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For a Balanced and Nutrient Dense Diet

Malnutrition and undernourishment may occur due to various reasons like poor nutrient intake, poor absorption and other mental and physical causes. Measures should to be immediately taken to keep these twin conditions at bay

For a Balanced and Nutrient Dense Diet

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 Dec 2022 7:28 AM GMT

Malnutrition has a number of causes, including poor dietary decisions, earning little money, a shortage of food options, a variety of physical and mental health issues.

Inadequate nutrition or malnutrition occurs when a person's diet does not contain enough of certain nutrients or does not contain the appropriate ratio of nutrients for optimal health. A dietary imbalance causes malnutrition. It happens when someone eats too much or not enough food or essential nutrients. A person who is undernourished may lack certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for proper bodily function.

If people do not generally eat enough food, malnutrition may result. However, those who eat a lot of food but don't vary their diet enough may also become undernourished.

Malnutrition has a number of causes, including poor dietary decisions, earning little money, a shortage of food options, a variety of physical and mental health issues.

Under nutrition is a subtype of the condition known as malnutrition. This condition arises when the body is not provided with sufficient nutrients and food. It could eventually result in slow growth rate.

Malnutrition is a condition that can develop in a person if they do not consume an adequate quantity of all of the essential nutrients. It is possible to weigh significantly less than one's ideal body weight. If a person does not eat enough, adheres to a very restrictive diet, or has a medical condition that prevents their body from receiving the appropriate combination of nutrients, their health may suffer significantly. This does present a risk to the individual's life on occasion.

Malnutrition can cause problems with their health that are both temporary and permanent in nature, a sluggish recovery from illnesses and wounds; an increased likelihood of contracting an infection.

Health problems might result from specific deficiencies such as that of vitamin A, vitamin C, etc. Malnutrition can lead to marasmus, a severe form of malnutrition. Marasmus is caused by inadequate protein and calorie intake overall.

Some signs and symptoms of malnutrition are shedding of excess weight, an absence of hunger or the desire to consume food, a feeling of annoyance and weariness, inattention or failure to pay attention, enduring a persistent case of the cold, depression, wasting away of fat, muscle, and other tissues of the body, a greater likelihood of being ill and experiencing a slower and more drawn-out recovery, prolonged periods for wound healing. A person may eventually experience cardiac failure.

Malnutrition symptoms in children can differ from those in adults.

The following conditions may exist in kids:

• Little mass and poor development.

• Weariness and insufficient energy.

• Irritation and anxiety

• Slow behavioural and cognitive growth, which could lead to learning challenges.

Malnutrition, though, occasionally has long-term effects.


Numerous things can lead to malnutrition and the possible causes are:

• Low consumption of food

• Some people experience malnutrition as a result of inadequate dietary intake, problems with nutritional absorption, or both.

• Malnutrition and under nutrition may lead to: depression, dementia, schizophrenia, bulimia nervosa, mobility and social challenges.

The following elements may have an impact on a person's eating patterns and result in malnutrition:

Incapable of leaving the house or going to a store to buy food.

Having physical challenges while cooking

Living alone can make it harder to get motivated to cook and eat.

Possessing poor cooking skills

Having insufficient money to buy food

Illnesses of the digestive system and stomach problems

If the body is unable to absorb nutrients effectively, even a healthy diet may not be able to prevent malnutrition.

Some illnesses that can affect the digestive system and the gastrointestinal tract and cause this symptom are:

These illnesses are Crohn's disease, inflammatory colitis, celiac sickness, nausea and/or vomiting that won't go away, drinking disorder. Abuse of alcohol can, over time, cause damage to the pancreas as well as gastroenteritis. Because of these difficulties, it could be difficult to: take in food and ingest vitamins.

Due to the fact that alcohol includes calories, a person could not experience feelings of hunger after drinking it. As a consequence of this, they were unable to consume sufficient quantities of food high in nutrients to meet the requirements of their bodies.

In many regions of the world where there is a scarcity of food, malnutrition is a widespread problem that often has long-term effects.

On the other hand, in wealthy countries, the populations that are most at risk of malnutrition are the people who are elderly, particularly those who are unwell or who are receiving long-term care in an institution. People with modest incomes, those with terrible illnesses or conditions, or those who are recuperating from them and the people who have difficulty absorbing nutrients are also at risk.

Psychotherapy may help those with long-term eating disorders like bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

When to seek medical advice

• A person should seek medical assistance if they exhibit a few key signs of malnutrition. These signs consist of:

higher than 5 per cent weight loss that wasn't anticipated or explicable throughout the preceding three to six months.

• Additional nutritional indicators are appearing.

• A worry that another person might be displaying signs of malnutrition

• Anyone who displays eating disorder symptoms or notices these in another person should get help.

• Similar to this, if a loved one shows signs of malnutrition, it is best to suggest that they see a doctor. Some people might not recognise the symptoms in themselves, but their loved ones might.


The first thing to do if someone displays signs or symptoms of malnutrition is to identify the source.

A doctor may assess a patient's condition if they have a suspicion that they have Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or another illness by: asking for a medical history, performing a physical examination, and ordering evaluation.

Treatment of root causes can improve nutritional status.

According to a credible source, a healthcare worker may also carry out the following tasks:

Blood tests that are relatively simple for monitoring and screening purposes

Analysing samples for specific minerals, such as iron or vitamin content, among others

Tests for albumin, which can point to problems with the liver or the kidneys


If malnutrition is found, a treatment plan will be developed by a doctor. The patient might also need to see a dietician or other healthcare professionals.

The course of treatment will be determined by the severity of the malnutrition as well as the presence or absence of any additional illnesses or consequences that may be present.

It may include the following:

Screening and surveillance.

Preparing a meal plan, which may or may not involve taking supplements

Care of specific symptoms, including motion sickness and nausea.

Taking care of any possible infections that might arise.

Examination of the lips and the swallowing process for any signs of trouble

Supplying different eating utensils

In extreme circumstances, a physician might administer sustenance through intravenous injection (through an IV).

The individual will continue to be monitored to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate nourishment.


In order to prevent malnutrition, it is necessary for people to ingest a wide variety of nutrients that come from a wide variety of food sources.

People of advanced age, youngsters, those who suffer from serious or persistent illnesses, and possibly even others, may require additional assistance in order to obtain the necessary nutrients.

Anyone displaying signs of malnutrition or undernutrition should see a doctor for a diagnosis and course of action.

Malnutrition is a result of a poor diet. It can result from undernutrition or from an excess of nutrients or over nutrition. However, poor food choices are not necessarily the cause of malnutrition.

The top priority of many healthcare professionals is helping patients overcome malnutrition. Together, a doctor and patient can determine more nutrient-dense meals and look into possible reasons for malnutrition.

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