Many of us are exposed at some stages to malnutrition for various reasons, including the lack of access to the materials the body needs from basic foodstuffs or part of them.
Malnutrition ranges from mild to severe cases that cause irreversible damage even if a person survives.
Evolution of pathological malnutrition
Pathological malnutrition develops gradually and is difficult to diagnose at its inception, so it may cause great physical harm. Thus, prior knowledge of malnutrition symptoms contributes to prompt treatment at its onset.
“Web Medicine” believes that malnutrition when it is linked to a shortage of food, or a misunderstanding of nutritional needs, the authorities responsible for public health must solve this problem and prevent its occurrence by paying attention to providing sufficient quantities of food, and raising awareness of proper nutrition. Pathological malnutrition, or as a result of neglect and eating disorders, the responsibility in this case rests with the attending physicians.
Symptoms of malnutrition
There are many symptoms of malnutrition, which are as follows:
Symptoms of general malnutrition
- Loss of appetite and not wanting to eat or drink.
- Fatigue and a feeling of restlessness.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- feeling cold.
- Loss of muscle or body fat.
- Increased risk of disease.
- Difficulty healing wounds.
- Frequent exposure to postoperative complications.
Symptoms of malnutrition in children
- Slow growth and weight loss.
- Fatigue and loss of energy.
- Slow behavior and difficulty learning.
Causes and factors of malnutrition
This deficiency occurs if the body does not obtain one or more of the vital elements required to carry out its functions normally, or due to malabsorption of the nutrients present in a part of the food despite the availability of the quantity and elements required in it.
Among the most important factors that lead to a lack of food intake are the following:
- getting cancer.
- liver problems
- Health problems that cause difficulty swallowing.
- Take some medications that cause nausea.
Mental health problems
Among the most prominent mental illnesses that cause malnutrition are:
- Anorexia nervosa.
Diseases of the digestive system
Diseases of the digestive system may cause problems in absorbing food, which leads to malnutrition, and the most important of these diseases are:--
- Crohn’s disease.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Celiac disease.
- Diarrhea or continuous vomiting.
Drinking alcohol may cause gastritis, or damage to the pancreas, which leads to difficulty in digesting food or absorbing nutrients from it, which leads to malnutrition.-
most at risk of malnutrition
Infants and children in the growing generation are more vulnerable to the damage of malnutrition, which will result in sluggishness, delayed growth and development, anemia, and signs of vitamin deficiencies.
The needs of the child necessitate the provision of good nutrition to the mother, and the lack of food in general may lead to premature birth, and the lack of folic acid in the diet of the pregnant woman can lead to congenital damage to the nervous system of the fetus, and the lack of obtaining vitamin B12 would lead to a deficiency in this Vitamin for a newborn baby.
The inability to regulate nutritional needs, or malabsorption of nutrients, especially iron, may result in malnutrition in the elderly.
People with chronic diseases
Diseases associated with malabsorption of nutrients, or diseases that put stress on the body and are usually accompanied by anorexia, necessitate attention to provide rich nutrition to ensure the body’s ability to perform its functions.
Complications of malnutrition
- The weak immunity of the patient and the speed of his exposure to infection.
- Wound healing problems.
- Difficulty balancing salts and fluids inside the body.
- Difficulty controlling temperature.
Patients are treated according to the health status and cause of malnutrition, but in general malnutrition is dealt with in the following ways:
Treatment of malnutrition in simple cases
- Eat fortified food rich in protein.
- Make sure to eat snacks between main meals.
- Drinking beverages full of calories.
- Avoid excessive movement and stay home.
In the event that the previous tips do not meet the purpose, the doctor may prescribe nutritional supplements and drinks rich in calories and nutrients.
Treatment of severe malnutrition cases
In the event that the patient is unable to take food orally, or if he is exposed to a health problem that impedes swallowing, the doctor may install a feeding tube that enters directly from the nose towards the stomach, and the patient may be fed intravenously.
- Increase the intake of vegetables and fruits.
- Eat a diet rich in starchy foods, such as: rice, bread, potatoes, and pasta.
- Drinking milk and eating dairy products.
- Ensure that food contains protein, and among the most important foods rich in protein: fish, meat, eggs, and beans.