How Dietitians can help with malnutrition

28 Sep, 2022

malnutrition and dietician

Malnutrition is a serious health condition, yet it continues to be unnoticed and, thus, untreated. This condition is increasingly becoming a first-world health problem, affecting countless people across the globe.

In Australia alone, it affects one in two residents in aged care with the prevalence being higher in seniors and patients with certain health conditions like cancer. 

 

Read on to learn more about this health problem.

 

What is Malnutrition?

Malnutrition is a health problem that occurs when your diet lacks the right contents of nutrients. A person becomes malnourished if they don’t eat enough of the right food types or their body fails to absorb enough nutrients from food. In simple terms, malnutrition or “poor nutrition” occurs when the body’s nutritional requirements are not met. 

 

Symptoms of Malnutrition

Malnutrition can refer to either undernutrition – where a person doesn’t get enough nutrients, or overnutrition – where a person gets too much nutrients.

The signs and symptoms of malnutrition include but are not limited to:

  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Fatigue or mental confusion
  • Getting sick often and taking longer to recover
  • Pale skin
  • Hair loss

 

Who is at risk of Malnutrition?

Malnutrition is a major issue that affects many people in Australia. While it can affect anyone, malnutrition is more common in individuals:

  • Who require additional energy, such as people with tremors, cystic fibrosis, or who are recovering from a severe injury.
  • with eating disorders
  • whom have dysphagia or difficulties swallowing
  • with long-term health conditions that affect weight or appetite
  • who have limited mobility, are socially isolated or have a low income

Older people have an increased risk of malnutrition, which could be from social isolation, dental problems, psychological distress or dementia, certain medical conditions like cancer, or financial difficulties. Screening for malnutrition can help detect this problem and reduce the need for major treatments. Most health professionals use a simple screening tool to check changes in appetite, unintentional weight loss, and inability to eat.

 

How to treat Malnutrition?

A certified dietitian at Gen Physio can work with individuals who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. They can offer tailored dietary advice to help you meet your nutritional needs and enhance your health.

A dietitian can help create a personalised diet plan to ensure you get enough supply of nutrients. They may also suggest the following:

  • having a more balanced diet
  • having foods that contain more calories
  • consuming fortified foods that are rich in nutrients
  • having proper nutrition care

 

Contact Gen Physio

At Gen Physio, our Dietetics team provide tailored, evidence-based nutrition advice to Australians in the comfort of their homes. Our experts provide the best quality services to ensure your nutrition and health function properly.

Need nutritional help? Book an appointment today to get started.

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