Malnutrition occurs when a person's body is not receiving the proper amount of essential nutrients. Malnutrition is seen in two forms, undernutrition and overnutrition. Undernutrition, a lack of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, may result from an improper diet, high usage of nutrients in the body, malabsorption and abnormal loss of nutrients through bleeding, diarrhea, and excessive sweating. Overnutrition occurs due to overeating and excessive use of supplements and vitamins.
Malnutrition varies in severity. It may be mild enough to cause no symptoms, or so severe that death occurs. More common symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, weight loss, weakness, loss of muscle mass and decreased immune response. The replacement of lost nutrients and the immediate treatment of severe symptoms of malnutrition are necessary to ensure a proper recovery.
Malnutrition can have serious effects on the elderly. Nursing home patients not receiving proper care often suffer from the disorder.
- Nutritional & Metabolism Disorders: Overview
- Highland Park Care Center
- Kindred Healthcare
- Nursing Home & Elder Abuse