Common Nutritional Deficiency for Nursing Students

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Common Nutritional Deficiency for Nursing Students

Most of us know that what we consume tremendously impacts our health, productivity, and happiness. High blood pressure, acne, weariness, night blindness, stress, anxiety, and osteoporosis are some nutritional deficiency diseases resulting from low-quality food and insufficient nutrition. Common Nutritional Deficiencies for Nursing Students:

Diet is generally one of the first areas to examine if a patient’s physical, mental health, or emotional health exercises are not providing a desirable outcome. Some of the epidemics in modern society are nutritional deficiency diseases. Many people who strive to adapt to healthy choices opt for the convenience of processed and refined foods. Let’s dive into details by discussing what a nutritional deficiency is, the most prevalent dietary disorders, and different nutritional deficiency diseases.

Definition of a nutritional deficiency

What are the repercussions of not maintaining a healthy diet? It refers to the consequences of not providing your body with enough of any one of the nutrients it needs to function properly. This reckless lifestyle leads to malnutrition. The term “nutritional deficiency” refers to a state in which the body does not receive enough of one or more basic nutrients.

A well-balanced and healthy diet is important for optimal health. A variety of nutrients are essential for cellular health and normal bodily function. Nutritional deficiency occurs when the body does not get enough of a nutrient from the diet or does not absorb any nutrient. An illness can develop from a chronic lack of any vitamins. A lack of proper nutrition can lead to several different health issues.

What are the different forms of nutritional deficiencies?

Here are the three main types of nutritional deficiency that you need to understand as a nursing student:

1.      Vitamin deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency, a lack of vitamin B12, and a lack of folate are the three most common forms of vitamin deficiency. Vitamin B is essential in converting food into energy which is crucial for maintaining bodily processes. Adopting a nutritious diet is the best way to combat their deficit.

2.      Mineral deficiency

Iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium deficiencies are all examples of mineral deficiencies. Lack of minerals can lead to fatigue, weakening of the bones and muscles, anaemia, bone density loss, and lack of appetite. It all depends on how much of that mineral is missing.

3.      Protein deficiency

There is a strong correlation between low protein intake and low-calorie consumption. Proteins help with various things, including immunity, wound healing, blood sugar regulation, and muscular growth. The body will begin to rely on protein as a source of energy if there is a calorie deficit in the diet. They can do their jobs well if they get enough to eat.

Protein deficiency causes a variety of symptoms in the body, including weakness in the muscles, hair loss, and a slowed healing rate for wounds. Avoiding nutritional deficiency disorders is typically as simple as eating a balanced diet rich in various nutritious foods.

What are the 3 most common nutrient deficiencies?

1.      Vitamin D

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that vitamin D is essential for bone health and may aid in the prevention of diseases such as cancer and Type 2 diabetes (CDC). Research suggests it may also increase stamina and performance. Sunlight is a key factor in the body’s natural production of vitamin D; thus, those who reside in areas with insufficient solar radiation may be at increased risk for nutritional deficiency diseases.

2.      Calcium

According to the National Institutes of Health, calcium is a mineral in greater quantities than any other mineral. It plays an important role in vascular contraction, muscular function, neuronal transmission, hormone secretion, and many other fundamental processes. The majority of the calcium in your body is found in your skeleton and teeth.

Most adults between the ages of 19 and 70 require between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium daily, as stated by the National Institutes of Health. Milk, yoghurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli are all good sources of the nutrients you need.

The loss of calcium from the body can lead to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the fragility of bones. Calcium carbonate tablets may assist postmenopausal women in preventing this disease and restoring calcium levels.

3.      Iron

Haemoglobin is a component of red blood cells that requires iron to be synthesized. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 10% of U.S. women suffer from iron deficiency. According to the National Institutes of Health, people with low iron might develop iron-deficiency anaemia, resulting in symptoms like exhaustion, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

A lack of iron in the body is a common consequence of living in a toxic environment, such as a region with lead-tainted water. It may also run in families or be related to what you eat. There is also a higher risk for women who have particularly heavy periods.

What are some examples of nutritional deficiencies?

Due to a lack of enough vitamins and minerals, your body will have to function at its most fundamental level as it suffers from a common nutritional deficiency. The food we eat provides the nutrients necessary for the development and upkeep of these incredible devices. As soon as a nutrient is lacking in the diet, the body begins to show signs of distress.

Below is a list of nutritional deficiencies that you might suffer from due to a lack of nutrients:

·         Essential fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for a variety of bodily functions, and there are three main ones: alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid. Small amounts of ALA can be transformed into the other two. You must make preparations to obtain these through diet or dietary supplements.

Building fragile membranes that perform vital tasks all over the body requires omega-3s. DHA is essential for many body parts; the brain, retina, and sperm are just a few examples. The optimal functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and immunological systems is made possible by these nutrients.

