Definition of "Malnutrition"

Last modified: 17 days



Malnutrition (aka malnourishment) results from eating a diet, in which nutrients are either not enough, or are too much such that the diet causes health problems. Undernutrition or undernourishment is not enough nutrients.

Sx
  • Starvation is extreme undernourishment, and may have Sx, including:
    • Short height
    • Thin body
    • Very poor energy levels
    • Swollen legs and abdomen
    • Often get infections
    • Frequently cold
  • Sx of micronutrient deficiencies, depend on the micronutrient that is lacking
Pathophysiology
  • It involves not enough calories, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals
  • Common micronutrient deficiencies include a lack of iron, iodine, and vitamin A
Classification

2 main types of undernutrition:

  • Protein-energy malnutrition, which has 2 severe forms, including:
    • Marasmus, a lack of protein and calories
    • Kwashiorkor, a lack of just protein
  • Dietary deficiencies
Cause
  • Not enough high quality food being available to eat, most often. This is often related to high food prices and poverty
  • Lack of breastfeeding
  • Numerous infectious diseases, e.g. gastroenteritis, pneumonia, malaria, an dmeasles, which icnrease nutrient requirement
  • During pregnancy, due to the body's increased need, deficiencies may become more common
  • Overnutrition in the form of obesity is beginning to present within the same communitieis as undernutrition
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bariatric surgery
Complications
  • Permanent problems with physical and mental development, if undernutrition occurs during pregnancy, or before 2yo
See also

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Definition of Malnutrition | Autoprac


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