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What is malnutrition?
Malnutrition occurs when someone does not obtain the appropriate nutrients needed for normal body growth and function due to inability to take in or absorb food. The mismatch of caloric intake to the body’s energy demands leads to weight loss and a weakened immune system.
General risk factors include:
- Chronic illness
- Neurologic illness, such as stroke, muscle weakness or dementia
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
- Conditions affecting nutrient absorption or processing
- Celiac disease
- Short gut syndrome
Depending on the type of malnutrition, symptoms will be different. In general, symptoms will include:
- Weight loss
- Easy bruising
- Poor healing after injuries
- Dental problems and bleeding from gums can occur
- Impaired brain function
- Delayed development
- Poor attention
To diagnose malnutrition, your physician will get a history of symptoms and detailed information about oral intake. Blood tests can be used to measure total body protein and related levels.
For More Information:
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our IR physicians, please call 310-481-7545.