In This Episode:
Dr. K explains what to know and what to do if you’re concerned about an older person who is losing weight. She covers:
- Why unintended weight loss is an important red flag
- Why it’s especially useful to monitor the weight of an older person who lives alone or is frail
- The easiest ways to monitor an older person’s weight and nutritional status
- When to worry about weight loss
- The most common medical causes of unintended weight loss
- How cognitive problems and/or mobility issues can cause weight loss or poor nutrition
- When to consider appetite stimulants or supplements such as Boost or Ensure
- Tips for family caregivers
- Q&A: What to Do About Unintentional Weight Loss
- Mini-Nutritional Assessment: Self-questionnaire online
- Choosing Wisely: Avoiding prescription appetite stimulants or high-calorie supplements
sandra gulla says
I am wondering about Omperazole use for a 96 year old woman who is very frail. Are the side effects worse than the cure, if it is curing anything.
Nicole Didyk, MD says
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which is used to treat acid reflux, heartburn, esophagitis and Helicobacter pylori infection. There has been some controversy about whether they cause an increased risk of dementia, bone fractures, diarrhea and B12 deficiency in older adults.
I did find this recent study that found no association between omeprazole and cognitive decline or dementia, so that’s reassuring. Mind you, it was a retrospective database review, which is not the strongest type of research study.
Overall, a good practice in older adults is to only use medication that’s needed, and then only for as long as needed. It’s important to regularly review meds and get rid of any that no longer make sense. This article about medications in older adults might be interesting for you: https://betterhealthwhileaging.net/ags-beers-criteria-medications-older-adults-should-avoid-or-use-with-caution/