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Senior Health

Protein deficiency (urgent)

08/06/2008

Question:

Hi, Since last month my grandmother is in bed and hardly manages to take any food. All she can have is liquid. But all the reports are normal. The only problem is deficiency of protein. If she tries to eat anything after sometime she just vomits it out. We have consulted many doctors. But they are not able to find why there is decrease in amount of protein in her body. Apart from protein eveything is normal. Her hands and legs have swelled. She is taking some protein powder and tablets but that doesnt help the cause much. Her age is 75 and doctors tried to give her external protein through vein but since her veins has shrinked they cant to that as well. Can u pls let me know what can we do to get her back on her feet. Can u pls prescribe with any medicine or any other diet stuff or any other stuff which will improve the cause Pls reply urgently

Thanks a Million

Answer:

It sounds like your grandmother may need to see a physician or nurse practitioner who specializes in older adult care called a geriatrician or geriatric nurse practitioner. Consult your local Medical Society for a geriatrician (that can usually be found in the phone book) It sounds like you have taken your grandmother to many doctors who have diagnosed a protein deficiency and now you may need to try for a second opinion by scheduling an appointment with a specialist geriatrician or geriatric nurse practitioner (advance practice nursed certified in care for older adults). Hospitals in your area may have geriatricians and geriatric nurse practitioners on staff. You could also contact your local Council on Aging in your city or county (phone book or internet site) as well, to get a reference.

Hopefully, by contacting your local agencies mentioned above, you can get a second opinion from an expert on care for older adults about your grandmother's condition. It would be best to schedule her to see a specialist in care of older people for the second opinion as soon as you can locate the clinician in your grandmother's area.

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Response by:

Evelyn L Fitzwater, DSN, RN Evelyn L Fitzwater, DSN, RN
Associate Professor Emerita
Associate Director of the
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati