What is malnutrition?

What Does malnutrition Mean

The term malnutrition refers to a pathological state caused by the lack of ingestion or absorption of nutrients . According to the severity of the condition, this disease can be divided into first, second and even third degree .

Occasionally, the disorder can be mild and present, without symptoms, due to an inadequate or poorly balanced diet . However, there are other more serious cases, in which the consequences can become irreversible (even if the person continues to live), caused by digestive disorders and absorption problems.
Fatigue, dizziness, fainting, lack of menstruation, poor growth in children, weight loss and a decrease in the body's immune response are some of the symptoms that can lead to a possible malnutrition .

In general, this nutrition-related condition can be corrected by replenishing the missing nutrients and, if caused by a specific problem in the body, with appropriate treatment to counteract the nutritional deficiency. If it is not detected in time or the necessary medical attention is not received, malnutrition can lead to disabilities , both mental and physical, diseases and even can be fatal .
Malnutrition is, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) , the leading cause of death for infants and young children in developing countries . Therefore, preventing this disease has become a priority for the World Health Organization (WHO) . We must do what we can to help the millions of children born into poverty.
In more precise terms, it is possible to classify malnutrition into various types, taking into account different criteria. If we focus on the particular deficiencies of the affected individuals, then we can distinguish the following types:
* caloric malnutrition : this concept is also known by the name of marasmus and occurs in those people who eat food in insufficient quantities. This behavior , which is often the result of a lack of financial resources, has a negative impact on children's growth, with characteristics such as excessive thinness or a lack of fatty tissue. Symptoms that are more difficult to identify or relate to this problem may also appear, such as poor performance in student or work activities, as well as abnormal fatigue;
* protein malnutrition : occurs in individuals who base their diet on a poorly balanced combination, in which carbohydrates tend to predominate to the detriment of proteins. As a direct consequence, there is less resistance to infection, skin disorders, bloating, and liver disease.

Another criterion that can be used to classify malnutrition is based on the relationship between a person's height and their weight, so that we obtain the following types:
* mild acute malnutrition : although the weight meets expectations, given the patient's age, his height does not reach the expected value;
* moderate acute malnutrition : in this case, the weight is lower than normal for the patient's height;
* severe acute malnutrition : not only is weight below 30 percent of what is expected based on height, but some body functions are seriously compromised. It is a very serious problem, with a high risk of death;
* vitamin and mineral deficiency : the severity of this type of malnutrition is so high that the individual no longer has the necessary strength to carry out their daily activities because they feel tired. In addition, his defense deficit opens the doors to a large number of infections and he cannot focus on the basic learning processes.

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