Tea and toast syndrome is a form of malnutrition experienced by elderly people who are unable to prepare meals and tend to themselves. Their diets often dwindle to tea and toast resulting in a deficiency of vitamins and other nutrients. The syndrome often manifests itself as hyponatremia, a deficit of sodium, due to the lack of salt in the diet.
The syndrome often occurs once children have moved away, and a partner has died. An elderly person with nobody left to cook for, or without the skills to cook will revert to a diet of simple foods such as bread, cheese and crackers, and tinned foods.
Factors that lead to the syndrome include social isolation, psychological issues such as depression, illness and physical limitations.