Volume 4 Issue 3

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Page 27 of 47

Malnutrition is oen associated with people living under extreme conditions, usually due to natural disasters or from living in underdeveloped parts of the world. But even in developed countries, under-nutrition occurs in people who are poor or homeless and who are ill or have psychiatric disorders. About 1 in 7 senior citizens are at risk for malnutrition when they consume fewer than 1,000 calories, according to the Merck Manual. Malnutrition occurs when you do not get enough calories or nutrients. You can prevent malnutrition by learning its causes and symptoms, and treating the problem. PREVENTION STEP 1 Learn the causes of malnutrition. Lack of nutrients, even just one vitamin or mineral, can lead to malnutrition. Insufficient nutrition can be caused by an unbalanced diet, eating too little, excreting too much of a nutrient, some medications, malabsorption of nutrients and a variety of medical conditions. STEP 2 Watch for high risk factors. Some life stages, such as infancy, childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and old age, demand more nutrition than others, and people in these groups might be at a higher risk. Surgery, trauma, infections, burns and chronic diseases also can affect nutritional needs and increase the chance of malnutrition. STEP 3 Identify the symptoms, which might be slow to appear, but the most obvious one is weight loss. Other symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, brittle nails, chronic diarrhea, slow wound healing, bone or joint pain and confusion. Children might become extremely thin, have stunted growth or have a swollen gut. HOW TO Prevent and Treat Page 28| Abby's Magazine -

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