Effects of Malnutrition
There are so many symptoms and effects of malnutrition, from unhealthy weight loss to serious diseases followed by death.
Malnutrition is a lack of or excess of energy and nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals in one’s diet and it does not always mean starvation. Starvation is simply a lack of food.
It is seen as the most important risk factor for diseases by The World Health Organization (WHO). Although malnutrition means both undernutrition and overnutrition, undernutrition affects approximately thirty percent of people from different age groups in the developing world.
Children are possibly the worst affected by undernutrition. More than fifty percent of all child deaths in the third world countries are because of malnutrition. These children end up with lifetime problems, if they survive the first few years of their lives at all.
As for overnutrition of babies, an overweight baby should not be assumed to be a healthy baby if (s)he is being fed chocolate bars, sweets and fatty foods. They are being made prone to obesity and many other health problems linked to obesity.
Mental growth: Malnutrition during childhood can have fatal consequences and it affects not only your physical body but your mind badly as well. Your ability to think, remember, analyze and create will be diminished and even destroyed.
Malnutrition during pregnancy may cause the baby to weigh less at birth and have a lower chance of survival.
• Zinc deficiency means impaired neurological function, not being able to resist infectious diseases and heal the wounds and it is the most common nutritional deficiency reported in the western world.
• A diet poor in dietary fiber will simply lead to constipation and weight gain, followed by potential diseases- hearth complications and even certain types of cancer.
• Little or no carbohydrate intake will mean fatigue, lack of energy and unhealthy weight loss.
• B vitamins are needed to be able to develop healthy nervous system that is extremely important for mental and emotional health and stability. B vitamin deficiency may mean anxiety, nervousness, mental problems and more.
• Calcium and estrogen deficiencies with a corticol excess can lead to osteoporosis- significant loss of bone mineral density and potential bone fractures.
• Vitamin A deficiency makes kids vulnerable to diarrhea and diseases like measles as well as causing preventable blindness in the developing countries.
• Iodine deficiency can cause dry skin, fatigue, hair loss, mental retardation, delayed development and goitre- enlarged thyroid gland.
• Iron deficiency can make kids less active and less able to concentrate. Teens who are malnourished often have trouble keeping up in school.
More Symptoms and Effects of Malnutrition:
• Fatigue, physical lethargy and low energy
• Immune abnormalities, poor immunity and not being able to fight off viruses and infections
• Dry or scaly skin, cracking of skin due to vitamin B2 deficiency
• Hair loss
• Damage to nails
• Poor oral health, swollen and bleeding gums, decaying teeth
• Anemia- iron deficiency
• Hypertension- magnesium deficiency
• Impaired memory, trouble in paying attention and concentrating
• Learning difficulties
• Unhealthy weight loss
• Easy bruising
• Stunting of height and growth in children
• Muscle weakness
• Hypokalemia- potassium deficiency
• Severe cold sensitivity
• Hemorrhage- vitamin K deficiency
• Not being able to perform well at school or work
• Decreased ability to remember
• Being more prone to accidents
• Profound personality changes, aggressive behavior and behavioral disorders in children when they grow up.
*After the ‘Effects of Malnutrition’, I’d like to tell you about my favorite diet program that uses a lot of the healthy lower GI foods: Isabel de los Rios’ ‘The Diet Solution Program’.