Monday, December 22, 2014

Table of Contents

Definition

Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when your body does not get enough nutrients.


Alternative Names

Nutrition - inadequate


Causes, incidence, and risk factors

There are a number of causes of malnutrition. It may result from:

  • Inadequate or unbalanced diet
  • Problems with digestion or absorption
  • Certain medical conditions

Malnutrition can occur if you do not eat enough food. Starvation is a form of malnutrition.

You may develop malnutrition if you lack of a single vitamin in the diet.

In some cases, malnutrition is very mild and causes no symptoms. However, sometimes it can be so severe that the damage done to the body is permanent, even though you survive.

Malnutrition continues to be a significant problem all over the world, especially among children. Poverty, natural disasters, political problems, and war all contribute to conditions -- even epidemics -- of malnutrition and starvation, and not just in developing countries.

Related topics:

  • Malabsorption
  • Hunger
  • Beriberi
  • Binge eating
  • Deficiency - Vitamin A
  • Deficiency - Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Deficiency - Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Deficiency - Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Deficiency - Vitamin B9 (folacin)
  • Deficiency - Vitamin E
  • Deficiency - Vitamin K
  • Eating disorders
  • Food guide plate
  • Kwashiorkor
  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Pellagra
  • Rickets
  • Scurvy
  • Spina bifida


Review Date: 06/14/2011
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine (4/30/2011).

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)