There are certain conditions like cancer, psychological health problems, and aging that can cause a person not to want to eat. If a person doesn’t eat, they will lose too much weight and get sick. There are a few ways you can stimulate a senior’s appetite. That way, they want to eat instead of being forced.
Different Ways to Stimulate a Senior’s Appetite
It should go without saying, but before you try any of these methods, talk to your doctor about what would work best for you or your senior.
The FDA has approved these three medications for appetite stimulants: Megestrol Acetate, Oxandrolone, and Dronabinol.
Megestrol is a progesterone based medicine that doctors prescribe for people with anorexia, cancer, HIV, or AIDS. It’s available in both a liquid and pill form. Side effects can include upset stomach, mood changes, sleep problems, onset or worsening of diabetes, and blood clots.
Oxandrolone is an oral steroid that helps people gain weight after surgery, trauma, or chronic infection. Side effects include acne, deepening voice, excessive hair growth, changes in the menstrual cycle, mood changes, and upset stomach.
Doctors prescribe Dronabinol to help treat AIDS-related anorexia, boost appetite in people with cancer, and reduce nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy. It’s an oral capsule. Side effects include confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, hallucinations, and low mood.
There are specific kinds of vitamins and minerals that can increase appetite, but only if a person has deficiencies in these nutrients.
A lack of Zinc can cause a loss of appetite, poor immune function, change in taste perception, slow healing, and even hair loss. Research shows that if a person is lacking Zinc and takes supplements, they will get hungrier.
Vitamin B-1 is also known as thiamine and is key for growth and development. If a person lacks this vitamin, they can get appetite loss, weight loss, confusion, and other cognitive symptoms.
Omega-3 are fatty acids that appear naturally in the human diet. Adding more marine orientated omega-3 fatty acids to your diet will stimulate your appetite.
Exercise increases the energy a person burns, which increases the body’s need for food. Therefore, it increases hunger.
Try eating three to six small meals instead of planning for three big meals. Don’t eat foods with high fiber or low-calorie foods. It will fill you up without giving substance. You can also try drinking nutrients instead of eating them, making it easier to consume. Finally, you can make meals more enjoyable with music or friends or anything else that brings you joy.
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