What is Undernutrition?

Undernutrition, also known as malnutrition or inadequate nutrition, refers to a condition where the body does not receive adequate nutrients from the diet to meet its nutritional needs, leading to deficiencies in essential nutrients. 

Undernutrition can occur due to various factors, including insufficient food intake, poor dietary quality, impaired nutrient absorption, increased nutrient losses, or increased nutrient requirements due to illness, injury, or other factors. Undernutrition can lead to a range of health problems, including poor growth, weakened immune function, muscle wasting, weakness, fatigue, poor wound healing, and increased risk of infections and other complications. Undernutrition can affect people of all ages, but it is particularly concerning in vulnerable populations such as infants, children, pregnant women, elderly individuals, and those with chronic illnesses. 

Treatment for undernutrition typically involves addressing the underlying causes and providing appropriate nutritional interventions, such as improving the quality and quantity of the diet, providing nutrient supplements, and managing any underlying medical conditions. Multidisciplinary care involving healthcare providers, registered dietitians, and other healthcare professionals may be needed to effectively manage undernutrition and optimize health outcomes.

When is it necessary to see a doctor?

It may be necessary to see a doctor if you suspect you or someone you know may be experiencing undernutrition. If you have concerns about your nutrition status or suspect undernutrition, it is important to seek medical evaluation for proper assessment and management, as undernutrition can have serious health consequences.

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