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9 Signs Your Body is Nutritional Deficiency

Malnutrition is a serious health disorder that occurs when the body does not get enough nutritional intake. In fact, nutrition is needed by the body to be able to carry out its functions properly.

Malnutrition can occur because the body is malnourished for a long time. The sign that the body is malnourished at an early stage is not very clear, so many people do not realize that their body starts to lack nutrition. We look at any signs of body malnutrition. Do not let you lack nutrition to experience health problems.

Dry lip

Signs of a Body Malnutrition

When the body is malnourished, there are several signs that can appear, namely:

1. Dry scaly skin

Scaly dry skin is one of the common signs of aging, which also often encounters you during cold and dry weather. But if your skin feels drier than usual to itching and irritation, you may be malnourished from omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 helps nourish skin lipid tissue - a layer of oil that repels harmful germs and poisons and keeps the skin's natural moisture inside. Without the intake of omega-3-rich foods, your skin loses moisture so it displays a dry and scaly texture. This may also be followed by the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines due to dehydration.

You can avoid this by multiplying eating foods high in omega-3, such as oily fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.), as well as walnuts and chia seeds.

Read Also : Have dry skin? identify the causes and how to overcome them

2. Pale skin

White skin is the target of many people, but it's another story with dull pale skin that indicates you lack iron. Iron deficiency causes the size of red blood cells to shrink, less, and not be met by hemoglobin. As a result, the color of the skin becomes pale and dull, especially in the lining area of the eyelids and the inner wall of the cheek.

To be able to know more precisely whether you are really deficient in iron, you need to go through a doctor's test. But in the meantime you can meet your needs by consuming lentils, beef and iron fortification cereals.

3. Tingling

Almost everyone has experienced a tickling and piercing tingling sensation that comes suddenly in the hands or feet. We generally call it "tingling", because the sensation that is felt is like being covered by hundreds of ants under the skin. Tingling is usually caused by nerves that are pinched by heavy pressure, such as when we cross our legs or sit cross-legged for too long.

But this uncomfortable sensation can also result from a lack of intake of B vitamins, especially B6, folate, and B12. You can increase your intake of vitamin B complex by including whole wheat products, spinach, beans and eggs in your diet.

Read Also : 6 Diseases Marked by Tingling Feet

4. Lips dry and cracked

Occasionally rubbing lipbalm when the lips feel rough doesn't matter. But if the lips look very dry and cracked, it hurts, even cracks occur on both corners of the lips, this can indicate your body is deficient in vitamin B2 (riboflavin). A number of small portions of this vitamin that are in the body are usually enough for use in a few weeks, so symptoms of deficiency will begin to emerge once the reserves are very thinning.

Dry and cracked lips due to B2 deficiency will usually be accompanied by a swollen tongue and dark red color, as well as a swollen mouth. If left untreated, B2 deficiency can continue to get worse, sometimes causing nerve damage that triggers tingling in the fingers or toes. Add more riboflavin to your diet by adding almonds, salmon, broccoli, cheddar cheese, and eggs.

Read Also : How to eliminate broken lips

5. Spotty

Acne occurs when bacteria multiply in pores that are blocked by oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. But it turns out that malnutrition, especially omega-3s, can also make you easier to spotty and more difficult to remove. Omega-3 fatty acids have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

If the body lacks omega-3 intake, you may experience more inflammation, which can be acne. The role of omega-3 in protecting lipid tissue in the skin also plays a major role in preventing acne from getting worse.

6. Wounds that don't heal

Indeed, cuts from a knife or blisters from falling into a fall will not magically disappear overnight. But wounds that take a long time to heal can be a feature of malnutrition, especially lack of protein - essential nutrients to build and repair body tissues.

Keep in mind that animal protein products such as red meat can provide high nutritional and protein intake, but also contain saturated fats which can increase bad cholesterol. Choose sources of vegetable fats from nuts and seeds, white meat, eggs, avocados, to milk and greek yogurt.

You also need to multiply eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C because low levels of these nutrients can slow healing (and, in severe cases, even reopen old wounds). Guava, papaya, strawberries, pineapple and mango are some of the best sources of vitamin C besides citrus fruits.

