Good nutrition, based on healthy eating is one essential factor that helps us to stay healthy and be active.
What causes poor nutrition?
Poor eating habits include under – or over – eating, not having enough of the healthy foods we need each day, or consuming too many types of food and drink, which are low in fibre or high in fat, salt and/or sugar.
These unhealthy eating habits can affect our nutrient intake.
Poor nutrition can impair our daily health and wellbeing and reduce our ability to lead an enjoyable and active life.
In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, and over time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as:
- being overweight or obese;
- tooth decay;
- high blood pressure;
- high cholesterol;
- heart disease and stroke;
- type-2 diabetes;
- some cancers;
- eating disorders.
What are nutritional deficiencies?
The body requires many different vitamins and minerals that are crucial for both body development and preventing disease. These vitamins and minerals are often referred to as micronutrients.
They aren’t produced naturally in the body, so you have to get them from your DIET.
Micronutrients play a central part in metabolism and in the maintenance of tissue function. An adequate intake therefore is necessary, but provision of excess supplements to people who do not need them may be harmful. Single micronutrient deficiency states are comparatively easily recognised and treated. Subclinical deficiency, often of multiple micronutrients, is more difficult to recognise, and laboratory assessment is often complicated by the acute phase response.
A nutritional deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t absorb or get from food the necessary amount of a nutrient. Deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems. These can include digestion problems, skin disorders, stunted or defective bone growth, and even dementia.
It is therefore important to recognise the various situations where micronutrient status may be impaired as result of disease, and ensure that patients receive an adequate intake, either from their food, or from separate supplements.
What causes nutritional deficiencies?
The main causes of nutritional deficiencies include a poor diet that lacks essential nutrients, a disease or medication, allergies/intolerances that impairs absorption, or both. The body is able to store some nutrients, so a deficiency may not be caught until the body has been without the nutrient for some time.
A number of diseases and conditions can lead to an iron deficiency. These include:
- colon cancer;
- imbalanced gut flora;
- Crohn’s disease;
- celiac disease.
What are the symptoms of nutritional deficiencies?
The symptoms of a nutritional deficiency depend on which nutrient the body lacks. However, there are some general symptoms you might experience. These can include:
- pallor, or pale skin;
- trouble breathing;
- unusual food cravings;
- hair loss;
- periods of lightheadedness;
- heart palpitations;
- feeling faint or fainting;
- tingling and numbness of the joints;
- menstrual issues, such as missed periods or very heavy cycles;
- poor concentration.
You may display all of these symptoms or only groups of them.
Over time, most people adapt to the symptoms. This can cause the condition to go undiagnosed.
Schedule a checkup with us if you experience prolonged periods of fatigue, weakness, or poor concentration. These symptoms could be a sign of the beginning of a serious deficiency.