Patient: My 84 year-old Grandmother currently suffers from bronchiectasis and is underweight. She is 5’1″ and weighs 83 pounds. Approximately seven years ago, she was diagnosed with shingles and has since recovered. During her affliction with shingles, she lost 20 pounds and has not been able to gain any weight. Also, she lives on a fixed income and cannot afford high-priced or gourmet foods and supplements. How can I help her to gain weight?
Doctor: According to your grandmothers height and weight her BMI ( basal Metabolic Index ) is 15.8. The normal values for BMI is 20-25. Thus she is considered underweight. However it is important to remember that as the body grows older and more frail and with chronic disesases like bronchiectasis, the weight does decrease and this may not be pathological.Get her to eat healthy and eat the right food like fresh fruits , vegetables,white meats , fish , almonds and walnuts. The important thing right now for her is to eat energy rich healthy foods and not necessarily foods that are high in cholesterol and will make her put on weight.