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Malnutrition is a widespread problem. About fifteen million people die of hunger each year. Malnutrition occurs when the human body fails to ingest the required level of nutritional ingredients. This will result in various disorders that can affect the internal organs. Malnutrition can lead to many deficiency diseases, which can often be fatal, particularly in children.

Causes of Malnutrition

Malnutrition in certain forms can become manifest as a result of social factors and the environment surrounding the affected individual. For example, those who live in places affected by famine and poverty are likely to suffer from malnutrition. High food prices, unstable political conditions and other related factors can all lead to the onset of malnutrition. On a more personal note, malnutrition might occur in an individual who suffers from alcoholism, depression, drug addiction or digestive disorders.

Symptoms of Malnutrition

Malnutrition does lead to specific, clear symptoms in many cases. However, many symptoms of the disease can also be similar to those that will become manifest with other - sometimes non-related - conditions. Some of these symptoms that become clear might include hair loss, eyelid welling, wrinkles on the face and glandular inflammation. Many people with malnutrition might also suffer from fatigue, weight loss, low immune levels and dizziness.

Different types of malnutrition

Malnutrition comes in two forms, primary malnutrition and secondary nutrition. The former comes about when the person in question does not or cannot provide themselves with food. That is to say, when an individual is unable to provide food for himself or herself and is dependent on another for food supply. Secondary malnutrition refers to those who have a lack of appetite. It can also apply to those who do not have the will to provide themselves with the required level of food. Thus, primary malnutrition is a condition that occurs as a result of compulsion, while secondary malnutrition is a condition of choice.

Protein Energy Malnutrition, also known as PEM, occurs when an individual does not provide his or her body with enough proteins. This lack of protein can lead to an inability of the body to absorb proteins and other vital nutrients. Micronutrient malnutrition occurs when the body is not being supplied with enough essential nutrients. For example, this type of malnutrition might occur if the body does not get enough vitamins or minerals. This can lead to deficiencies such as scurvy, Beri Beri and night blindness.

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