Nutritionally Induced Diseases

Nutritional disorders may result from inadequate intake of food or of certain nutrients, or by an inability of the body to take in and use nutrients, or by over intake of certain foods. Examples include anemia caused by insufficient iron intake, obesity caused by excess energy intake, and impaired sight due to insufficient intake of vitamin A (MERCK, 2009). Nutrition disorders can be mainly severe in children, since they obstruct with growth and development, and may cause many health problems such as chronic disease and infection.

Some of the nutritionally induced diseases include obesity, iron deficiency anemia, eating disorders and diabetes. Obesity Obesity refers particularly to having excess body fat. It generally means being overweight, but people may be overweight without being obese. Some people believe that obese or overweight is reverse to undernutrition, and that obese or overweight people are overnourished. Conversely, obese or overweight people may not consume sufficient nutrients that are necessary for good health and therefore may be undernourished.

For example, they may not take sufficient vitamins, minerals or fiber (MERCK, 2009). The main cause of becoming overweight or obese is eating more calories than the body requires over a period of time. Many people, as they age, gain body fat and weight. These changes happen when aged people become less active physically but do not consume less. Physical inactivity is one of the reasons to cause obesity. In older people, hormone levels, such as testosterone and growth hormone, reduce. When these hormones reduce, the muscle amount lessens and amount of body fat raises.

More calories are burned by muscle than fat, so this change may add to increased body fat as well as weight gain. People may consume more than needed for many causes. Some people consume when they are lonely, under stress or bored. Consuming foods that are in high calories, yet when the quantity is comparatively small, can lead to weight gain. Foods eaten in a restaurant and other convenience foods are high in calories and fat (MERCK, 2009). When people get obese, they face many health problems. Osteoarthritis of knees and hips is a common disease among obese people because surplus weight puts much stress on the joints.

Low back pain is another common problem faced by obese people. Obese people may become short of breath after slight hard work, tire easily, and have sleep difficulties because of sleep apnea. Women who are obese may feel pain in the rectum, uterus, or pelvis. The pressure of surplus weight can deteriorate the muscles and other tissues, which support pelvic organs. The obesity can be diagnosed by measuring height and weight of the person and these measurements are used for calculating body mass index (BMI). BMI specifies whether the person is obese or overweight and how severe obesity is.

Treatment for obesity includes exercising and reducing the number of calories taken. For losing weight, the person should eat fewer calories than the body burns. So, it is recommended to reduce the calories consumed. Snacks in between meals should be avoided. The person with obesity must recognize the feelings and activities that cause overeating. Many people take snacks while watching television. This habit can be substituted with other activities like painting, gardening, which take the anxieties from the mind that cause overeating (MERCK, 2009). Iron deficiency anemia

Anemia is a condition in which a person’s blood contains lower than normal amount of healthy red blood cells or other elements that help carry oxygen all over the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a decline in the number of red blood cells, which is caused by too little iron. If a person does not consume sufficient iron, or lose too much iron, his/her body cannot produce sufficient hemoglobin, and iron deficiency anemia will ultimately develop (MayoClinic, 2009). Causes of iron deficiency anemia Lack of iron in the diet: People get iron regularly from the food they eat.

If they consume too little iron, their body over time can become iron deficient. Blood loss: Common cause of iron deficiency anemia is blood loss. Blood consists of iron within red blood cells. So, if people lose blood, they lose some iron. Women are at high risk of iron deficiency anemia because if they have heavy periods, they lose lot of blood during menstrual cycle. Slow blood loss from bladder tumor, peptic ulcer, kidney tumor, colorectal cancer, uterine fibroids, or colon polyp can also cause iron deficiency anemia.

Inability to absorb iron: Iron from food consumed is absorbed into the person’s blood stream in the small intestine. An intestinal disorder, such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, which affects the person’s intestine’s ability for absorbing nutrients from digested food, can result in iron deficiency anemia. Even, some drugs can also obstruct iron absorption (MayoClinic, 2009). Pregnancy: Many pregnant women can get iron deficiency anemia without supplementation of iron because their iron supplies require serving their own enhanced blood volume as well as be a resource of hemoglobin for the developing fetus.

The growing fetus requires iron for development of red blood cells, muscle and blood vessels (MayoClinic, 2009). Treatment for iron deficiency anemia includes finding out the cause for deficiency, mainly in older patients who face gastrointestinal cancer risk. Once a person becomes iron deficient, intake of iron rich foods should be increased, but generally it is not sufficient to correct the problem. The person needs iron supplementation to build back the iron reserves, as well as to meet the body’s requirements of iron daily.

For pregnant women, iron supplements help in providing sufficient iron for both mother and fetus. Iron supplements are obtainable. For best absorption of iron, the supplements should be taken with an empty stomach. Some people may not tolerate with empty stomach, so they may require taking with food (MedlinePlus, 2009). Some people, who cannot tolerate the iron supplements through mouth, can take them through a vein or by injection into the muscle. Some foods, such as milk and antacids, obstruct with absorption of iron and must not be taken at the similar moment as iron supplements.

Vitamin C can enhance absorption of iron and is vital in hemoglobin production. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take additional iron because their usual diet will not supply the necessary amount of iron. Iron rich foods to include in the diet are fish, eggs, legumes (peas and beans), raisins, poultry, wholegrain bread, and meats (liver is the highest source) (MedlinePlus, 2009). Eating disorders An eating disorder is an obsession with food and weight that harms the well-being of the person.

