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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Poor Nutrition?

Updated on September 15, 2015

Good Nutrition makes the skin smooth and glossy

Healthy Kid
Healthy Kid | Source

Poor nutrition affects all the organs of the body. Some of the changes may be clearly visible even to a lay person. Good nutrition has got different meanings at different age levels.

The basic nutritional requirement of an infant is entirely different from that of an adult and even more different in elderly. This article describes the general indicators of poor nutrition

Changes in Skin and Hair due to Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition disturbs the skin and hair in a bad way. The glossiness and texture of skin and hair will be changed. Instead it becomes dry and dull. The hair become thin, brittle and falls out easily. So if your hair starts thinning out, stop and think; “Am I including enough of protein, vitamins and minerals in my diet?” The skin becomes dull, rough and dry if not properly nourished and chances of development of acne (pimples) are also more.

Fingernails could become brittle and may develop transverse ridges. In extreme cases of poor nutrition, there will be loss of fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat), delay and improper wound healing and swelling of the lower extremities

Signs of Poor Nutrition

Which of the following are Signs of Poor Nutrition?

Brittle Nails

Thinning of hair

Dry skin

Delayed wound healing

All of the above


Ans: All of the above

Healthy Hair is one of the most important indicators of Good Health

Healthy hair
Healthy hair | Source

Changes in the Mouth due to Poor Nutrition

Inside of the mouth is normally lined with well hydrated and supple mucous membranes.

In malnutrition, the mucous membranes become dry leading to bacterial and fungal infections.

Wound will form on the mucous membranes with ulceration.

There can be coated tongue and caries teeth or tooth decay.

Good Healthy Gums and Teeth; Another indicator of Good Health


Changes in the alimentary tract or gastrointestinal system due to Poor Nutrition

The alimentary tract is also lined internally with moist mucous membranes. Poor nutrition results in nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea. If the malnutrition is severe, it can result in fluid collection inside the abdomen (fluid inside the peritoneal cavity-ascites) due to low albumin levels.

Signs of Poor Nutrition

Ascites or fluid collection in the abdomen in alcoholics is also due to low levels of albumin

But that mainly results from liver damage and resultant impaired metabolism of proteins

Changes in the musculoskeletal system due to Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition reduces the muscle mass considerably. It will result in weight loss and muscle cramps.

The muscles will have reduced strength which may result in reduced activity in severe malnutrition. Person may also complain of muscle pain and lethargy.

Though I didn't have severe malnutrition, I used to experience muscle fatigue and cramps. After my day duty when I come back home I used to feel extremely tired. My physician checked my vitamin D levels and I have taken a course of Vitamin D since the values were too low from normal range. You won't believe me, I had tremendous improvement after that. The reading after the completion of the course showed that the vitamin D levels reached normal. Living in South India, where we get full sunlight throughout the day, I never expected I could have vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D is available in powder form and tablet. You can check out the various preparations available in the market. But please don't take it without doctor's prescription.

Other Changes due to Poor Nutrition

Person suffering from poor nutrition will have headaches and dizziness, anxiety, irritability, confusion and depression. Blood tests may show decreased levels of albumin and pre albumin.

Good Nutrition is Important

Take good care of yourself

Pay attention to what you eat and drink.

Have a good day...


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    • Haider Mama profile image

      Haider 9 months ago from Melbourne

      Sleep apnea and weakness in the body also result from poor nutrition.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi paradigmsearch

      Thanks for validating this hub. I am glad that you stopped by

    • paradigmsearch profile image

      Person of Interest 4 years ago from SoCal, USA

      There is very good nutrition information in this article. I am big on B-complex vitamins. And V8. All the different kinds and types of beans are also amazingly healthy. Lima beans for potassium. Garbanzo beans for tryptophan. Etc.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi moonlake

      Thanks for stopping by

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Many things I didn't know in this hub. Voted up.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi Au fait

      Thanks for the visit and comment

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Many of these same symptoms are common in people with hypothyroid disease. A great article for people to read and think about so that hopefully they will give more attention to having a healthful diet for themselves and their children.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi DDE,

      Thanks for the visit

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Poor eating habits definitely leads to many illnesses you have mentioned important factors here thanks for enlightening me on such a topic.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi Thelma Alberts

      Thanks for the visit

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Great and informative hub, thumbi. Good nutrition is very important for a growing child. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared;-)

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      Hi ishwaryaa22

      Thanks for the visit and the good comment

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      A good hub highlighting the importance of nutrition. Good nutrition promotes good health. Well-said!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      Hi midget38,

      Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Hi, thumbi!! A great hub and I will share because the importance of good nutrition cannot be more emphasized. Thanks for sharing!! I share as well.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      Hi Ruchira,

      I am glad that you liked this hub.

      Thank you very much for the comment. I really appreciate it.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Good pointers, thumbi.

      Nutrition if paid attention to, can help the kid long way.