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What causes malnutrition?
What causes malnutrition?

Malnutrition is a condition that develops when a person eats unbalanced diet that is either deficient in certain nutrients or contains overdoses of certain nutrients. When a person takes this diet for prolonged time then this condition arises. Malnutrition leads to many chronic diseases if prevailed for a long time and may drag you to the black-hole of death. Malnutrition involves the two


Under-nutrition (mostly characterized by stunting, wasting, weight loss etc).
Over-nutrition (it is characterized by weight gain that is overweight or obesity).
But malnutrition when is used it commonly leads to under-nutrition that is the most threatening condition in developing countries. Malnutrition is due to many causes that also involves socioeconomic disasters along with other health issues. This article discusses the types, causes and symptoms of malnutrition.
Types of malnutrition:
As, a bit of knowledge is also given in introduction about the types of malnutrition but here there will be the explanation. There are two types of malnutrition:


This is a type of malnutrition that results from not getting enough proteins, calories or micro-nutrients. This type involves the conditions of stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height) or under-weight.
The major categories resulting from under-nutrition are:
Protein energy malnutrition (PEM)
Micro-nutrient deficiencies
These two categories are explained below:

Protein Energy Malnutrition:|MALNUTRITION

This condition arrives when the sparing action of carbohydrates and fats is no more. If a person is getting consistently a calorie deficient diet or poor diet (low in protein) or is not getting its complete body energy requirement from the food that he/she eats, the body starts degrading the body protein for energy purpose to thrive the life. This is known as the protein energy malnutrition. The two pathetic conditions that usually results from the PEM are;


This condition usually occur in an older child when a new child is born and mother shifts the older one from breast-feeding to weaning that is taking the diets more in carbohydrates. Due to protein deficiency stunting occurs. The skin flakes and may ulcerate. Characteristic features of this pathetic condition are edema mainly accumulates in abdomen, fatty liver, liver enlargement, depigmentation of hair and skin and wasting etc. it usually occur due to inadequate protein intake.


It is one extreme form of protein-energy malnutrition in developing countries. It usually occurs due to inadequate intake of protein and calorie (carbohydrates). The major symptoms include severe muscle wasting with little or no edema, minimal subcutaneous fat and abnormal levels of albumin in serum. The child has a wizened appearance and may develop diarrhea and stomach swelling. The child becomes more susceptible to infections. It usually occurs in early months of life, often early weaning from the breast.

Micro-nutrient deficiencies:|MALNUTRITION

Under-nutrition also occurs due to the deficiency of dietary nutrients especially micro-nutrients. Some of most common deficiencies and their symptoms include: Vitamin A: dry eyes, night blindness, increased risk of infection
Zinc: appetite loss, stunted growth, delayed healing of wounds, hair loss, diarrhea
Iron: it is mostly important in the conditions of pregnancy and lactation. Its deficiency may results in impaired brain function, fluctuations in the body temperature, stomach issues
Iodine: its deficiency results in goiter, reduced production of thyroid hormones, growth and development issues
So, under-nutrition leads to serious physical and health issues that can enhance your risk of death.

Common symptoms of under-nutrition:|MALNUTRITION

The common symptoms of under-nutrition are:
Weight loss
Muscle mass loss
Hollow cheeks and sunken eyes
swelled stomach
Dry hair and skin
Delayed wound healing
Impaired mental health
Depression and anxiety
Loss of fats


Over-nutrition is a condition in which a person gains on weight and become obese or over-weight. The main signs of over-nutrition are;
but it can also lead to nutrient deficiencies because when a person just stick to having such types of food rich in fats and calories e.g junk food, other important nutrients are escaped from the diet that are essential for normal and healthy growth.
Overweight or obese children have a higher chance of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Over-nutrition can also contribute to the

development of certain health issues.| MALNUTRITION

Common causes of malnutrition
Malnutrition is a worldwide problem that can result from environmental, economic and medical conditions.
Food insecurity or lack of access to sufficient and affordable food: it has been found that food insecurity have been linked to malnutrition in both developed and developing countries.
Digestive and nutrient absorption problems: conditions that cause mal-absorption such as diarrhea, celiac disease and bacterial overgrowth in the intestine leads to malnutrition.
Excessive intake of alcohol: high amounts of alcohol can result in inadequate intake of protein, calories and micronutrients.
Mental disorders: depression and other dis-functioning or impaired mental health can cause malnutrition.


mal-nutrition is a very lethargic or pathetic condition that leaves you at the edge of fatal diseases. If you ever experience such symptoms you must seek for a dietitian and take your appropriate dietary intervention.

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