What is Malnutrition?

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What is Malnutrition?

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What is Malnutrition?

Being overweight is a problem being spoken about largely worldwide. It is something doctors and researchers are looking into minutely and finding results every day. Seminars and awareness programs are being set up everywhere to help people develop a more healthy lifestyle and get in shape. But what we may not know much about is that as a large part of our population suffers from obesity and over-nutrition, many people suffer from malnutrition or being underweight. This is also a concerning problem in our society.

A large portion of the Indian population lives under the poverty line. They do not have enough resources to live a healthy life and do not meet the criteria for a healthy weight. They either over or under consume certain minerals and vitamins, leaving their body unhealthy and unable to carry out the tasks a healthy person can.

But we need to remember that it is not only the people living under the poverty line who are malnourished. There are people who knowingly or unknowingly make themselves malnourished. When a person consumes insufficient food, has a restricted diet, or suffers from a condition that prevents their body from attaining the proper nutritional balance, it can profoundly influence their health. This can be life-threatening in some circumstances. In such cases, before we let matters escalate, we should seek help.

Now getting help is not the easiest to do. We should not have to add the stress of financial burden to this. Thus a health insurance policy is the way to go. It gives you the financial support you need to get out of such a situation and get better. A health insurance policy stands as a barrier between you and any health infractions that may come your way. You can rest assured knowing that you will get the best possible care without emptying your pocket.

Tata AIG’s health insurance policy gives you comprehensive care and holistic coverage to care for your health needs. You get a cashless network of over 7200 hospitals and the trust of thousands of clients who swear by our services. You can apply for our services online and get the insurance in minutes. Further, you need not submit too many unnecessary documents. When you have our support and care, there is nothing to fear. So get your health insurance policy from us today. With this in mind, let us get back to what is malnutrition and malnutrition treatment.

What is Malnutrition?

Malnutrition is a severe disorder caused by insufficient or unbalanced consumption of vitamins, minerals, and other necessary nutrients for maintaining health and body function. Malnutrition can take the form of either under-or over-nutrition. Undernutrition results from ingesting insufficient nutrients and calories for general body development and growth, whereas overnutrition is the effect of overeating or taking nutrients in improper quantities, such as following a diet high in fat but poor in proteins and vitamins.

According to World Bank data, more than half of all the children under 4 years of age are malnourished while 30 per cent of newborns are severely underweight and 60 per cent women are anaemic. The report also states that malnutrition in India has cost nearly $10 billion annually in terms of sickness, lost productivity, and fatalities while also hindering human development.

The worrying situation has turned into a public health concern, and the Indian government is responding by increasing food subsidies. Malnutrition in India as per Nobel Laureate in Economics Angus Deaton, Malnutrition in India is caused by the country's reliance on a carbohydrate-based diet with poor protein and fat content.

Types of Malnutrition?

As mentioned briefly above, there are two types of malnutrition. Malnutrition can take several forms, including Malnutrition due to a lack of protein, calories, or micronutrients is known as undernutrition. Poor weight (wasting), height-for-age (stunting), and weight-for-age (stunting) results (underweight). Malnutrition can also be caused by excessive ingestion of specific nutrients, like protein, carbohydrates, or fat. Obesity or being overweight is the most common outcome. Vitamin and mineral deficits are common in malnourished people, particularly iron, zinc, vitamin A, and iodine. Overnutrition, on the other hand, can result in nutritional deficiencies. It's feasible to be overweight or obese due to extensive caloric intake and lack of vitamins and minerals. If you feel you are suffering from malnutrition, you should immediately consider critical illness insurance from your insurance provider.

Causes of Malnutrition in India

Some major causes of malnutrition in India are as follows:

  1. Poor eating habits
  2. Mental health issues like depression or schizophrenia change your mood and interest, losing appetite.
  3. Alcohol comprises calories, impairing a patient's urge to consume enough to meet their nutritional needs. Furthermore, alcohol damages the liver, the body's main reservoir of proteins and vitamins.
  4. Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that lead to malnutrition.
  5. Marasmus is a condition that arises when a person's diet is deficient in both calories and protein.
  6. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are examples of digestive illnesses that affect your capacity to digest food.
  7. Dementia is a brain disorder, a gradual loss of capacity to think and recall, impacting a person's everyday life. For hours at a time, patients frequently forget to consume their meals.
  8. A lack of breastfeeding causes malnutrition in babies and children.
  9. Impoverished people are at risk of malnutrition; those with high socioeconomic standing, on the other hand, are more prone to be overfed.

Malnutrition Symptoms

Children malnourished may be small for their age, underweight or swollen, lethargic, and have impaired immune systems. Nutritional deficiencies can impair each physical system and perception of sight, taste, and smell. Anxiety, mood swings, and other psychiatric problems are possible side effects.

Other malnutrition symptoms for children and adults include

  1. Skin that is pale, thick, and dry
  2. Vulnerability to sun and glare has increased.
  3. Gums that are prone to bleeding
  4. Skin irritation
  5. Skin colouration varies
  6. Thin hair, firmly curled and readily pulled out.
  7. Joint pain
  8. Bones that are delicate and supple
  9. Easy bruising
  10. A tongue that is enlarged, shrivelled, or cracked
  11. Blindness at night

Diseases Due to Malnutrition

Diseases due to malnutrition can be caused by overnutrition and undernutrition.

