We see many photos of malnourished African children advertised by charities on the Tv Everyday. And most of us eat the same kind of meal everyday without the complete nutrients needed by the body to be healthy, hence the big rate of Nutritional Deficiency in Africa.
Your body requires food that provides; protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals. A balanced meal should provide those nutrients in one serving. Failure to eat such a balanced meal will lead to a deficiency of either or all of them in the body and consequently a related disease. There are several diseases that are as a result of a deficiency of the aforementioned nutrients.
Categories of nutrients Deficiency Diseases:
· Protein Deficiency Diseases
· Vitamin Deficiency Diseases
· Carbohydrate Deficiency Diseases
· Mineral Deficiency Diseases
Marasmus is a protein deficiency disease that manifests itself through muscle wasting. Proteins are essential parts of all the body tissues. It not only replenishes the worn out tissue but also forms part of the enzymes that are required in body functions. A person suffering from it is usually thin, cranky and irritable. It affects the children mostly.
Kwashiorkor is similar to Marasmus only that, it is causes a more severe form of edema. The person may experience diarrhoea and anaemia.
There are a total of 12 vitamins that the body needs for proper functioning. They are vitamin A, C, D, E, K and 8 Vitamin B complex. Among the vitamins, D and K can be formed in the body using a combination of biochemical processes. Apart from those two the rest must be consumed from the food sources.
Night Blindness is caused by lack of Vitamin A in the body. This is because; vitamin A is responsible for growth of the retina and cell membranes.
Xerophdhalmia is also another disease that is caused by lack of Vitamin A in the body. Its symptoms include dry eyes and swelling. If it is not treated it can lead to partial or total blindness.
Beriberi is a disease that is as a result of lack of vitamin B1 in the body. It affects the nerve system, digestive and blood circulation. Vitamin B1 is responsible for producing Thiamin in the body. Thiamine helps the body to produce energy.
Pellagra is disease which is caused by lack of vitamin B3 in the body. It also affects the skin and digestion. It can cause diarrhoea, dermatitis and dementia. In most severe cases it can lead to death.
Scurvy is a nutrient deficiency disease that is caused by lack of Vitamin C. It affects the skin, teeth gums, red blood cells and rate of iron absorption. It can cause bleeding under the skin and around other vital organs.
Rickets and osteomalacia are caused by the lack of vitamin D. Rickets causes weak bones in children. This leads to mild deformities such as bowlegs.
Goitre is caused by the deficiency of iodine mineral. Iodine helps in regulating the functions of the thyroid gland. Lack of iodine leads to swelling of the gland and these causes goitre which is a swelling under the chin.
Anemia is a disease that is caused by the lack of a variety of minerals in the body. Top among them is iron which helps in the absorption of oxygen into the blood. Anemia causes fainting and nausea. This is because the lack of oxygen affects the brain as well as other organs functioning. All these diseases are preventable through proper eating; however, remember that e111 card is important for a healthy lifestyle.