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Essay on Altered Nutrition

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867 words
Wesleyan University
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Altered nutrition is the insufficient or excessive digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients. It is usually caused by an alteration in nutrients which can include a defect in genetics, ineffective intestinal mucosa, deficient or too much intake, and hypermetabolic state (Dudek, 2013 p577). The signs and symptoms of altered nutrition include loss and gain of weight, wasting and weakness of the muscles, dehydration, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and challenges in the healing of wounds (Nahikian-Nelms, 2016 p863).

According to the New England Journal of medicine (2017), altered nutrition, in particular, involves the condition of to failure to thrive in children, where the child has poor weight gain because of the insufficiency of calorie intake (Curran et al., 2017 p.1468). In most cases, this situation takes place when there is poor functioning in a childs body system which makes them use more than the required calories. Endocrine abnormalities as its named is an illness that has normal levels of carnitine and ammonia but lacks the metabolic derangement (Westlands et al., 2013 p. 262).

The article talks about a nineteen-year-old month girl who had the failure to thrive condition just after she was birth. Born from a healthy mother, the girls condition was excellent while in the womb. The girl was delivered normally, grew teeth healthily without pains and allergy, started walking at the age of 12 months and became active like other kids. However, while she was growing she never gained weight from nine months (Curran et al., 2017 p.1468).

In normal circumstance at 12 months old, the results of hemoglobin level, red-cell count, hematocrit and the red-cell indexes should appear normal (Hegerty & Khaw, 2015 p. 147). Here blood levels of album-min, proteins, total bilirubin, and free carnitine, etc. all appeared healthy. Six weeks later, the patient visited the nutritionist who designed a detailed meal plan to provide a high-kilocalorie and balanced diet (Thomas, 2016 p. 145). Two weeks later even after being given the meal plan and going to the hospital the child did not gain weight but had a healthy active life (Curran et al., 2017 p.1469).

Most children that have the failure to thrive condition have challenges in growth due to the insufficiency of calorie intake (Finlon et al., 2014 p. 188). In ideal situations, this disease is normally recognized by pediatricians during the primary care before the child is admitted to extensive research (Finlon et al., 2014 p. 192). When the child has difficulties in processing food, then they are said to have a motor or oral functioning, neurologic impairment, and cleft palate or detention issues (Nagappan & John, 2015 p. 55).

However, when the food is obstructed, it is usually caused by anatomical abnormalities such as esophageal webs, tonsillar hypertrophy, strictures or slings (Ibrarulla, 2014 p. 19). The overall results in the normal function of a childs body should have a good appetite, high levels of energy, weekly episodes of vomiting and a wasted body habitus after the linear growth is preserved (Nakane, 2013 p. 236). The poor weight gain of this child was caused by a condition known as the diencephalic or Russells syndrome (William, 2014 p. 967).


Altered nutrition as elaborated in the essay is a condition where the body has insufficient nutrients. In normal circumstances, this condition denies the body the ability to grow normally but in deficiency. One example as stated from the New England Journal of medicine is the condition of a 19-month girl who had Russells syndrome. Besides being born normal and grew just like other kids, the child did not gain weight. Even after several tests by different health professionals as well as the special meal plan, there was no change observed.


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