Skip to content

50+: Live Better, Longer

7 Signs of Inadequate Nutrition

Font Size
A
A
A

5. Diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea can be a sign of malabsorption, which means nutrients are not being fully absorbed by your body. Malabsorption can be triggered by infection, surgery, certain drugs, heavy alcohol use, and digestive disorders such as celiac sprue and Crohn’s disease.

It’s important to consult your doctor if you experience persistent diarrhea.

6. Apathy or Irritability

Unexplained mood changes, especially feeling apathetic or irritable, can be symptoms of a serious medical illness like depression. But they can also be symptoms that your body isn’t getting the energy it needs.

If you have persistent low mood or forgetfulness, it’s important to get checked out by your doctor.

7. Lack of Appetite

With age, appetite often diminishes. Taste buds lose their sensitivity. Because seniors tend to be less active, they require fewer calories. Medications can also dampen appetite.

“Chronic lack of appetite is a serious warning sign that you may be at risk of nutritional deficiencies,” says Nancy Wellman, RD, past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you find yourself skipping meals because you’re not hungry, talk to your doctor.

Blood tests can indicate if you’re deficient in a number of key nutrients. By assessing your food intake, a registered dietitian can also spot nutritional deficiencies.

“The important thing is to alert your doctor quickly if your appetite changes or you begin skipping meals,” says Wellman. That way, you can head off nutritional problems before they cause serious trouble.

1 | 2
Reviewed on May 04, 2012

Today on WebMD

blueberries
Eating for a longer, healthier life.
romantic couple
Dr. Ruth’s bedroom tips for long-term couples.
 
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
 
fast healthy snack ideas
Article
how healthy is your mouth
Tool
 
dog on couch
Tool
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
champagne toast
Slideshow
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Quiz
 
Man feeding woman
Slideshow
two senior women laughing
Article