Malnutrition

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Malnutrition is a global issue that affects billions. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this deadly condition and some of its signs and symptoms in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. If you dont get enough nutrientsincluding proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and mineralsyou may suffer from malnutrition.

The term malnutrition refers to both undernutrition and overnutrition. Undernutrition indicates a lack of the necessary energy, protein or micronutrients while overnutrition and obesity mean too much energy, fats or specific micronutrients.

Traditionally, undernutrition is prevalent in developing countries and obesity is an epidemic in developed countries. Recently, obesity has been increasing in developing countries, leading to a double burden of disease.

Causes of malnutrition include:

Lack of specific nutrients in your diet. Even the lack of one vitamin can lead to malnutrition.

An unbalanced diet, and

Certain medical problems, such as malabsorption syndromes and cancers

Symptoms may include fatigue, dizziness and weight loss. Or, you may have no symptoms. To diagnose the cause of the problem, your doctor may do blood tests and a nutritional assessment.

Treatment may include replacing the missing nutrients and treating the underlying cause.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.