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Malnutrition Problems

Nutritional problems are a frequently encountered situation in our country and in the world. Malnutrition problems constitute the majority of nutritional problems caused by various reasons or diseases. In malnourished people, many diseases or symptoms may occur due to vitamin and mineral deficiency. “What are the malnutrition problems?” and “What are the signs of malnutrition?” If you are curious, you can follow the rest of our content.

What is Malnutrition?

In the case of malnutrition, the nutritional elements are not met through nutrients as much as the body’s needs. Missing nutrients cannot participate in energy metabolism and malnutrition occurs. In malnutrition, there is a lack of nutrients, while in an unbalanced diet, there is a shortage of nutrients as well as excess intake. Malnutrition problems can be seen in pregnancy and lactation periods, preterm births, infancy and childhood periods, old age, and people with diseases that affect the diet such as Crohn’s disease. When a person’s diet is completely changed, he cannot adapt and although his weight is in the healthy range, while consumption of some of the nutrients accumulates, inadequacies may occur in the consumption of others.

Malnutrition Problems

Symptoms of Malnutrition Problems

Insufficient nutrient and energy intake in the body causes some metabolic events to be disrupted or progressed incorrectly.

The problems that occur show themselves with various symptoms. Symptoms that indicate malnutrition include:

Low energy, i.e. fatigue and weakness.
Hair loss caused by the deficiency of nutrients such as biotin, zinc and iron.
Prolonged hunger caused by hormonal changes.
Difficulty getting pregnant.
Sleeping disorders.
state of irritability.
Depression and anxiety.
Chills that occur because the body cannot produce the heat to warm itself with the energy taken.
Forgetfulness and confusion.
Being sick more quickly and often due to decreased immunity.
The prolongation of the period between menstrual periods or the absence of menstruation.
Short stature or low weight for height in children.
Edema formation.

Who Are the Persons at Risk of Malnutrition?

While the person’s malnutrition may be due to his own preferences, it may not develop due to himself. Conditions such as aging or being a child, not being able to reach every nutrient due to low income, and having a chronic disease are risk factors for people. Certain diseases or conditions can also cause malnutrition problems. Nausea, difficulty swallowing or recurrent diarrhea reduce food intake. In mental problems such as depression, appetite may decrease and food intake may be insufficient. Pancreatic insufficiency, inflammatory bowel diseases, restricted diets, cancer will also cause insufficient food intake. The fact that vegetarians or vegans cannot meet the nutritional elements they can get from animal sources also creates a risk. These people need to pay extra attention to their nutrition and make up for the deficiencies in alternative ways. The diets of people at risk should be closely monitored and supplements prescribed by the doctor should be taken when necessary.

Problems Related to Nutritional Deficiency in the Body

Sufficient energy cannot be provided to the body in insufficient food intake, and the body begins to break down its tissues in order to provide the necessary energy for itself. Although body fat stores are burned at first, they continue in the form of muscles, skin tissues, hair and nail tissues over time. If there is malnutrition at a young age, height growth may be low for age and cause stunting. When the energy is not taken, the body starts to shut down the systems where it spends more energy. The first of these systems is the immune system. With decreased immunity, the risk of contracting diseases increases and recovery from disease formation becomes more difficult. Post-immune cardiac activity decreases. Heart rate slows down, blood pressure drops, body temperature decreases, and faintness and loss of appetite occur. The digestive system cannot be fed adequately due to loss of appetite and low food intake, and its functioning decreases. Decreased digestive system activity makes it difficult to absorb nutrients even in insufficient food intake. Not only insufficient energy intake, but also insufficient vitamin and mineral intake by taking too many calories can be. In such cases, the weight of the person increases, but the susceptibility to diseases continues. It causes problems such as anemia, fatigue, high blood pressure, insulin resistance to be seen in overweight people.

Malnutrition Problems

Which Diseases Can Occur As A Result Of Inadequate and Unbalanced Nutrition?

Protein-energy malnutrition such as Marasmus and Kuvashiorkor may occur due to the inadequacy of the nutrients taken. These diseases are general hunger diseases and are frequently seen in malnourished populations. Apart from these, there are also diseases related to insufficient intake of certain nutrients. Problems seen in malnutrition include:

Scurvy due to vitamin C deficiency.
Night blindness due to vitamin A deficiency.
Dental caries.
Osteoporosis (bone loss).
Iron and folic acid deficiency anemia.
Osteomalacia (softening of the bone).
Rickets (bone softening in children).
Neural tube defect (congenital disorder that affects the formation of the spinal cord and brain).
premature birth.
Weakening in the muscles.
Nutrient absorption deficiencies.
Delays in wound healing.
Lactose intolerance.
Hair loss.
Nail breaks.
Beriberi (nervous system and skin disease seen in vitamin B1 deficiency) .
Pellagra (burn-like spots on the hands, neck, face and feet).
Bubbles in the tongue.
memory difficulties

Since the nutritional needs of the person can change according to age and gender, the frequency of the diseases that occur also changes. In children, pregnant and lactating children, as they are in the developmental period or their energy needs increase, the need for some of the nutrients may increase and if they are not met, malnutrition problems occur. If we look at the problems related to malnutrition by age and gender:

Malnutrition problems in children aged 0-5;

Protein-energy malnutrition.
Iron deficiency anemia.
Iodine deficiency diseases.
Malnutrition problems in school-age children and adolescents aged 5-18;

Nutritional anemia.
Iodine deficiency diseases.
Dental caries.
Malnutrition problems that can be seen in women;

Iron deficiency anemia.
Folic acid deficiency anemia.
Iodine deficiency diseases.
Chronic diseases.

Malnutrition problems that can be seen in men;

Iron deficiency anemia.
Iodine deficiency diseases.

How to Prevent Poor and Unbalanced Nutrition Problems?

A balanced and healthy diet is necessary to prevent malnutrition problems. Having a diet that is appropriate for the age and gender of the person, suitable for daily physical activity, and compatible with the disease, if any, will reduce inadequate intake of nutrients and nutrients. Taking fortified products (such as iodized salt) makes it easier to meet the nutrients that are likely to be deficient. Consumption of necessary vitamin D and folic acid supplements under the supervision of a doctor during pregnancy and lactation periods is of great importance for the health of both the mother and the baby. Individuals who do not consume animal sources, take the missing nutrients in the form of supplements or with a diet plan, which prevents malnutrition problems. The person should not take nutritional supplements without the doctor’s control, and if there is a deficiency as a result of the tests, he should use the prescribed supplements in the recommended amounts and for the duration.

Malnutrition is a problem that causes some of today’s diseases and affects individuals and society. It is important for the person to know and meet his/her needs in an appropriate way. Malnutrition can be seen not only in thin people, but also in people of normal weight or obesity. It should be considered not only as a calorie deficit, but also as a deficiency of some nutrients and nutrients. Although the lack of all nutrients is a problem, the fact that some of them are not taken as needed also creates various problems. If you think that you are malnourished or have problems due to malnutrition, you can apply to a health institution and have your check-ups.

The content of the page is for informational purposes only. Please consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.