Nutritional Deficiencies and Disorders

Dec 15, 2009 • By • 606 Views

For proper growth and normal health human beings require a regular supply of nutrients.Improper intake of food or nutrients results in the impairment of health.This is called malnutrition.Malnutrition refers to both undernutrition and overnutrition.


Excess intake of food and nutrients is called over nutrition.Excess food is stored in the body and increase body weight.When a particular nutrient is deficient for a long time in our food, it may lead to various deficiency diseases.


                              Disorders related to nutrition

                             Vitamin deficiency diseases

Absence of vitamins in the diet for a long period causes various deficiency diseases in man.Important vitamin deficiency diseases are the following

1)      Night blindness

Vitamin A is responsible for the formation of  visual pigments such as rhodopsin and iodopsin.Its deficiency leads to the production of less visual pigments.As a result, vision in the dim light become difficult.This is called Night blindness.

2)      Xerophthalmia

In children prolonged deficiency of Vit A causes the thickening of the cornea of the eyes and became opaque.This  result in blindness.

3)      Rickets

Vit D is responsible for the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus.In growing children the deficiency of Vit D may result in weak,soft and thin bones due to the poor deposition of calcium and phosporus.This condition is called rickets.It is characterized by bent long bones,painful swellings on wrist, elbow and knee joints.

4)      Osteomalacia

Prolonged Vitamin D deficiency in adults results in osteomalacia.It is characterized by the weak bones of  the vertebral joints.pelvis gets bent and deformed by body weight.

5)      Bleeding diseases

Vitamin K helps in the formation of prothrombin.Prothrombin helps in blood cloating.Deficiency of Vitamin K can cause delayed clotting of blood which results in bleeding..

6)      Scurvy

Vitamin C is essential for maintaining connective tissue.Its deficiency may lead to fragile blood vessels due to the defective collagen fibres in their walls.It leads to the disease called scurvy.It is characterized by bleeding of gums, falling of teeth,fragile bones etc..Healing of wounds may be delayed..

7)      Beriberi

Beriberi is characterized by the inflammation of peripherals nerves,weakness of limb muscle and paralysis.

8)      Pellagra

Deficiency of nicotinamide result in pellagra.It is characterized by scaly pigmented skin of hands and legs and  irritability.

9)      Pernicious anaemia

     Vit B12 ‘s deficiency results in the immature nucleated RBC  without    

       haemoglobin,This is called  Pernicious anaemia

10)  Macrocytic anaemia

This is a type of anaemia caused due to the malformed RBC.It occurs due to deficiency of folic acid.

                        Other Deficiency Diseases

1)      Anaemia

This is due to the deficiency of iron.In this condition, the number and size of RBC and amount of haemoglobin content reduces.

2)      Protein-energy malnutrition

      Protein-energy malnutrition is wide spread in many underdeveloped countries.It affects infants and children to produce marasmus and  kwashiorkor

3)      Marasmus

It  is produced by the simultaneous deficiency of proteins and calories.In this condition protein deficiency impairs growth and replacement of tissue protein.So stored fats and tissue proteins are catabolised for energy production.This results in the extreme emaciation of the body and thinning of limbs.Ribs become very prominent .Skin becomes thin, dry and wrinkled.Growth rate and body weight decreases considerably.Growth and development of brain may be impared.Failure of digestion and absorption occurs.Diarrhoea may also occurs..

4)      Kwashiorker

It is a protein deficiency disease unaccompanied by caloric deficiency.It is characterized by wasting muscles,thin limbs,retarded growth of the body and brain.Oedema and diarrhea are other symptoms.

Over nutrition also causes some problems like Obesity, High blood pressure, cardiac diseases etc…..that is we should have a balanced diet. Under nutrition and over nutrition are dangerous.So arrange your  diet properly and avoid all the diseases..


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