Malnutrition is a state in which a body does not get the required amount of proteins, mineral, and vitamins which it needs to function properly and maintain healthy tissue. It may also be caused by excessive intake of the specific nutrient, overeating.
A person will experience malnutrition if sufficient amount of nutrients are not consumed by an individual.
Symptoms of Malnutrition
- The most fundamental symptom of malnutrition in weight loss
- Clothes, belts, jewelry seems to become looser over time
- Feeling tired all the time.
- Getting sick frequently and taking a long time to recover
- Inability to concentrate
- Very high risk of complexity after surgery
- Difficulty in breathing
- The cheeks become hollow and eyes become sunken because of loss of fat from the face
- Depression is very common. This could be either the cause or effect of malnutrition
- Very often getting infected
Causes of Malnutrition
- Low intake of food
This may be a symptom of an illness. The Dentures may not be fitted properly which contribute to not having sufficient food.
- Dirty surrounding
The unhygienic condition at home or in school contributes a lot to malnutrition. These places become dirty if it does not have a sufficient amount of fresh air, sunlight, clean floor etc. These all things lead to malnourishment in children.
- Lack of Sound Sleep
Congested and a suffocating bedroom can hamper the sleep of a child. Excessive use of mobile phones and watching television till late night can result in indigestion and causes malnutrition.
- Lack of Outdoor activities
Nowadays children are mostly engaged in mobile phones and television because of this there is a lack of physical activities in children which result in slow digestive process and causes malnutrition.
- Elderly people living alone
Handicapped or old people living away from their family have difficulty in cooking healthy, balanced and nutrient-rich food for themselves which take them towards malnutrition. These people who are suffering from malnutrition from a very long time lose their ability to recover faster from it.
- Illiteracy and Avoidance
Illiterate people many a time are unaware of the dietary requirement of their children which makes their child either too obese or too skinny and overweight. Avoidance towards the health of children causes many problems.
- Improper Medical facility
The medical facility in the rural area is quite poor and also the parents staying in a rural area cannot afford the doctors visit. Because of this, there are high chances that the malnourished children don’t recover soon.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage your pancreas which in turn makes it complex to digest food, absorb vitamins and produce hormones that regulate metabolism.
- Treatment of Malnutrition at home
The dietitian discusses the diet with the patient and recommends them to follow the diet plan in order to improve the nutrient intake. Keeping the track of Body Mass Index to check for responsiveness of body to dietary plans.
The intake of proteins, water, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals needs to be increased in some patients. The patients who have difficulty in swallowing or chewing the food should be given soft or pureed food so that they can have it easily.
- Treatment of malnutrition at the Hospital
You will be treated by a team of physicians and health care provider who manages malnutrition patients. A doctor who specializes in treating digestive condition i.e gastroenterologist. A dietician who will look after the intake of your food. A social worker who will give you moral support to overcome from malnutrition.
- Treatment of malnutrition of those who are unable to take food from the mouth
It is impossible for some patients to have food from the mouth. So, in this case, artificial tubes are inserted via the nose to the stomach which is used for feeding the person. These tubes are called Nasogastric tubes and can be used only for feeding liquid.
- Treatment of malnutrition in Children
The requirement of minerals is generally high during the growth years of a child and these demands should be met adequately. For this reason, a regular visit to the pediatrician assessing the adequate increase in height and weight is essential.
- Treatment of malnutrition in Pregnant women
Non-pregnant women require more calorie than pregnant women as their fetus grow. Iron, Folic acid and other vitamins and minerals should be added to the food of pregnant.