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 E is an antioxidant. It plays a role in your immune system and metabolic processes.
Good sources of vitamin E include
- Vegetable oils
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy greens
Vitamin E is also added to foods like cereals. Most people get enough vitamin E from the foods they eat. People with certain disorders, such as liver diseases, cystic fibrosis, and Crohn's disease may need extra vitamin E.
Vitamin E supplements may be harmful for people who take blood thinners and other medicines. Check with your health care provider before taking the supplements.
NIH: National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
- Vitamin E (Medical Encyclopedia)