Malnutrition – It’s not about skinny people
What is malnutrition?
Malnutrition is usually caused by deficiency of vitamins and minerals, especially iron, zinc, vitamin A and iodine. It can be seen in both children and adults.
There are two cases of malnutrition: undernutrition and overnutrition. Undernutrition is a condition in which the body does not get enough protein, calories and other micronutrients, making people light-weighted and short.
Overnutrition is a condition in which the body is not skinny, or even overweight or obese due to high caloric intake without adequate nutrition. It can be caused by an unhealthy diet with plenty of oil, salt, sugar, fat and a little green vegetables. Many people still think fat means strong, but in fact, even overweight people may not have balanced and adequate nutrition to maintain good health.
Signs of malnutrition
Signs of undernutrition can be seen easily. They include weight loss, sunken cheeks, dark circles, swollen abdomen, dry hair and skin, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, anxiety, depression, slow health of wounds and cuts.
People with overnutrition will be more difficult to recognize. You can get regular health checks to monitor your health condition. The tools used to identify undernutrition include body mass index (BMI), blood tests for micronutrient status in the body.
Deficiency of essential micronutrients makes the body susceptible to common diseases:
- Vitamin A: dry eyes, night blindness, susceptible to infection
- Zinc: loss of appetite, slow growth, hair loss, diarrhea
- Iron: weakened brain function, stomach diseases
- Iodine: goiter, reduce thyroid hormone production
Long-term malnutrition can lead to depression, poor body's natural resistance or even death. If you have a history of losing weight, obesity or you eat mostly fast foods, you may not get enough vitamins or minerals. To find out whether you lack nutrition, discuss your eating habits with your doctor first.
Malnutrition is a disease that affects both mental and physical health. It is particularly dangerous in adults because this condition is often detected late. If you find yourself or someone you know has signs of malnutrition, talk to doctor as soon as possible.
Popular causes of malnutrition
- Stress due to work, insomnia weakens your body or unhealthy diet makes you skip meals. In the long run, these conditions will lead to anorexia and loss of appetite.
- Problems with digestion and nutrient absorption: some diseases like Crohn's disease, celiac disease and overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines can cause malnutrition.
- Drinking too much alcohol and using heavy alcohol can lead to inadequate protein, calories and micronutrients.
- Depression and other mental health conditions can lead to an increased risk of malnutrition.
Prevent and treat malnutrition
The most effective way to prevent malnutrition is to set up a healthy diet that includes carbs, proteins, iron, zinc, iodine, vitamins and water. Decorating your meal with beautiful dishes in various colors also helps to improve your appetite.
In addition, you should also practice exercises or play sports. Physical activity improves metabolism and prevents overweight effectively.
Finally, balance your life, get rid of your worries. You should adjust your work, chat with your family and friends, share your thoughts more. Exploring new things to help refresh your spirit is also a great remedy for a better lifestyle.
By: Anna Bennett