Malnutrition

The term malnutrition refers to the inability to meet the bodys needs for energy and nutrients. When intake of energy or nutrients exceeds or falls short of the bodys needs for an extended period of time, the effects can be detrimental to your health. Malnutrition covers every topic from under to over eating and all the health risks that may be connected. Severe under nutrition is rare in the developed world but this type of malnutrition can be noticed on larger scales within less developed countries. It is essential to get the nutrients your body needs from your diet or through supplements. Failure to do so results in a lack of energy and vitamin deficiencies.

It is possible to consume plenty of foods but still remain hungry. This refers to malnutrition as you arent satisfying your hunger with the foods that youre consuming. Some fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body and without regular intakes of nutrients, the amount stored will begin to diminish and unless you replace the lost vitamins and minerals through diet, for example, symptoms of diseases relating to vitamin deficiencies will begin to appear. The body can adapt to a short term under nutrition.

People can become more efficient at absorbing and using some nutrients if they have low intakes. Poor diet can therefore lead to deficiency diseases. Symptoms of a poor diet may begin to appear after a while and usually means that your immunity levels drop and the chance of infections and diseases increase. Weight loss results from a diet low in energy. Lower energy levels mean less activity. Children with diets that dont meet their energy needs will stop growing properly. Starvation is the most extreme result of a low energy intake. Children tend to suffer from the effects more than adults. A life threatening condition may develop called protein energy malnutrition. It refers to a diet that lacks energy and protein.

Two common diseases associated with a lack of protein and energy are Kwashiorkor and Maramus. Vitamins and minerals are essential in small amounts but insufficient quantities of each can lead to various deficiency diseases. Anaemia is a disease caused by the lack of iron. Scurvy results from a lack of vitamin C whilst a lack of vitamin A leads to sight problems. Too much of a fat soluble vitamin such as vitamin A is also bad for your health and can lead to liver damage as it is stored within the body. Over nutrition refers to an intake of energy that exceeds need. This results in being overweight or obese. Taking supplements can lead to an overdose of certain fat soluble vitamins if the same vitamins are provided through diet as well. Mixing supplements can often lead to an excess of some vitamins which can also be harmful. Eating specific foods as part of a diet plan or weight loss programme can also lead to a lack of nutrients in your diet so you may require a supplement to provide you with the right quantities of each.

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