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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

When are they going to quit Starving themselves?

Malnutrition

GENERAL INFORMATION:

What is malnutrition? Malnutrition (mal-noo-TRISH-un) occurs when you do not get enough calories or nutrients to keep you healthy. Nutrients are protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Malnutrition may make your body weak. It may cause health problems such as trouble fighting infections and healing.

What are the causes of malnutrition? Malnutrition may be caused by not eating the right amount or right kinds of food, or by having certain health conditions. Malnutrition may be caused by health conditions that keep your body from digesting (breaking down) or absorbing nutrients properly. It may be caused by health conditions that increase the amount of calories or nutrients that your body needs. Your body may also lose nutrients because of diarrhea, bleeding and other problems.

Who is at risk for malnutrition? The following people are at greater risk of having malnutrition:

  • Infants and children who do not get the right type or amount of calories and nutrients.

  • Older adults.

  • People who are taking medicines that decrease appetite or affect the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  • People who abuse drugs or alcohol.

  • People with eating disorders.

  • People with certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, liver disease, kidney disease and cancer.

  • People with a low income who have trouble buying the right kind of food.

  • Pregnant women.

What are the signs and symptoms of malnutrition? Malnutrition usually develops in stages over a long period of time. Signs and symptoms may not appear until the later stages of malnutrition.

  • Some early signs and symptoms of malnutrition may include:

    • Irritable (bad mood) and tired.

    • Slower growth than normal, or no growth (in children).

    • Weight loss.

  • Later signs and symptoms of malnutrition may include:

    • Bone or joint pain, and weak muscles.

    • Bloated abdomen and swelling in other parts of the body.

    • Changes in the skin and hair.

      • Brittle and spooned nails.

      • Dry, scaly skin.

      • Hair loss.

      • Skin and hair change color.

    • Loss of appetite (not hungry).

    • Slow wound healing and easily get infections.

    • Sunken temples (sides of the head).

How is malnutrition diagnosed? Your caregiver will do a medical exam. Your caregiver will also check your weight and height. Your caregiver may ask you questions about your health and the medicines that you are taking. He may also ask you questions about your diet to find out if you are getting enough calories and nutrients. Your caregiver may also do blood tests to find out if your body is low in certain nutrients.

How is malnutrition treated? Treatment for malnutrition depends on the cause. You will need to work closely with your caregiver during your treatment. Treatment for malnutrition may include increasing the calories and nutrients in your diet.

  • You may need to increase the calories and nutrients in your diet by doing one or more of the following:

    • Eat large meals and snacks between meals.

    • Eat small meals often throughout the day if you have trouble eating large meals.

    • Eat or drink a nutrition supplement if you have trouble eating the right kinds and amounts of food.

  • You may need to take vitamin or mineral supplements if your body is low in vitamins and minerals. Your caregiver may treat you with medicines if you have a health problem that is causing your malnutrition.

  • If you cannot buy or prepare the right kinds of foods, talk to your caregiver. Ask for information about community programs that can help you.

Risks: Malnutrition usually develops in stages over time. Malnutrition may make your body weak and cause health problems such as trouble fighting infections and healing. Severe malnutrition may cause heart problems, breathing problems, and kidney problems. It can also cause changes in the level of chemicals in your blood called electrolytes. Severe (very bad) malnutrition can even lead to death if it goes untreated. Malnutrition can be treated if you follow your caregiver's instructions.

1 comments:

OhYeahBabe said...

Malnutrition can be really sneaky, since the signs take a long time to present themselves - sometimes even after the diet has been stopped. Scary stuff. Thanks for the information about the effects of it! Kimkins members are encouraged to cut calories too far, and then to cut even farther. Heidi thinks she's immune from being shut down because the medical claims are too hard to prove. Good thing her customer service & marketing ethics are so bad!