It is not uncommon to find elderly people suddenly lose their appetite. It can be both short-term and permanent – the latter is very dangerous. If an elderly person stops eating with some disease (infection, etc.), then do not worry too much – the appetite will return. However, if an elderly person has no appetite for a long time, you should take immediate action.
Appetite in elderly people
Appetite is a very important mechanism in the human body. It is through it that we know when to eat, when to be full. This feeling is associated with many factors: the peculiarities of the body itself, diseases, physique and, of course, age. In older people, many processes in the body are slowed down, the receptors work weaker and it may happen that the appetite is significantly reduced.
Of course, a person does not stop wanting to eat, his body needs nutrients, but the mechanism for triggering the feeling of hunger and appetite is significantly slowed, hence the feeling of unwillingness to eat – there is a refusal of food in the elderly. However, the reason for rejection may also be some disease, so it is certainly worth paying attention and consult with your doctor. After all, behind this seemingly not very significant deviation can hide a lot of illnesses that require the attention of specialists.
What can cause a loss of appetite?
So, if it has already been noticed such abnormal behavior for the elderly, then the question arises immediately, what is wrong. The lack of appetite in elderly people can be at least due to an incorrect diet – wrong balance of products and lack of some substances can cause this condition.
There is also a psychological factor: sometimes an elderly person may refuse to eat not because he does not want to, lost his appetite, but simply because of distrust or dislike of the lactator. It is quite possible, because the elderly have a fairly thin nervous system and they can easily piss off similar things – everything can come to the rejection of food.
However, sometimes the lack of appetite can hide the disease. So, an older person’s loss of appetite can be due to:
- Virus or infection. When the body is fighting the virus, intoxication occurs, the last thing that the body will require – is food. Although some food, the easiest one, is worth giving to the elderly.
- Diseases in the oral cavity. Like stomatitis. Because of the unpleasant sensations and taste changes, an elderly person may refuse to eat.
- Stomach ailments. Ulcers and gastritis are often the reason for refusing to eat, because the reception leads to an exacerbation of bad sensations. In order not to experience heaviness, nausea, and pain, the elderly may also refuse to eat on a psychological level.
- Intestinal diseases. Here the same situation as with the stomach – plays both psychological and physical factor.
- Oncology. Pathological changes in the body can lead to a violation of the mechanism of appetite and the elderly will refuse to eat, as it seems to have no need. However, this is a deceptive feeling.
It is impossible to understand from the first time why an elderly person has lost his appetite. Sometimes it’s capricious and sometimes a sign of illness. If diet problems continue for a long time, it is necessary to seek help from a doctor. It is he who, based on the survey and analysis will be able to determine the reason why the elderly have ceased to eat normally
How dangerous is the loss of appetite in old age?
Although the body does not clearly require food in old age, this does not mean that it is necessary to limit and reduce the diet – on the contrary, it only needs to enrich it with useful elements. When the appetite disappears, the elderly naturally stop eating, as they do not feel the usual need for it.
Dangerous conditions and problems:
- Constant weakness and fatigue.
- Decrease in strength.
- Deterioration of muscles.
- Deterioration of the brain and other organs.
- Sometimes also tissue necrosis.
If you don’t restore your appetite and nutrition, it can sometimes lead to irreversible consequences. A weak body is very susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, viruses and infections. Plus it is not easy to overcome them, and this leads to serious complications.
Ways to increase an older person’s appetite
There are many ways, but the most important is to find out the root causes. It is from them, choosing how to improve the appetite of the elderly person. So, if the reason lies in the disease, it is worth consulting with a doctor who will choose a treatment, and the problem will disappear.
If any psychological factors play a role, it is worth to consult a psychologist or to find out the causes and eliminate them yourself. Traditional medicine offers for increase of appetite water with lemon, decoctions from wormwood or pickles, but with it it is necessary to be careful as all it can lead to malfunctions with a gastrointestinal tract.