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Have loss of appetite, constipated, weak, coughing and seems disoriented. Underlying cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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81 yr old male, loss of appetite, constipated, growing weaker daily, back numb and leg, coughing, and seems disoriented.
Posted Tue, 23 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 2 hours later
Thank you so much for this query. I am Dr. Ditah and feel honored having this opportunity to address your health worry today. I am so sorry about what your father(supposed) has been experiencing lately.

From the history and symptoms you have reported a couple of things could be going on.
First, he is a diabetic patient on no medications. So what are his blood sugar readings now? A poorly controlled diabetes may be the reason for him to appear disoriented. Disorientation in elderly at times is caused by an acute infection. This may be a respiratory infection seen that he is coughing or possible another cause like appetite, constipation and growing weaker are all related. we can only go to stool if we eat. because he lacks the appetite to eat, there is nothing left in the intestines to be sent out as stools. also, because of his poor eating he will lack the energy he needs and will look weaker and would be loosing weight too.

Numbness in adults could really mean a lot of things. could represent just the normal decline in the nervous pathways or caused by diseases like diabetes. Getting a proper exam is going to be very important.

My suggestion is, get him to see a doctor for proper interview, exam and may be testing to identify the common cause to these problems. Though I have a list in mind, there is a lot lacking to make the definite diagnosis and mange accordingly. see a doctor and with the above information, it will help you to get the most out of this visit. Also, elderly patients always need a well oriented clinical encounter that I can not provide directly now.

I hope you find this helpful and provides enough information on how to approach this worry. I wish he gets relieved of all this soonest. If you have further questions related to the above query, please I am ready and very happy to address them.
Dr. Ditah, MD.

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