Malnutrition is a broad term which refers to both under-nutrition and over- nutrition. Malnutrition can be defined as the insufficient, excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients. Several different nutrition disorders may develop, depending on which nutrients are lacking or consumed in excess.
- Cannot go out to buy foods
- Diseases like; anorexia nervosa or bulimia, celiac disease, crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, dysphagia, gastritis, pancreatitis, serious bouts of diarrhea and/or vomiting
- High food prices
- Improper diet (when recovering from an illness)
- Lack of breastfeeding
- Shortage of food
- Unable to prepare food
- Undue food distribution
Symptoms And Signs–
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest infection
- Decreased mobility and stamina as a result of muscle wasting
- Feelings of apathy
- Fertility problems
- Poor libido
- Recurrent infections and slow recovery(weakened immunity)
- Reduced muscle and tissue mass
- Respiratory failure
- Wounds that take longer to heal
BAPEN’s (British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition’s) MUST (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool) is a quick to use screening tool to identify those at risk of malnutrition.
MUST 5-step plan:
Step 1 – Measure height and weight to get a BMI (body mass index) score.
Step 2 – Note percentage unplanned weight loss and score.
Step 3 – Establish acute disease (any underlying illness, such as a psychological condition) effect and score.
Step 4 – Add scores from steps 1, 2 and 3 together to obtain overall risk of malnutrition.
Step 5 – Use management guidelines and/or local policy to develop care plan.
- Underlying illness/condition needs to be treated
- Specially planned healthy, nutritious diet i.e. enough carbohydrates, proteins, fats and diary, as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Additional nutritional supplements
- Artificial nutritional support