This is insufficient intake of nutrients or improper absorption of nutrients.
It can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which are harmful to the body, and can lead to health complications.
It also refers to both over and under nutrition.
Cause of malnourishment
Malnutrition is a global effect that affects 30% of the world’s children .It is caused by many different things ,some of which are poverty , lack of food awareness and poor sanitation.
Malnutrition in children and effect on brain development
Malnutrition in children have been found to have a negative effect on brain development .
Children are especially affected by this issue because their brains are still developing.
Research has shown that this can lead to reduced mental ability ,lower IQ , and memory problems .
It has also been linked to behavioral issues such as aggression and anxiety.
This is why pregnant women are advise to always take healthy diet before giving birth as this will ensure that breast milk become nutritize to the baby.
Malnutrition in adults and how it can cause long-term health problems
It can lead to health problems such as anemia or diabetes mellitus type 2 .
People with anemia may feel tired or weak because the body is not getting enough oxygen to function properly .
Causes of malnutrition
Poor diet – meals may be low in quantity,nutrients,and density or eaten infrequently
Family food insecurity
Unfair sharing of food in families
Inadequate health services
Lack of information
Lack of resources of all levels
Symptoms of malnutrition
- Reduced muscle and tissue mass
- Decreased mobility and stamina as a result of muscle wasting
- Breathing difficulties and an increased risk of chest infection and respiratory failure
- Wounds take longer to heal and illnesses take longer to recover from
- Slower immune response
- Fertility problems
Effects of malnutrition
Poor wound healing – when the body lacks proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates, the body cannot heal. Malnutrition is not only responsible for increased risk of infections but also of impairing and delaying healing from common diseases or surgery
Wasting syndrome (cachexia) – this is one of the most evident one and very dangerous. A person suffering from this looks as if they have shrunk and withered. The skin also becomes dry. The hair falls out and there is risk for pressure ulcers, blood clots and hip fractures.
Kidneys – can cause failure in the regulation of salt and fluid, which in turn can trigger over hydration or dehydration
Brain – mental illness can cause malnutrition, which can be decisive factor in the development of mental illnesses such as depression
Reproduction – Reduced fertility and a poor sex drive are other effects of malnutrition
Impaired temperature regulation – people who endure severe body loss due to under nutrition find themselves unable to store body heat which can lead to hypothermia.
When you see the above signs, its always advisable to seek doctor’s advice even if you are finding the signs not “very serious” as some people usually refer to. When you find yourself losing appetite, please seek medical help immediately to avoid such cases happening.