Do you feel sluggish and weak? Do you generally feel unwell or get sick more often than others? Does your mind seem unclear? Malnutrition can be a cause for any of these symptoms. Living a malnourished existence does not only occur in countries raft with food scarcity. You can have easy access to plenty of food and still fail to take in adequate nutrition.
Malnutrition not only develops due to the lack of calories or protein, but can also be caused by the under consumption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. As such, you may not appear emaciated, or might even be overweight, yet be malnourished just the same.
Nutrition means your body is receiving the appropriate amount of nutrients on a regular basis. Malnutrition is the aftermath condition when it does not. It’s highly conceivable you can eat way beyond your energy needs and still be substantially malnourished. Typical undernourished causes are poor choices, unavailability or if you suffer from one of many health conditions.
Putting all irrational excuses aside, too often poor choices are causing an ever increasing percentage of individuals weighing in well beyond what is healthy while simultaneously experiencing symptoms and consequences indicative of malnourishment. And when you’re eating too much of the wrong things and not exercising, taking too many vitamins or other dietary replacements can produce over nutrition. This health condition causes nutrient imbalance symptoms due to excess.
If you live in a nation having an overabundance of nutritious food available, then why systematically make yourself sick by choice?
Speaking of choice, unfortunately malnutrition does occur in many through no fault of their own. This cause stems from unavailability in a region as a whole or inability to afford what is available because of poverty. The basic lack of food is the most common cause of malnutrition in many countries. Natural disasters that affect production and distribution of food for an extended period can contribute to malnutrition as well.
Another main cause for malnutrition is if you suffer from any of one of these many underlying health conditions:
- food allergy
- cystic fibrosis
- celiac disease
- extreme dieting
- digestive disorder
- lactose intolerance
- intestinal parasites
- Alzheimer’s disease
- alcoholism, drug addiction
- aging associate appetite loss
- chronic kidney or liver disease
- eating disorders ~ anorexia, bulimia
- after bariatric, bowel resection surgery
Malnutrition has different effects based on which nutrients are deficient, so there’s a myriad of potential symptoms. Here’s just an example of some malnourished symptoms:
- dry skin
- hair loss
- skin rashes
- tooth decay
- easy bruising
- bleeding gums
- swollen tongue
- night blindness
- bones fractures
- muscle twitches
- irritability, anxiety
- muscle weakness
- soft, tender bones
- cracked, scaly lips
- unintentional weight loss
- thin with bloated stomach
- muscle coordination issues
- compromised immune function
- inattention, difficulty concentrating
Worldwide, iron deficiency leading to anemia is the cause for most cases of malnutrition.
Treatment for malnutrition starts with assessing what’s missing and then formulate a diet to restore the shortfall. Severe malnutrition may require parenteral nutrition. Those malnourished because of an underlying health condition may require further treatment.
Just because you over eat doesn’t mean your body is routinely receiving all the basic nutrients needed to function properly. You love those huge portions? Then a daily plate full of fruits and vegetables can help you sidestep the effects of malnutrition.