Crisis Crohn’s disease Crohn’s disease symptom: Is fatigue common? Is POTS treatable? Kent holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Washington State University. Remember, not all weight loss is serious. This is entirely possible.
It’s possible to drop weight quickly and naturally. Unexplained weight loss occurs when people lose weight without changing their diet or exercise routine. Alex Folkl has been writing for more than eight years and has had work appear in several peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed scientific publications. Cancer increases inflammation.
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Youre Eating More Than You Realize
This one may seem obvious. But people don’t realize how quickly it can happen. If you’ve been boosting your calorie count consistently for a month or two, you could even see a five or ten-pound increase in weight, Cheskin says.
Its important to recognize that these changes can be subtle. Maybe youve started doing weekly happy hours. Or maybe you bought new dishware, and so your portion sizes have increased without you realizing it. If youre eating just 500 calories more a week, over time that can add up, he says.
Rapid Weight Loss Can Cause Feelings Of Extreme Fatigue
There is not an easy answer to why some people lose weight while others struggle with the same diet. Accept the fact that your life circumstances and health profile can affect your ability to lose weight as quickly as someone else. Successful weight loss is sustainable because you are enjoying a healthy lifestyle change. It is not some type of long-term punishment. Think about losing weight and keeping it off as long-term success while avoiding unwanted side effects, such as:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the good news is that you do not have to lose a lot of weight before you start receiving positive benefits. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve heart health. After losing weight too fast, you may be left with a ferocious appetite due to the fact that your metabolism hasnt yet adjusted to your new eating habits. If you restricted carbs, try working complex carbs from vegetables back into your menu plan. Contact Metabolic Research Center to learn more.
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Unexplained Weight Loss And Fatigue Are Two Of The Most Common Symptoms You Will Experience With A Progressive Illness
Written by Mita Majumdar | Updated : May 11, 2022 11:11 PM IST
Are you someone trying to get rid of stubborn fat? While it will be so easy if weight loss were a piece of cake and wouldn’t have to work hard to shed it. Sounds impossible, right? But it is true for some people. Despite not doing anything, some people lose a lot of weight without dieting or working out. Well, it could feel like good news for someone trying to lose weight, but it isn’t. Unexplained weight loss and fatigue are two of the most common symptoms that people experience with a progressive illness. There are many possible causes of sudden weight loss and some of which might be caused due to a serious illness.
You Eat Too Much Sugar
Its true your body needs glucose for energy, but too much sugar can interfere with your energy levels. If you eat a sugary meal or snack , it spikes your blood sugar, leading to an inevitable crash and feelings of sluggishness later. Do this enough and your body will be constantly recovering from each sugary binge. And its not just cookies and donuts that can send your blood sugar over the edgebe sure to avoid the 14 Health Foods Worse Than a Donut.
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Phase 1 On High Alert
When youre meeting a huge deadline for work or youve been up all night with a very sick child, you enter this first adrenal phase for a short period of time. Elevated stress hormones initially power you up with energy and then drop you down, leaving you feeling more worn out than usual. But your body is still able to make all the hormones it needs to respond to stress effectively and to energize you to get through the day.
Exercise Smarter But Not Harder
- Walk briskly: Studies show that walking has many, many health benefits.
And the scenic stimulation of blue sky and nature, means that you come back from your walk usually feel uplifted, not depleted.
- Move at a moderate pace: I recommend exercise like weight training, use of kettle bells and dancing.
- Do more gentle forms of exercise: It may seem counter-intuitive to slow your exercise pace to get more benefit but it really is important. Think about animals they dont go on marathon runs or head to the gym every day.
- Calm your brain with yoga: Yoga is like a moving meditation that connects your mind, breathe and body and induces a relaxation response which helps lower your cortisol levels. At the same time it boosts your alpha brain activity, which promotes greater calm.
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