How balanced is your diet? An imbalanced diet as well as the lack of taking food contribute to malnutrition. This condition can occur in extremes such as too high or too low energy in the body. Children, pregnant mothers and the elderly are all at risk of getting malnutrition.
Children that do not receive sufficient nutrients in the body may have delayed growth while those that take imbalanced foods in large quantities may get obesity. It can, therefore, be the form of undernutrition or overnutrition.
Malnutrition is a global problem that needs to be addressed since it leads to death in severe cases. The World Health Organization reports that millions of children die from malnutrition every year. Today, we will help victims of this condition find ways of balancing their diet and enhancing their lifestyle. Read on!
What causes malnutrition and what are the symptoms?
The primary cause of this condition is not eating. Conditions such as dysphagia can affect your feeding habits by making it hard to swallow food. People who have dentures that do not fit also have problems eating. The loss of appetite from taking certain medicines can also make one not to enjoy meals.
Apart from food, mental conditions like depression, nervosa, bulimia, and dementia can cause malnutrition. Poverty also causes malnutrition since some people lack enough finances to buy food. Others have limited skills in cooking while others are isolated out of living alone. Such social problems can affect eating habits.
Digestive problems associated with stomach conditions can also lead to malnutrition. Genetic disorders such as celiac disease lead to gluten intolerance. This prevents proper absorption of food.
Malnutrition in babies can also occur out of the lack of receiving breast milk. This milk contains vital nutrients that cannot be replaced by other foods or supplements. Infants suffer from this condition since they require a lot of energy for their development and growth. Elders, on the other hand, get it out of reduced intestinal functioning.
The symptoms of malnutrition include low appetite, irritability, and fatigue, the lack of focus, weight loss and muscle loss. This condition can also cause depression and make it hard for wounds to heal fast. It can reduce the urge to procreate and affect your fertility.
How to prevent malnutrition
Make dietary changes
This is the primary treatment for victims suffering from malnutrition. Your body requires nutrients such as carbohydrates to obtain energy. This element also helps the body store proteins. Taking carbohydrates prevents you from ketones. You can get this nutrient in foods such as oats, wheat, brown rice, and honey.
You also need vegetables which give you vitamins to prevent illnesses. Proteins supply your body with nitrogen that you cannot get from lipids or carbohydrates. This nutrient balances the ph and boosts the synthesis of hormones and enzymes. Proteins help in the formation of your body cells and boost your immunity. You can get this nutrient from eggs, legumes, nuts, and grains.
Your skin also requires healthy fats. This nutrient prevents your body organs from shock and regulates body temperature. They can also prevent you from malnutrition since they are a source of fatty acids. This nutrient comes from foods such as whole milk, peanut butter, seeds, and oil.
Taking snacks between meals encourages you to eat when you don’t have a good appetite. This also provides you with additional nutrients as well as calories between your meals.
Seek a dietician
If you have problems balancing your diet, a dietician can help by recommending the right foods that your body needs. A balanced diet that contains multi-vitamin is vital in preventing malnutrition. It can eliminate inflammation, dental conditions that affect eating habit and curb edema. A proper diet also reduces body weakness and manages stomach problems like diarrhea. A dietician can help you replace the nutrients that you may be lacking.
Your body also needs a lot of fluids to function properly. Therefore, take a lot of water daily and natural juices from fruits. Make different smoothies mixing various ingredients to experiment on the textures of foods. You can also take soup and coconut water to boost your immunity.
Avoid alcohol intake
Taking too much alcohol can damage the pancreas and cause gastritis. This hinders proper digestion of food. Your body cannot absorb particular vitamins well and make hormones that are necessary for the regulation of your metabolism.
Alcohol has calories that prevent you from feeling hungry. It hinders your body from getting essential nutrients from food. Seek help from alcohol abuse to break tolerance and curb malnutrition. Professionals can also prevent you from getting addicted to the drug.
Dietary supplements are also necessary for boosting your energy to prevent weakness. They also help you receive nutrients that your body needs to function correctly. They enhance your metabolism and help your body get rid of waste. Consider supplements such as Zinc, vitamin, and potassium. These can prevent you from diseases and facilitate fast healing of wounds.
Increase physical activity
Exercises are necessary when you are dealing with overnutrition. It helps you get rid of excess fat and toxins in the body. Those who suffer from undernutrition can also prevent the loss of muscle mass through light exercises. Simple exercises help your body release chemicals to get rid of symptoms of malnutrition such as irritability.
Participate in social activities
Elders suffering from malnutrition can benefit from social activities. Instead of staying in isolation in your home, meet up with friends and share meals together. They can lift your moods and make it easy for you to eat. It can curb the loss of appetite and prevent you from stress that may also affect your eating patterns. You can even get restaurants that provide discounts for elders if money is a problem.
Treat any medical conditions
Malnutrition can also come from medical problems. A visit to your doctor can help you identify the cause and treat it early enough. The doctor can also recommend special diets in case of a medical problem.
Malnutrition is a severe condition that can become fatal if it is not addressed in time. Seek support from professionals if you need help and make the necessary changes.