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What You Need to Know about COPD and Malnourishment

If your senior has COPD, you probably already know how that affects their ability to breath and a great deal of other aspects of their life. But it also impacts their ability to get and to use the nutrients that they needs from food.

How Does Malnourishment Happen with COPD?

Lots of people with COPD are surprised to discover that malnutrition is a common problem. The reason for that is both complicated and simple. Your senior’s body burns a lot of calories just by functioning. Being awake, breathing, and keeping her blood flowing all burns calories and requires fuel. With COPD, breathing takes a lot more energy than it does for someone without COPD. If your elderly family member is not keeping up with the caloric intake that her body needs for just basic activity, malnourishment occurs.

Malnourishment Might Look Benign at First

At first, malnourishment might seem like something that’s good for your senior. If she’s been overweight before or if she’s had difficulty managing her weight, she might start to lose weight with no trouble at all. As the problem progresses, though, you’ll notice that your elderly family member might have very little energy. That might be when you start to realize there’s a bigger issue.

COPD Makes Malnourishment Worse and Vice Versa

Malnourishment and COPD have a bad relationship with each other. COPD makes breathing a lot more difficult and burns a lot more calories. The lack of proper nutrition means that it’s more difficult for your senior’s body to deal with COPD and its symptoms. All of that then follows through again and again. Breaking that cycle means making some conscious choices.

Turning it All Around

The best way to get malnourishment under control is to ensure that your senior is eating foods that are bursting with nutrition. One of the things that your senior needs is calories, but if she’s staving off the weight loss with empty calories, like junk food, that’s not doing what she needs it to do. Your senior needs calories, but those calories need to have nutritional heft to them. The problem can be that cooking is often an energy consuming activity. Home care providers can take that extra effort out of the process for your senior.

Talk to your senior’s doctor about the best nutritional choices for your senior. Depending on her other health issues, she may need a specific combination of foods.

If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Parker, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.