Malnutrition is a condition in which a body gets too little nutrients. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes essential for the body. Malnutrition occurs when the body lacks nutrients. It can onset some other health concerns, and the body becomes more vulnerable to diseases and infections. Furthermore, the body’s ability to recover and heal also declines.
Difference Between Malnutrition And Undernutrition
Malnutrition occurs when the body gets too little of certain nutrients. In contrast, undernutrition is a condition in which the body lacks nutrients due to an inadequate diet or limited diet. Since undernutrition is due to poor diet, thus a body lacks in the overall content of nutrients.
Symptoms Of Malnutrition
A body may exhibit some signs and symptoms that could indicate malnutrition of the body. Some of these signs are
- Decreased appetite
- Increased tiredness
- Inability to focus and concentrate
- Loss of body mass and fats
- Vulnerability to sickness and diseases
- Long healing time
- Feeling cold
Children may exhibit a lack of growth and development. Moreover, low body weight in children is also associated with malnutrition in children. Also, retarded intellectual and behavioral development in children is common in children with malnutrition. However, it is a serious issue, but it can be treated.
Causes Of Malnutrition
Food is the main source of nutrition, so food options and likes make up the leading cause of malnutrition. There are so many reasons that could result in malnutrition. Let us review some main causes that result in malnutrition.
1. Low Food Intake
Skipping certain food groups and nutrient sources is the cause of malnutrition. For instance, people that rely only on a vegan diet are more likely to develop iron and folic acid deficiencies. Likewise, people reluctant to add fruits to their diet may run short on some essential vitamins and minerals.
Sometimes it is not about food options; the inability to take enough food due to some medical problems may also lead to malnutrition. For instance, some stomach issues, chronic diseases such as cancer and liver disease make it difficult to take sufficient food. Nausea is another main cause of the inability to take required amounts of food and result in malnutrition.
2. Mental Health Condition
Mental health conditions, mainly depression and stress, increase malnutrition by directly influencing appetite and food intake. People often exhibit behavioral changes when under stress, depression, and other mental health conditions. This behavioral change also encompasses inappropriate intake of food and loss of appetite.
Anorexia Nervosa is a mental health condition that affects healthy eating patterns. With it desire to eat and take food diminishes and results in malnutrition. It is important to get such mental health problems fixed and treated, which might lead to health concerns associated with malnutrition.
3. Digestive Disorders
The digestive system is the main place where food is processed, and nutrients are absorbed. Problems anywhere in the digestive system can directly influence eating patterns, and eating habits may cause malnutrition.
Some common digestive problems that may become a possible cause of malnutrition include Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, ulcers anywhere in the digestive system, and frequent diarrhea can negatively influence appetite.
4. Alcohol Disorder
Consuming too much alcohol can also lead to malnutrition for numerous reasons. First, alcohol also has calories, and it makes a person feel fuller and consumes less food. Secondly, too much alcohol can cause gastritis, long-term damage to the pancreas, making it difficult to digest food and absorb nutrients, thus resulting in malnutrition.
If a person suffers from malnutrition derived from alcohol abuse, then he must seek assistance to give up on alcohol or limit its intake. Numerous rehabs such as Sunrise House Treatment Center are working to help those facing difficulty in handling drug abuse. If you are also struggling with such problem, you may contact them for assistance.
Malnutrition can give rise to serious health consequences. It is treatable and needs immediate attention. Malnutrition could occur when a body lacks some of the essential nutrients required for healthy processing and development by the body.
There are numerous causes of malnutrition. Some main reasons are low food intake, mental health conditions, digestive disorders, and alcohol abuse. It is important to address such issues to maintain a healthy and fit body.