Several indicators of malnutrition in children include short stature, weight loss, weight gain, and weight loss, and the term malnutrition refers to two main conditions; the first occurs when a person’s diet lacks certain nutrients essential to health. Growth, physical health, mood, and more may be affected. In the latter case, nutrients are not obtained in a balanced manner, such as by eating a diet that is high in calories but low in vitamins and minerals. These diets can lead to obesity or overweight, but they can also lead to malnutrition, which is more prevalent among children, women, the elderly, and people living in developing countries.
Malnutrition is not solely caused by hunger. The child suffers from malnutrition despite eating enough food, and this can be attributed to several factors, including:
Vitamins, minerals, and proper nutrients are not present in baby food.
Wheat allergy or celiac disease; People with it suffer from digestive disorders caused by a protein called gluten, which can be found in wheat, barley, etc.
A child suffering from cystic fibrosis, which affects the pancreas and leads to problems absorbing nutrients from food. Some enzymes necessary for digestion are produced by this organ.
Hospitalization lasts a long time for the child.
There are dental problems with the child.
Children’s malnutrition symptoms
The severity of malnutrition depends on the degree of deficiency, which affects both the mind and the body. In general, these symptoms worsen with increasing severe deficiency of these nutrients, as well as depending on the type of nutrients missing from his daily meals:
- feeling dizzy
- The body feels tired and low on energy.
- A dysfunctional immune system reduces the body’s ability to fight infections.
- Dryness and flaking of the skin.
- Swelling and bleeding in the gums.
- Rotten teeth.
- slow growth;
- Slow reaction time, poor attention.
- muscle weakness
- Stomach bloating
- Fractures are easy with osteoporosis.
- Slow learning ability
Children’s malnutrition diagnosis
It is possible to diagnose malnutrition in children by measuring their weight and height and comparing them to charts of average height and weight for children of this age, and some may show slower growth than their peers. While it may indicate malnutrition, there are some children who look smaller than their age because of genetic factors, which is unrelated to malnutrition.
Children’s malnutrition treatment
When children are able to eat and digest food well, malnutrition can be treated at home by:
To develop healthy nutritional recommendations and improve the intake of necessary nutrients for the body by collaborating with a nutrition consultant.
Increase the child’s intake of protein, carbohydrates, water, minerals, and vitamins gradually to meet his or her needs.
Soft or crushed food can be provided for those who have difficulty swallowing, chewing, or eating.
Children with these conditions are often recommended vitamin and mineral supplements.
Make sure you monitor your BMI regularly to see if your diet is working or not.
A protein bar or supplement may be necessary for children who are malnourished in terms of protein and energy.
There should be a multi-specialty team of therapists and doctors available to help people with special needs, mental disorders, dementia, or long-term illnesses who cannot cook or shop for themselves.
Hospital treatment of malnutrition
Medical intervention is required in the hospital for patients with moderate to severe malnutrition who cannot take food by mouth. The team includes doctors, gastroenterologists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, and others. Nasogastric tube feeding, intravenous feeding, and other methods of introducing food to the body are performed by this team.
A healthy and balanced diet that includes the four main food groups can prevent malnutrition.
This group of foods is a major part of the diet and provides the body with calories by breaking down starch into sugar molecules.
A good source of fats and simple sugars such as lactose, milk and dairy products provide some essential minerals, including calcium.
Vitamins, minerals, and fiber are found in fruits and vegetables. As a result, the digestive system is improved.
You can get protein from meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, and other sources. Proteins play a major role in many body functions and enzymes.