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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Poor Nutrition?
Good Nutrition makes the skin smooth and glossy
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?
Thinning of hair
Delayed wound healing
All of the above
Ans: All of the above
Healthy Hair is one of the most important indicators of Good Health
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...