As with patients of any age, weight loss can be a need or a concern in geriatric patients. If a patient is suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, for example, healthy weight loss can help stabilize and perhaps even eliminate their diabetic reactions. In other situation, a sever drop in weight can indicate symptoms of disease or adverse effects of medications or treatments and needs to be addressed.
As patients age, their metabolism slows and body fat deposition increases as muscle and bone mass declines and total body water reduces. While these factors can contribute to excessive weight loss, obesity is the more common occurrence and can predispose patients to numerous health and frailty conditions. In one of our recent articles, Popular Diets: Examining Weight Loss Diets for Geriatric Patients, the authors provide an overview of the most popular weight loss diets and their risks and benefits in older adults.
If your goal as a physician is to limit excessive weight loss because it is an unwanted side effect of disease or another treatment, there are multiple approaches that can be taken as well. In the article Involuntary Weight Loss in the Elderly, recognizing involuntary weight loss, understanding the factors that lead to weight loss, and managing weight loss are all reviewed.
For more information about patient weight loss, visit us at Clinical Geriatrics.