7. Brittle nails

When your body starts to run out of iron and / or complex vitamins, especially B7 (biotin) and B2 (riboflavin), this can cause your nails to become brittle and change color.

Biotin functions to maintain nail growth, so that if this vitamin intake is not fulfilled, your nails will grow irregularly - some are fast, some are short. Lack of biotin also increases your risk of having a fungal infection that can cause your nails to change color and the edges grow unevenly. Meanwhile, iron deficiency can cause nails to grow outward like the surface of a spoon. Lack of vitamin B2 can change the skin color to brown.

Read Also : Function and Reasons Your Body Needs Iron

8. Thinning hair

Hair loss is natural. In general, hair can fall up to 50-100 strands per day. But excessive thinning can be a sign that your body is not adequately nourished. Vitamin C deficiency and protein can cause thinning, brittle hair that is easily broken / branched, and / or easily fall out. That's because both of these vitamins help you make collagen - one of the important nutrients to maintain healthy and strong hair growth.

Biotin may also play a role in maintaining healthy hair. A new study found that nearly four out of 10 women who reported suffering from hair loss experienced a lack of biotin.

Read Also : These 9 Foods Can Make Healthy Hair

9. Frequent muscle cramps

If you continue to experience muscle stiffness or muscle cramps, even when you are actively moving, maybe this could be a sign that your body is deficient in magnesium - one of the minerals that helps regulate bodily functions. Other symptoms of poor magnesium intake can also include facial twitching, lack of sleep, and chronic pain.

Magnesium deficiency can occur if you consume too much soft drinks, high-sugar snacks, and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Most dark sodas contain phosphate. This substance binds with magnesium in the digestive tract, making it unavailable to the body for processing. Meanwhile, sugar and caffeine causes the kidneys to waste a lot of magnesium through urine. Enrich your magnesium reserves by eating lots of bananas, almonds and green leafy vegetables.

Read Also : 8 Foods that Contain High Magnesium

10. The desire to chew ice cubes

Suddenly cravings to chew ice cubes can be one of the strange symptoms displayed by the body to commemorate the owner of the body that the diet is bad. Chewing ice cubes can be a sign that you are deficient in iron, even though health experts do not know for sure why. One theory is that the fresh and cold sensation given by ice cubes provides a large surge of energy to combat fatigue due to minimal iron intake in the body.

What are the Causes of Body Nutrition?

Malnutrition can occur when you don't have a healthy diet. In addition, malnutrition can also be caused by health conditions that make the body unable to absorb nutrients from food properly, or make you not appetite.

There are also several other things that can cause the body to lack nutrition, namely:

  • Going on a diet is too strict, because it can make you lack calories and various important nutrients.
  • Having eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
  • Suffering from a disease that makes your appetite disturbed, such as liver disease, HIV / AIDS, or cancer.
  • Having conditions that make it difficult for the body to digest or absorb nutrients, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Suffering from dysphagia or difficulty swallowing.
  • Suffering from mental health disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia.
  • Eating large amounts of alcoholic drinks too often, because it can interfere with the digestive process and absorption of nutrients in the body.
  • Take treatment that can reduce appetite, such as chemotherapy, taking blood pressure medications, or thyroid drugs.
  • Economic problems, lack of knowledge about nutrition, or living in areas that lack food.

To avoid malnutrition, you are advised to eat foods with balanced nutrition every day. The food consists of vegetables and fruit, milk and processed products, as well as food sources of carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, bread, cereals or pasta), healthy fats, and protein (meat, eggs, fish, or nuts).

Malnutrition can be experienced by anyone, ranging from children, adults, to the elderly. To find out if your body is malnourished or not, you can consult a nutritionist. The doctor will calculate your body mass index and do other checks needed to determine your nutritional status. After that, the doctor will provide a healthy diet, according to your condition.



1. Sugai, et al. NCBI. High prevalence of underweight and undernutrition in Japanese inpatients with schizophrenia: a nationwide survey. BMJ Open. 2015.

2. Streit, L. Healthline (2018). Malnutrition: Definition, Symptoms and Treatment.

3. Morley, J. MSD Manual Consumer Version (2018). Undernutrition.

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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