II. Causes: "Meals on Wheels" Mnemonic

  1. Medication Effects
  2. Emotional Problems (Major Depression)
  3. Anorexia Nervosa or Alcoholism
  4. Late-life paranoia
  5. Swallowing disorders (See Dysphagia)
  6. Oral factors (e.g. Poorly fitting dentures)
  7. No Money
  8. Wandering (Dementia related behavior)
  9. Hyperthyroidism, Hyperparaythyroidism, Hypoadrenalism
  10. Enteric problems (e.g. Malabsorption)
  11. Eating problems (e.g. difficult self-feeding)
  12. Low salt diet or low Cholesterol diet
  13. Stones (Cholecystitis) or social problems (isolation)
  14. References
    1. Morley (1995) Ann Intern Med 123:850-9 [PubMed]

III. Causes: 9Ds of Weight Loss Mnemonic

IV. Causes: Common

  1. Idiopathic in one quarter of cases
  2. Major Depression and other mental illness (9 to 24%)
  3. Malignancy (19 to 36%)
    1. See Cachexia in Cancer
    2. Stomach carcinoma
    3. Pancreatic Cancer
    4. Colon Cancer
    5. Other cancers (e.g. Breast Cancer)
  4. Non-malignant Gastrointestinal Causes (9 to 19%)
    1. Cholecystitis
    2. Peptic Ulcer Disease
    3. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  5. Congestive Heart Failure (5-10%)
  6. Alcoholism or other Drug Abuse (5-10%)
  7. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (5-10%)

V. Causes: Other Causes

  1. Endocrine Conditions
    1. Diabetes Mellitus
    2. Hyperthyroidism
    3. Hypothyroidism
  2. Connective Tissue Disease
    1. Sarcoidosis
    2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  3. Medication adverse effects
    1. Polypharmacy
    2. Medications Associated with Unintentional Weight Loss
  4. Neurologic Diseases
    1. Muscular Dystrophy
    2. Bulbar Palsy
    3. Cerebrovascular Accident
    4. Myasthenia Gravis
    5. Parkinson's Disease
    6. Dementia
    7. Delirium
  5. Anorexia Nervosa
  6. Chronic Infection
    1. HIV Infection
    2. Tuberculosis
  7. Fever (See also Fever of Unknown Origin)
    1. Basal metabolic rate increases 7% per degree F
  8. Malabsorption
    1. Pancreatic Insufficiency
    2. Celiac Sprue

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