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4 Common causes of nutritional deficiencies in elderly

As we age, we become more prone to nutritional deficiencies. Here’s what you need to know about nutrition deficiencies in seniors and what you need to look out for.

Aging brings about a variety of changes to our lifestyle. This natural process may seem like a challenge to most of us, and rightfully so. We go through a series of biological and psychological changes, which may bring certain complications to our lifestyle. Amongst them are our dietary habits, which play an enormous role in our health. It is our clear objective to provide you with healthy lifestyle tips for seniors

Here are 4 common causes of nutritional deficiency:

1. Impairment of appetite/ lack of sufficient calorie intake

The loss of appetite amongst seniors is a common issue that can be classified as one of the primary reasons for nutritional deficiency. There can be a handful of reasons for this, including changing taste buds, an overall health condition that hampers healthy eating, medications that alter appetite (also discussed below) and psychological issues such as depression amongst elderly citizens and loneliness.

2. Natural biological changes

We, humans, are naturally blessed with sensors in our digestive system which responds to the physical presence of food, and towards specific components of the food. These sensors trigger hormones, which ultimately enable us to enjoy the food and assist in digestion. With our age, these sensors slowly become weaker, hampering the appetite altogether.

One of the crucial parts of eating right is properly chewing the food. If we have problematic dentures it only adds up to the insufficiency of calorie intake.

3. Medication

If you are cautious about your health, you most likely stumbled upon the numerous side effects of prescribed pharmaceuticals. For now, we shall only focus on their effect on nutrition intake. Here are some of the ways in which medication may harm your appetite:

  1. Decreasing the sensation of hunger
  2. Hampering the way essential nutrients are naturally absorbed into the body
  3. Reducing the pleasure associated with eating, by numbing the senses of smell and taste
  4. Affecting the capability to swallow properly

4. Financial factors

This might seem like a harsh truth, but limited financial abilities is a huge cause of improper nutrient intake. To add to the agony that comes with having to purchase food themselves, many senior individuals may lack the proper finances necessary to buy proper foods rich in nutrients. This is a major issue for senior citizens living in developing countries, where their pension and retirement funds might turn out to be insufficient to their dietary needs. This issue may be further worsened by the inability of family members to provide proper support for the elderly.


The aging process may seem like a challenge to most of us, but everything can be made convenient with proper preparation. We at midagecare.com aim to do exactly that. Do check out our other articles for healthy living tips for seniors.


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