Diseases Diseases

What Are The Causes Of Nutritional Diseases

Causes of nutritional diseases


Nutritional diseases have become very common in the world especially among the small children. Nutritional diseases are the disorders that are caused indirectly or directly by imbalance or the lack of enough essential nutrients in the body. Excessive intake of nutrients can also result to nutritional diseases or even the consumption of poisonous foods. Nutritional diseases can be fatal if not addressed on time or if mishandled. A person's nutritional requirements change with growth and the failure to adjust with the body as it grows can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies.


Nutrition dates back in the earliest times in history before civilization when people used to live in the farms. Actually, in the ancient times, the nutritional disorders were very minimal if not none at all. This is because, people grew their own food in their own farms and barely consumed the processed foods though they would trade the whole foods for processed foods from time to time. During the 19th and 20th centuries, urbanization made people to move from the farms to the cities and hence, the farming reduced and people started purchasing food from the grocery stores and embraced the consumption of processed foods. As a result, the consumption of the strong nutritional farm foods was abandoned as people continued consuming processed foods that contain empty calories. This was the beginning of the problematic issue concerning numerous nutritional diseases.

Types of nutritional diseases

Xerophthalmia: caused by lack of vitamin A. It is characterized by poor growth, chronic eye infections that result to blindness, dryness of the epithelial tissues.
Beriberi: caused by lack of thiamin in the body. It is characterized by nerve degeneration, cardiovascular diseases and altered muscle coordination.
Rickets: results from lack of vitamin D. It is characterized by bowed legs, bone deformities and weakened bones.
Scurvy: results from lack of vitamin C that is found in fruits. Its symptoms are abnormal bone and teeth formation, delayed healing of wounds and internal bleeding.
Pellagra: caused by lack of niacin nutrients fond in chicken, grains and mushrooms in the body. Its symptoms are diarrhea, dementia and skin inflammation.
Goitre: brought about by lack of iodine that is found in salt. It is characterized by the enlargement of thyroid gland, poor growth and mental retardation.
Iron deficiency anemia: lack of iron that is found in spinach causes this disease that is characterized by reduced growth, increased health risk during pregnancy and reduced work output.
Obesity can also be classified as a nutritional disease that is caused by having excess nutrients in the body as a result of overeating and falling to exercise.
Marasmus: caused by low calories in the body. The child suffering from this disorder has a bones and skin body appearance, is very weak and prone to many infections. It can cause heart failure and death as a result of starvation.
Kwashiokor: caused by severe protein deficiency in the body. Its symptoms are; potbelly, skin rash, drying of skin, anemia, diarrhea, edema, weakness and liver infiltration.

Tips and comments

Most of these nutritional diseases affect the young children. It is therefore the responsibility of the parents to make sure that their children eat a balanced diet that contains proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates at the right quantities. The lack or excess of any of these nutrients in the body can lead to serious deficiencies that can be embarrassing to the parents.

By winnie mwihaki, published at 03/15/2012
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