Types of Malnutrition

“Malnourishment leads to the consequences of a person unable of performing normal tasks easily and not able to resist diseases”
Malnutrition is the result of intake of unbalanced diet, or intake of improper foods which are essentially required for body growth and development.

Malnutrition may also result even when person intakes all required foods but not in correct proportions. It is thus form of under nutrition, which lacks diet of proteins and calories. It occurs due to the lacking of vital nutrients in the diet of a person. Thus because of the deficiency the body fails to meet ongoing demands like growth of the body, physical health and psychological factors such as behavior and mood of the individual.

Malnutrition may affect all age groups but mostly it strikes upon children and pregnant and elderly women. And thus is more prevalent in developing countries. It is thus a form of disease which includes under nutrition, obesity or overweight. So people who are malnourished or undernourished may not be consuming appropriate calories for growth and development of body and brain. Or the people who may be obese or gain overweight consume excessive calories, that leads to over nutrition that is another form of malnutrition.

Thus, following may be types of malnutrition:

Under nutrition which is a result of deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals or proteins and calories in the diet of the individual. Under nutrition also prevails in many Nations because of hunger or starvation because of poverty.

Severe Malnutrition which is referred more for PEM, which are of two types further:

Kwashiorkor – it is the result of inadequate consumption of proteins. It can be identified by swelling of belly.

Marasmus- it is the result of less intake of both proteins and energy. Its effects or symptoms may be more muscle wasting and leaving less edema.

Goiter may result because of the iodine deficiency in the diet of the individual. It leads to swelling of the thyroid gland, visible largely as swelling in the neck. Goiter may also lead to lethargy, weakness, more cough and cold. Also the swelling if becomes more severe may lead to difficulty in breathing and speaking as the windpipe may get compressed.

Anemia malnutrition may also result into Anemia, which also commonly seen as a disease in a malnourished person. It may be caused mainly by lack of iron and Vitamin B12 in the diet. Thus leading to Anemia. Diet which only lacks in iron is known as iron deficiency Anemia.

Anemia being the mostly seen malnutrition disease in the whole world, prevails largely in developing Nations.

Hyponatremia this may result out of sodium deficiency in the blood because of deficiency of sodium in diet of the individual. The symptoms of hyponatremia are confusions arising in mind, vomiting, regular headaches, or going into the coma.

Hypokalemia is the result of lack of potassium in the food intake by the individual. It may not always lack of consumption of potassium but also be excessive loss of potassium from the body. The symptoms may include cramps in the muscles, blood pressure level changes, constipation. It may also lead to serious levels of respiratory depression and dehydration.

Vitamins Deficiency may also arise as a kind of malnutrition in individuals. Following types of vitamin deficiencies may be there:

  • Vitamin A  it in its symptoms  leads to night blindness.
  • Vitamin C  it may lead to gums bleeding, delay in healing of wounds or increase in infections or spots on skin.
  • Vitamin D this leads to improper formation of bones or bone disorder.

All these deficiencies need to be taken care by for avoiding different kinds of malnutrition, thus proper intake of balanced diet should be there. Focus can also be made on foods which are rich in mostly all the nutrients, for eg, Moringa is a kind of tree whose leaves are rich in proteins and Vitamin A, B and C . Therefore intake of such food items should be encouraged.

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