Causes of malnutrition
Malnutrition can be caused by a wide and varied list of factors. Diagnosis of an illness, physical limitations and the consumption of foods with low nutrient density can all have a part to play.
Diagnosis of an illness
Being diagnosed with an illness like cancer, liver disease or a lung condition, plus their associated treatments, can bring about a lack of appetite, and feelings of nausea and tiredness. There may also be difficulty when swallowing (called dysphagia), adding another hurdle to giving your body the fuel it needs to get better.
Digestive conditions including irritable bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and cancers of the digestive tract can also be a cause, as they can prohibit the body from absorbing the nutrients it need effectively and efficiently.
If someone is experiencing reduced mobility due to physical limitations, it may mean they can’t access nutrient-rich food or that they have lost the ability to prepare meals for themselves. This is particularly problematic when living alone; malnutrition can go unnoticed if nobody knows whether adequate meals are being prepared and eaten each day.