Would you recognize malnutrition in a parent or grandparent? Malnutrition occurs when the body is not getting enough nutrients. It even can be caused by the lack of a single vitamin in your diet.
Possible causes of malnutrition in older people are waning senses of taste and smell, difficulty chewing, and depression. Sadly, malnutrition can lead to hip fractures and may contribute to dementia and periodontal (gum) disease. Eating well, however, can help an older adult manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and keep bones and muscles strong.
Look for signs of malnutrition. The symptoms can include dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, and bleeding gums.
At any age, it’s best to get vitamins and minerals from food, not pills. But the diets of some older people don’t contain enough vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D. In these cases, supplements might be a wise choice. To make sure you’re getting enough nutrients, talk with your doctor.
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