Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. If you don't get enough nutrients -- including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals - you may suffer from malnutrition.

Causes of malnutrition include:

  • Lack of specific nutrients in your diet. Even the lack of one vitamin can lead to malnutrition.
  • An unbalanced diet
  • Certain medical problems, such as malabsorption syndromes and cancers

Symptoms may include fatigue, dizziness, and weight loss. Or, you may have no symptoms. To diagnose the cause of the problem, your doctor may do blood tests and a nutritional assessment. Treatment may include replacing the missing nutrients and treating the underlying cause.

Symptoms of Malnutrition

The following features are indicative of Malnutrition:
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • weight loss
  • moon face
  • dry eyes
  • periorbital edema
  • parotid enlargement
  • enamel mottling
  • brittle hair
  • loose and wrinkled skin
  • thin and soft nail plate
It is possible that Malnutrition shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Malnutrition

The following are the most common causes of Malnutrition:
  • intake of unbalanced diet
  • malabsorption syndromes
  • cancers
  • chronic illness

Risk Factors for Malnutrition

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Malnutrition:
  • not breastfeed
  • gastroenteritis
  • pneumonia
  • malaria
  • measles

Prevention of Malnutrition

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Malnutrition. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • eat a balanced diet

Occurrence of Malnutrition

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Malnutrition cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Malnutrition can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Malnutrition can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Malnutrition

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Malnutrition:
  • Anthropometric, biochemical and immunological test: To assess the nutritional state

Doctor for Diagnosis of Malnutrition

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Malnutrition:
  • General physicians
  • Pediatricians
  • Critical care nurses

Complications of Malnutrition if untreated

Yes, Malnutrition causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Malnutrition is left untreated:
  • coeliac disease

Self-care for Malnutrition

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Malnutrition:
  • Avoid Fast Food: Lessens the chances of nutrients deficiency
  • Regular exercise: Keeps you healthy
  • Keep weight under control: Reduces susceptibility to disease

Patient Support for Treatment of Malnutrition

The following actions may help Malnutrition patients:
  • Nutritious food: Encourage the loved one to eat foods packed with nutrients
  • Between-meal snacks: Plan between-meal snacks
  • Social events: Encourage your loved one to join meals social programs
  • Physical activity: Encourage regular physical activity

Time for Treatment of Malnutrition

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Malnutrition to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Malnutrition.
Body Weight
Child Nutrition
Infant and Newborn Nutrition
Malabsorption Syndromes
Nutrition for Seniors

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