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Malnutrition's Affect on Your Body

posted Sep 20, 2017, 8:02 AM by Senior Monongalians

Your body naturally loses muscle and bone as you age; however, malnutrition can accelerate these losses and impact your independence and ability to be active.

1. Mobility: Weak muscles and bones can make it harder to do everyday tasks like walking, dressing, and bathing. Regular physical activity and a diet high in protein, calcium, and vitamin D are critical to help you maintain and rebuild muscle and bone.

2. Posture: Muscles and bones are needed to help keep you upright. If they are weak, you may strain your neck, back, and shoulder muscles, causing you to feel pain.

3. Strength: Poor muscle strength may make it more difficult to do your favorite activities.

4. Falls: Bone and joint problems are major risk factors for falls—the leading cause of death and injury among older adults.

Immune System and Healing

When your body lacks nutrition, your white blood cell count can decrease, making it harder for your body to heal and fight illnesses.

5. Healing: Your body’s nutrition influences your recovery, since wounds need energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals to heal.

6. Cancer: If you are malnourished, it is more difficult to tolerate chemotherapy.

7. Illness: A poor immune system can increase your risk for illnesses and infections.


Not having enough protein and other nutrients can harm your organs.

8. Eyes: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can accelerate vision loss caused by glaucoma, cataracts, and/or macular degeneration.

9. Brain: Nutrient deficiencies may speed up the rate at which your brain loses neurons, which can impair your speech, coordination, and memory.

10. Kidneys:
 A deficiency of fluids and electrolytes can cause your kidneys to overwork and affect their ability to function. This can lead to dehydration, joint pain, and heart issues.