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Involuntary Weight Loss: Why Seniors Drop Pounds?

Shedding excess weight is usually a positive for seniors who are looking to improve their health. But on the other hand, some seniors drop weight without any diet or exercise or due to natural muscle loss (Sarcopenia) and it is a cause for concern. More than 5% of weight lost over a period of 6 months involuntarily, may cause adverse health side effects. The earlier you prevent muscle loss with nutrients and high quality protein from food or supplements (eg. Ensure Gold with HMB), as early as in your 40s, it will ensure a better quality of life later on. Today we will explore the plausible causes of involuntary weight loss.1, 2, 3

  1. Undiagnosed or poorly managed diabetes
    Rapid involuntary weight loss over just a few weeks to a month is one of the early signs of diabetes if you have not already been diagnosed. Uncontrolled, it can result in the lack of energy, frequent urination, and dehydration. This is because of the imbalance of insulin in people with diabetes. Because of Type 2 Diabetes’ insensitivity to insulin and Type 1 patients’ body’s halted production of insulin, the body feels inadequate and burns it from fat and muscles. Easy control can come from diet adjustments with food or nutritional supplements. Supplements that are specifically designed for diabetics will be more suitable (eg. Glucerna), as to not spike blood glucose too high.1, 2
  2. Gastrointestinal issues
    Indigestion, abdominal pain, constipation, and an irritable bowel are a few of the gastrointestinal issues that can cause weight loss. With aging, the body goes through several biological changes and becomes less efficient at digestion and nutrient absorption. This results in the body being able to not keep with the loss and will draw it from muscles and organs, causing other health ailments.1, 4
  3. Immunity issues
    Chronic illnesses or being prone to illness stresses the body with inflammatory responses, which contributes to protein absorption malnutrition. On the other hand, due to previously mentioned gastrointestinal issues and poorly managed diabetes can potentially harm the immune system as well. Malabsorption of nutrients such as proteins and omega-3 fatty acids prevents the immune cells from responding to infections.4, 5

Treatment: Does a loved one have trouble chewing, lose appetite easily, or irregular bowel? If yes to any, record findings and consult a medical professional for safest treatment options. The simplest treatment option for involuntary weight loss is a diet adjustment. High quality proteins like Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) and enriching omega-3 fatty acids are important for counteracting the loss. But a senior with decreased appetite will not consume enough. That is why supplements like Ensure Gold with HMB, backed by over 30 years of research, can provide a complete and balanced nutrition for a senior’s overall health and weight control. Formulated to have 1.5 grams of HMB, sufficient amount of omega fatty acids, plus 28 vitamins and minerals per 2 servings, when taken with food, a senior can restore appetite and strength within 8 weeks* Take charge of your own or a loved one’s wellness and improve strength with Ensure Gold with HMB to continue to live life as intended well nourished.1, 3, 6

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*Edington J et al. Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;23(2):195-204.