Health problems owing to undernutrition:

If not cared for properly from the start, newborn infants are vulnerable to malnutrition. The infant mortality rate rises as a result of this. Furthermore, malnutrition in children causes serious health problems:

  • Height is hampered
  • There is a deficiency in cognitive and psychological development.
  • Obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes will become increasingly common in children in the future.
  • In addition, malnutrition in pregnant women has been linked to poor prenatal care. The following are examples of common malnutrition diseases (undernutrition) in children and women: Anaemia and Kwashiorkor.

Problems of overnutrition:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart and circulatory problems

Diagnoses of Malnutrition

From newborns to adults to the elderly, malnutrition can afflict people of all ages and both sexes. Malnutrition manifests itself in various ways, including overall look, behaviour, and body fat composition, all of which should be checked by your primary care physician.

The following factors are used to determine a nutritional review:

  • Body Mass Index or BMI
  • X-rays are recommended at a later time to assess bone mass and gastrointestinal issues. Vitamin, mineral, and other nutrient levels are measured using blood and urine testing.
  • Using standard charts to compare weight
  • Psychiatric evaluation to rule out mental illnesses such as depression, Alzheimer's disease, and anorexia nervosa as potential causes of malnutrition.

Malnutrition Treatment

Individuals unwilling to eat or retain nutrients from food can be fed intravenously or via a tube put into the intestinal system. Patients who have had wounds or inflamed bowel disease frequently receive nutrition by tube feeding. This operation entails gently passing a tiny tube through the nose and down the mouth until it enters the gut or small intestine. If long-term tube nutrition is required, an opening in the abdomen can be used to implant the tube straight into the gut or small intestine.

Prevention of Malnutrition

Consuming a well-balanced diet is one of the best methods to avoid malnutrition. The following foods must be included in your diet:

  • Dairy goods are dairy products.
  • Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are all good for you.
  • Good sources of protein.
  • Flour and potatoes for an adequate amount of starchy foods.

A healthy exercise routine is also necessary. You can also seek healthcare monitoring or a diet plan from a doctor or dietitian.

Understanding what malnutrition is and how to recognise its symptoms will assist you in identifying this health problem. Consequently, you or a family member can obtain prompt care and recover quickly. But before you get to this point, remember to have your health insurance policy.

Why Use Health Insurance Policy

Health is the one variable we can never count on. Things can change at the drop of a hat, leaving us unprepared and unprotected. Thus, we need to be prepared with the appropriate health insurance policy.

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2. Medical Expenses: In recent years, medical prices in India have maintained pace with commercial inflation and outpaced it by a wide margin. Medicines, health checks, hospitalisation, and procedures continue to climb in price. Paying the minimal health insurance premium and becoming covered makes more sense than paying for those excessive medical bills out of your pocket. As a result, it's vital to get yourself covered by a health insurance policy to ensure your financial security during and after a medical emergency.

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4. Cashless Billing: The process of dealing with a medical emergency has gotten slightly easier thanks to the availability of cashless medical insurance. You may get cashless treatment at any of our 7,200+ hospitals around the country without having to worry about reimbursement.

How to Buy Tata AIG’s Health Insurance Policy

Purchasing medical insurance coverage from Tata AIG is straightforward and can be accomplished in two ways. You can obtain the application form by physically visiting the Tata AIG office. You can then fill in the blanks on the form and add any other details or evidence you require. After that, you submit the papers at the designated location and wait for a response from the company. If everything is in order, you should promptly receive a mail package containing your insurance information.

If you like, you may also get the policy online. Simply go to the Tata AIG website and fill out the form to order. You'll discover a list of the company's plans and policies and descriptions of what they include. Examine each plan carefully to pick the one that best meets your needs. Apply for the plan you desire once you've found it. Fill in all of your information and submit your papers. If everything is in order, you will get an e-mail from Tata AIG, including information about your health insurance policy.

Documents Required to Buy Tata AIG’s Health Insurance Policy

The documents required are:

  • Medical insurance bills for in-patient hospitalisation signed by the insured.
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  • A valid medical inquiry report.
  • The receipts from the medical store and the doctor's script.
  • A list of all hospital commodities ordered by the doctor, along with all necessary information.
  • Copies of the prior year's health insurance plan.
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Frequently Asked Question

1. What is the difference between hunger and malnutrition?

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Hunger is the sensation caused by not getting enough food to eat. Malnutrition is caused because the body is not getting its adequate share of nutrients and minerals. Being in a prolonged state of hunger can lead to malnutrition.

2. How is obesity a symptom of malnutrition?

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Malnutrition has two components- under-nutrition and over-nutrition. Obesity is the outcome of over-nutrition. It is when the body is getting a large quantity of food which may be rich in calories and carbohydrates but still lacks adequate nutrients and minerals.

3. How is malnutrition a critical illness?

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Malnutrition falls under the category of critical illnesses because it can be the trigger giving rise to several other diseases, each of which can prove to be fatal in the long run.

4. Can you get insurance for critical illnesses?

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It is possible to get insurance for critical illnesses if you declare them before applying for the insurance. It may lead to the insurance premium going up, and your waiting period may increase, but in the long run, having insurance will help you. Companies suggest getting health insurance early on, whether or not you have any serious illnesses, so you do not have to face long waiting periods or higher premiums.

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