Omega-3 fatty acid requirements vary by age and gender; thus, only a trained nutritionist can determine the optimal dosage and delivery method. Seafood, nuts, seeds, plant oils, and fortified meals are all ideal sources of Omega-3.

·         Folic acid

Folic acid, a vitamin B, is essential to properly functioning red blood cells. Pregnant women need this vitamin. Folic acid deficiency increases the risk of birth abnormalities like spina bifida in pregnant women.

It is common for those who do not consume fresh vegetables or overcook their vegetables to be deficient in folic acid. Risk factors for this insufficiency include chronic alcohol intake and the use of certain medications and substances. Products such as vegetables, fruits, sunflower seeds, and liver all excellent recommendations for your patients looking to increase their folic acid intake.

·         Magnesium

Several different metabolic processes rely on magnesium, making it an essential nutrient. Magnesium is an essential mineral, yet few people understand its role or know where it originates.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in how our muscles and nerves work. Magnesium deficiency can cause various symptoms, including cramping, tingling, elevated blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats. Cashews, pumpkin seeds, oats, spinach, peanuts, chia seeds, almonds, and soymilk are all excellent choices for attaining the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.

What are 5 nutritional diseases?

The medical staff at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is trained to help kids who are dealing with gastrointestinal (GI) problems due to nutritional issues. Find out more about nutritional problems:

  • Malabsorption of Carbohydrates
  • Amino acid metabolism problems
  • Diseases Associated with Fat Absorption
  • Diseases Linked to Improper Metal Absorption
  • Proteolysis Disorders

Causes of nutritional deficiency

Insufficient intake, inadequate absorption, and an increased requirement for a nutrient that is not satisfied are the fundamental reasons for nutritional insufficiency.

  • Inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals

Lack of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, C, zinc, and iron, can occur when one adheres to a restrictive or fad diet. Food processing can leech out vitamins and minerals, so an unhealthy or imbalanced diet, or eating too much processed and junk food, can leave you deficient in these nutrients.

  • The risk of protein insufficiency increases with vegetarian or vegan diets

Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium and protein; thus, vegetarians and vegans who abstain from these foods may be at risk for nutritional deficiencies.

  • Vitamin deficiencies and eating overcooked food

Overcooking food regularly can also destroy vitamins. Vitamins in food are destroyed when it is overcooked.

  • High demand for nutrients periods

Sometimes your body demands more nutrients than usual; protein, iron, and folic acid are very important during pregnancy. A shortage of certain nutrients in the diet leads to nutritional insufficiency.

  • Substitute medications and drugs that cause deficiencies

A few prescription drugs can prevent the body from absorbing essential nutrients, including vitamins. Vitamin absorption may be impaired by anticonvulsant medication. Several medications for treating type 2 diabetes and gastrointestinal conditions, such as antacids, may prevent the body from absorbing B-12.

What is the necessary nutritional deficiency treatment?

Different types and levels of nutritional deficiencies require different treatment approaches. Once the proper diet is adopted, or the deficient vitamin is replaced, the symptoms of nutritional deficiencies typically disappear. People suffering from anaemia, for example, would benefit from consuming more meat, eggs, poultry, green vegetables, and iron-rich grains to correct their nutritional deficiencies and alleviate their symptoms.

A visit to a Dietician and a series of follow-up appointments can be unexpectedly beneficial if the level of the deficiency is severe. According to dietary standards, it is best to acquire the majority of your nutrients from food, but there may be times when you need to take a supplement. For example, calcium and vitamin D are often combined as supplements because they enhance each other’s absorption.

It will be necessary to adjust the supplement schedule and dosage based on the degree of insufficiency. Your doctor or nutritionist is in charge of making this call. Parenteral feed, or feeding into the veins and muscles, may be required when a nutritional deficiency is particularly severe and does not respond to oral drugs or vitamins. It is often performed in a medical facility.

Process of nutritional deficiency test

Normal testing can confirm or disprove your suspicions that your patient has one of these common dietary deficits. A blood test that can pinpoint exactly which nutrients and vitamins your patient is deficient in will greatly help. It can provide targeted intervention for reversing malnutrition by establishing a new norm.

Many key areas for health enhancement are revealed using BioScan technology. In as little as 10 minutes, you’ll have all the information you need to help put your patients on the road to health and wellness.

Closing remarks

From the information provided in this article, only a select few foods, such as fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, and liver, naturally contain vitamin D. Vitamin D is added to many American dairy and plant milk products. Sunlight is a major vitamin D source, but sunscreen might reduce your body’s ability to absorb it. Vitamin D supplements are sometimes recommended for people with severe nutritional deficiencies.

Our professionals are always available to help you understand more about the nutritional deficiency you might be suffering from. At, we can help you understand the various steps to take when treating nutritional deficiency diseases. We are considered the home of professional nurses.