Information for Patients
Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. If you don't get enough nutrients -- including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals - you may suffer from malnutrition.
Causes of malnutrition include:
- Lack of specific nutrients in your diet. Even the lack of one vitamin can lead to malnutrition.
- An unbalanced diet
- Certain medical problems, such as malabsorption syndromes and cancers
Symptoms may include fatigue, dizziness, and weight loss. Or, you may have no symptoms. To diagnose the cause of the problem, your doctor may do blood tests and a nutritional assessment. Treatment may include replacing the missing nutrients and treating the underlying cause.
- Beriberi (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Kwashiorkor (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Malnutrition (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Pellagra (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Pica (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Scurvy (Medical Encyclopedia)
Vitamins are substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally. Vitamin A plays a role in your
- Bone growth
- Cell functions
- Immune system
Vitamin A is an antioxidant. It can come from plant or animal sources. Plant sources include colorful fruits and vegetables. Animal sources include liver and whole milk. Vitamin A is also added to foods like cereals.
Vegetarians, young children, and alcoholics may need extra Vitamin A. You might also need more if you have certain conditions, such as liver diseases, cystic fibrosis, and Crohn's disease. Check with your health care provider to see if you need to take vitamin A supplements.
NIH: National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
- Beta-carotene blood test (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Hypervitaminosis A (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Vitamin A (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Vitamin A blood test (Medical Encyclopedia)