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)
Minerals are important for your body to stay healthy. Your body uses minerals for many different jobs, including keeping your bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly. Minerals are also important for making enzymes and hormones.
There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals. You need larger amounts of macrominerals. They include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. You only need small amounts of trace minerals. They include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium.
Most people get the amount of minerals they need by eating a wide variety of foods. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a mineral supplement. People who have certain health problems or take some medicines may need to get less of one of the minerals. For example, people with chronic kidney disease need to limit foods that are high in potassium.
- Chloride in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Chromium in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Copper in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Iodine in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Magnesium in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Phosphorus in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Selenium in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Zinc in diet (Medical Encyclopedia)