Malnutrition is a condition, wherein, an imbalance of vital nutrients occurs, due to an inadequate consumption of nutritious foods. Malnutrition could occur at any age; and presents the following symptoms.
- Dry skin with scales
- Weakness of the muscles
- Osteoporosis and brittleness of the bones
- Swollen joint, joint pain
- Slow reflexes
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Bloated stomach
- Bleeding gums
- Poorly functioning immune system
- Kwashiorkor and Marasmus are very commonly seen in children who are malnourished.
Causes of Malnutrition
The chief causes for malnourishment are:
- Poverty is the principal cause.
- An insufficient intake of nutritious and wholesome food causes symptoms of malnutrition to develop.
- People suffering from chronic diseases like cancer, AIDS, etc. can fall prey to malnutrition.
- Excessive alcohol intake leads to appetite loss and an increased risk of malnutrition.
- Obese people who embark on to fad diets may get malnourished.
Causes of Malnutrition in Children
Important causes of malnourishment in children are:
- Vitamin deficincies
Malnutrition Treatment Guidelines
Once the condition has been diagnosed, it is essential to start prompt treatment. Visiting a nutritionist is strongly recommended. Consuming a balanced and complete meal will help manage the symptoms of malnutrition effectively.
Step up the daily intake of protein rich foods – pulses and legumes, fish, eggs, and milk. Also, increase you intake of wholes cereals and yogurt.In extreme cases, protein supplements along with mineral and vitamin supplements need to be administered as well.