Malnutrition results from imbalance in an individual’s intake of energy and nutrients. It includes undernutrition (when an individual doesn’t have enough food to eat), micronutrient deficiencies (when an individual doesn’t consume enough vitamins and minerals in their diet), and overweight/obesity (when an individual has an unhealthy diet composed of too many calories).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight, while 462 million are underweight. This high percentage is also present in children, where roughly 41 million children under the age of 5 are overweight, while 209 million are undernourished.
Disease-related malnutrition results from an underlying illness or disease that affects the way individuals consume or absorb foods. There are numerous medical conditions that may lead to malnutrition, including:
1. Dysphagia: Dysphagia is a term used to describe difficult or painful swallowing. Individuals with dysphagia rely on foods of certain consistencies that may be swallowed better than others.
2. Digestive and stomach conditions: Inflammatory Bower Disease, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis (amongst others) are health conditions that affect the way the body absorbs nutrients. These conditions may damage the lining of the intestine and lead to poor food absorption. Diarrhea and constant vomiting can lead to a loss of vital nutrients.
3. Conditions that cause lack of appetite, such as cancer or liver disease
4. Mental health conditions including depression or schizophrenia, which may affect one’s ability to look after one’s wellbeing
These conditions, amongst many others, require increased nutritional demand. Failing to provide adequate nutrition can lead to weight loss and reduced muscle mass, which can then lead to a weak immune system. A weak immune system can cause infections, frequent illnesses with longer recovery periods, or wounds healing longer than expected. These situations can lead to serious complications that may result in a lower quality of life for these patients.
Nutrition is Key
Consuming the right amount of nutrients can be key when facing a medical condition. Being nourished can help boost the immune system and can allow the body to heal and recover more quickly. It can also maintain the body strong and energized for subsequent treatments. Nutrition can greatly improve individual’s quality of life.
Eating the correct amount of nutrients, however, is not as simple. With certain conditions, the nutrient requirements can increase in order to keep the body strong. Although consuming the correct amount of foods can be a good starting point, supplementation is likely required to reach optimal levels.
Supplying the body with liquid protein is a great way to start providing the body with the nutrients it needs to remain strong and healthy. Adding liquid protein to any beverage or semi solid food is an easy but efficient way to build up the body’s store of protein.
Proteinex, our hydrolyzed liquid protein, is a lean source of protein that provides all essential and non essential amino acids in a small serving size. Proteinex causes no bloating, since the protein has already been predigested and broken down into its simplest form of amino acids. It has no fat, no carbs, and no sugar - making it a great addition to the current diet.
Ask your dietitian or healthcare professional before adding Proteinex to your diet. For more information visit the Proteinex product page or call our office phone number.