How to Identify Malnutrition

How to Identify Malnutrition

What is Malnutrition

Proper nutrition provides our body with the energy it needs to fight infections, keep up a robust immune system, and allow us to stay active. If we are not receiving adequate calorie intake or not the right amount of certain nutrients, we can fall short on providing the body with the energy it needs. Poor nutrient utilization and catabolism can also lead to malnourishment. Catabolism is where the body is breaking down muscle to use as fuel due to inadequate protein intake.

Signs and Symptoms of Malnutrition1,2 malnutrition graphic


Why does malnutrition happen?

• Poor dietary intake, and/or loss of appetite.
• Inadequate protein intake leading to muscle wasting (catabolism).
• Reduced or low utilization of nutrients due to disease or autoimmune conditions.
• Malabsorption due to poor digestion and absorption, infection or bacterial overgrowth such as the gram-negative bacteria H. pylori.

What can you do to ensure malnutrition does not occur?