The characteristics of the eating disorder include person experiencing severe troubles in eating behavior, such as extreme overeating or extreme reduction of food consumption, or thoughts of extreme suffering or worry about body shape or weight (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009). A person with this disorder may have just started out eating lesser or more amounts of food than regular, but at some position, the urge to eat a small amount or large amount spirals out of control. Main types of eating disorders are: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.

Eating disorders often occur during teenage years or young adulthood, but some reports say that they can occur during childhood or in later adulthood stage. Girls and women are much more expected to develop an eating disorder than males. Eating disorders often co-exist with psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse. Anorexia The characteristics of anorexia nervosa include reluctant to maintain standard or healthy weight, deformation of body image and extreme fear of gaining weight, irregular menstruation among women and girls, and intensely disturbed eating behavior.

Some people with anorexia nervosa lose weight with dieting and extreme exercising and others lose weight by misusing laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and self-induced vomiting (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009). People with anorexia feel themselves as overweight, even when they are in starving condition or are malnourished. Food, eating and controlling weight become obsession for them. People with anorexia typically weigh themselves repeatedly, portions food cautiously, and consumes only very little quantities.

According to some researches, people suffering from anorexia are up to 10 times more probable to die as a result of their disease compared to those without the illness. People with anorexia over time may develop thinning of the bones, severe constipation, brittle hair and nails, low blood pressure, mild anemia, dry and yellowish skin, and muscle weakness and loss. Treatment for anorexia involves three components: restoring the healthy weight of the person, giving treatment for psychological disorders that relate to eating disorder, and decreasing or removing behaviors or thoughts that result in disordered eating.

Different types of psychotherapy, including, family, individual and group-based, can help to deal with psychological reasons for the disease. Some studies recommend family based therapies in which parents take responsibility for feeding their worried adolescent are the most efficient in helping an anorexic person gain weight and develop eating habits (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009). Bulimia nervosa The characteristics of bulimia nervosa include repeated and frequent events of eating abnormally large amount of food, and sensing a lack of control over the eating.

This binge eating is followed by a kind of behavior that balances for the binge, such as removal (ex: vomiting), excessive exercise, and fasting. Like anorexic people, bulimic people frequently fear of gaining weight, want urgently to lose weight, and are extremely unhappy with their body shape and size. Bulimic people behave secretly, because they often feel shame or disgust. The binge eating and purging cycle generally repeats a number of times a week. People with bulimia nervosa frequently have coexisting psychological disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse problems (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009).

Treatment for bulimia includes different options and depends on the requirements of the person. To decrease or remove binge and purge behavior, the person may undergo nutrition related counseling and psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). CBT that has been customized for treating bulimia also has shown efficient in modifying binging and purging behavior, and eating approaches. Binge eating disorder: The characteristics of binge eating include repeated binge-eating events during which people sense a loss of control over their eating.

Unlike bulimia nervosa, binge-eating events are not followed by excessive exercise, fasting or purging. Therefore, people with this disorder frequently are overweight or obese. They also experience guiltiness, distress and shame about binge-eating, which can result in more binge-eating. People, who are obese with binge-eating disorder, frequently have coexisting psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Treatment for binge-eating disorder is similar to that of bulimia. People with this disorder may also be prescribed appetite suppressants.

Psychotherapy, particularly CBT, also is used for treating the underlying psychological illnesses connected to binge-eating (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009). Diabetes Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a disorder of metabolism. Metabolism means the way the body uses digested food for growth and energy. Most part of the food people eat is broken down into glucose, which is a form of sugar in the blood. Glucose is the important fuel source for the body. When the food consumed is digested, the glucose passes into the blood stream, where it is used by cells for the growth and energy.

Without insulin, glucose cannot enter into the cells. Pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach, produces insulin hormone (Medical News Today, 2010). After people eat, the pancreas automatically produces sufficient amount of insulin for moving glucose present in the blood into the cells and lowers levels of blood sugar. In people with diabetes, amount of glucose in the blood is too elevated. The reason for this is the body may not be able to produce sufficient insulin, or does not produce insulin, or has cells that do not react appropriately to the insulin the pancreas produces.

This can lead to too much glucose buildup in the blood. The surplus blood glucose ultimately passes out from the body in urine. Therefore, even if the blood contains plenty of glucose, the cells do not get it for their crucial growth and energy requirements (Medical News Today, 2010). A person with diabetes will have high blood sugar levels. This can cause other problems with other body functions such as eyes, kidneys, nerves, and feet. Long term complications of diabetes include digestive problems, skin problems, sexual dysfunction, and teeth and gum problems.

Careful management of diabetes is vital for avoiding further complications such as kidney disease, blindness, and amputations. Proper nutrition plays an important role in diabetes care. Nutritional management designed for a specific person according to the condition helps in maintaining blood glucose levels as close to normal (Marianne, 2010). References MERCk (2009). Obesity. Retrieved from http://www. merck. com/pubs/mmanual_ha/sec3/ch17/ch17d. html MayoClinic (2009). Iron deficiency anemia. Retrieved March 24, 2009 from http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/iron-deficiency-anemia/DS00323/DSECTION=causes

MedlinePlus (2009). Iron deficiency anemia. Retrieved April 5, 2009 from http://www. nlm. nih. gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000584. htm Medical News Today (2010). All about diabetes. Retrieved from http://www. medicalnewstoday. com/info/diabetes/whatisdiabetes. php Marianne (2010). Diabetes nutrition. Retrieved January 8, 2010 from http://www. diabetes. co. uk/nutrition. html National Institute of Mental Health (2009). Eating disorders. Retrieved June 12, 2009 from http://www. nimh. nih. gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/complete-index. shtml

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