Originally published September 1 2014
Study shows shocking rates of undiagnosed malnutrition in older adults
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) A new study investigating seniors' ER visits and corresponding nutrition levels reveals that physician care in the US is out of touch with reality, that there are gaping holes in the nutritional quality of the American food supply and that modern day health insurance plans are an illusion of healthcare.
In the study, practically every elderly patient visited a primary care physician regularly (95 percent), and almost all had a health insurance payment plan (96 percent). But according to the results of the study, more than half of the seniors who visited the emergency room were simply just lacking nutrition. In most cases, the patient's primary care physician overlooked their underlying problem of malnutrition. Also, the health insurance plans that the patients paid so fervently into covered practically nothing related to nutrition. In other words, the health insurance plans were useless to the patients' underlying problems and only served to insure the medical system, not the patient.
The study basically showed that the seniors weren't hospitalized due to a critical illness needing drugs and medical intervention. They simply needed wholesome, nutritious food, the kind rarely available in America due to the pesticide content of foods, the presence of transgenic material and other additives, and excessive processing.
Many primary care physicians out of touch with reality, overlook the power of nutrition in healingWhat's worse is that three-quarters of the malnourished older adults had never been diagnosed with malnutrition by their doctors. This statistic also shows that doctors typically glance over the simple ways that nutrition can be used to bring people back to health. This also shows that people themselves are out of touch with what their body really needs to function, that too many people lean on a doctor's advice when all they need to do is seek out better nutrition.
The result of this is out-of-touch medical system is saddening: more ER visits that could have been prevented with a simple addition of vitamins and minerals, enzymes and antioxidants.
"We were surprised by the levels of malnutrition or risk of it among cognitively intact seniors visiting the ER, and even more surprised that most malnourished patients had never been told they were malnourished," said lead study author Timothy Platts-Mills, MD, of the University of North Carolina Department of Emergency Medicine in Chapel Hill, N.C.
"Given that seniors visit ERs more than 20 million times a year in the U.S., emergency physicians have an opportunity to screen and intervene in ways that may be very helpful without being very costly."
The study, titled, "Malnutrition Among Cognitively Intact, Non-Critically Ill Older Adults in the Emergency Department" was published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Assisted living homes serve nutrient-void food, making seniors suffer from malnutrition and deteriorating health conditionsThe study found that patients 65 and older who visited the ER were mostly just malnourished. Sixty percent were just lacking optimal nutrition or were at risk for malnutrition. Another 16 percent were severely malnourished and were hurting for nutrient absorption. When questioned, 77 percent of the ER patients said their primary care physician never even diagnosed them with malnutrition.
The study also broke down the reasons why the patients were hospitalized. Over half of the patients (52 percent) who showed symptoms of depression were really just void of nutrients.
Malnutrition was evident in the seniors who lived in assisted living centers. Half of the seniors living in assisted living centers were nutritionally depleted. This proves that there is a severe problem with the food supply that the assisted living centers serve to the seniors. Malnutrition was also high (38 percent) for seniors who had dentures problems or difficulty swallowing.
Dr. Platts-Mills suggested, "Implementation of oral nutritional supplementation is inexpensive and may reduce overall costs by accelerating recovery from illness and reducing readmissions."
Indeed, replacing a medical system centered around pharmaceutical drugs with a system based on nutrition could cut emergency room visits and bring quality of life back to seniors.
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