Nutritional Imbalance: What Is This?

The human body requires an assortment of vitamins and minerals to work at full capacity, most of which can be obtained from the food that is consumed. The right proportions of micronutrients must be met in one’s daily diet to achieve optimal body functionality. Nonetheless, there are times when the body does not get enough nutrients. This is where nutritional imbalance may be experienced. Disease, poor dietary habits, and physical or emotional stress are just some of the contributory factors according to The Environmental Health Center in Dallas Texas.

Nutritional imbalance occurs when there is a deficiency in nutrients needed by the body, due to either poor diet or the failure of the body to absorb necessary amounts of nutrients or much aptly called Malabsorption Syndrome. The editorial team at Healthline stressed that nutritional imbalances may lead to health problems such as stunted bone growth, various digestion and skin diseases, as well as a decline in cognitive functioning.

Blood Sugar Imbalance

Of the many possible imbalances in nutrients, blood sugar is probably on top of the list. As thoroughly explained by Smart Nutrition Ltd., the body is dependent on the glucose produced via the food that is consumed to be able to continue moving. A balance must be struck each time or else symptoms will be felt such as irritability, drowsiness, poor concentration, or at times even anxiety and depression.

The glucose in the body is controlled by the hormone insulin. As we continue to eat, the glucose in the body also rises. Insulin is present to normalize this, but if blood sugar rises too fast, so will the release of insulin, which may result to a sudden crash in blood sugar levels. If not treated, blood sugar imbalance may lead to insulin resistance eventually causing Type 2 Diabetes.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) Imbalance

Fat is an important component of our diet as it provides temperature control through insulation and a backup source for energy at times when there is a lack of food resource. Essential fatty acids or “the good fat”, according to Janice McColl, B.S.P., M.Sc., M.H., help in maintaining the proper structure of cells in the body and increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Imbalance in Omega-3 (Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)) and Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid (LA), Gamma-linolenic Acid (GLA) and Arachidonic Acid (AA)) fatty acids may be caused by impairment in digestion and absorption of fat. Patients with gastrointestinal disorders are at highest risk due to their preexisting medical conditions. A 2017 study has also associated the prevalence of EFA imbalance to patients with malabsorption disorders. This is when the small intestine has difficulty absorbing the nutrients found in the food ingested. This may be caused by damage to the small intestine, prolonged antibiotic use, parasitic diseases, or other conditions like cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis.

Nutritional imbalances must not be taken any lighter than other problems or diseases in the body. A visit to a medical professional is a must, as treatments depend on the type of deficiency. Most basic approach is a change in lifestyle and dietary habits coupled with taking vitamin supplements to boost any lacking nutrients in the body.

 

Citations and references:

  1. Environmental Health Center – Dallas. (2018). Nutritional Imbalances. Retrieved from https://www.ehcd.com/nutritional-imbalances/
  2. Heathline Editorial Team (2018 February 13). Nutritional Deficiencies (Malnutrition). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/malnutrition
  3. Smart Nutrition. Blood Sugar Imbalance. Retrieved from https://smartnutrition.co.uk/conditions/energy/blood-sugar-imbalance/
  4. McColl J., (2018). An Introduction to Essential Fatty Acids in Health and Nutrition. BioOriginal. Retrieved from https://www.bioriginal.com/page-articles/an-introduction-to-essential-fatty-acids-in-health-and-nutrition/
  5. Mogensen K. M., (2017 June). Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency. Nutrition Issues in Gastroenterology, Series no. 164. Retrieved from https://med.virginia.edu/ginutrition/wp-content/uploads/sites/199/2014/06/Parrish-June-17.pdf
  6. Graham B., (2009 July 9). Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency – Signs & Symptoms, Treating Vs. Testing, Retrieved from https://www.prohealth.com/library/essential-fatty-acid-deficiency-signs-symptoms-treating-vs-testing-19507
  7. Jaret P., (2009). 7 Signs of Inadequate Nutrirition. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutrition-aging-7-signs-inadequate-nutrition#1
  8. Healthline. Malabsorption Syndorme, Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/malabsorption#diagnosis

 

 

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