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Malnutrition results from imbalance between the body's needs and the intake of nutrients, which can lead to syndromes of deficiency, dependency, toxicity, or obesity.

Malnutrition includes undernutrition, in which nutrients are undersupplied, and overnutrition, in which nutrients are oversupplied.

Undernutrition can result from:

  • inadequate intake;
  • malabsorption;
  • abnormal systemic loss of nutrients due to diarrhea caused by IBS, Crohns Disease, and other digestive conditions,
  • hemorrhage,
  • renal failure,
  • excessive sweating,
  • infection or
  • addiction to drugs.

Over nutrition can result from:

  • overeating;
  • insufficient exercise;
  • over-prescription of therapeutic diets,
  • excess intake of vitamins, particularly pyridoxine (vitamin B6), niacin, and vitamins A and D; and
  • excess intake of trace minerals.

Malnutrition (undernutrition and overnutrition) develops in stages and usually occur over considerable time.

Poor growth in children results from a deficiency of:

Children may not eat enough because they have a poor diet which may be due to low concentration of nutrients, infrequent meals or inappropriate breast feeding practices.

The minerals are needed in tiny quantities, only a few thousandths of a few gram or less each day. They are therefore called micro-nutrients. Micronutrients are needed for the production of enzymes, hormones, and other substances that are needed to regulate processes leading to growth, development and normal functioning of the immune and reproductive system. Malnutrition occurs when nutrients in the diet do not cover the nutrient needs of the body.

Disease also contributes to malnutrition as sick people eat less and may absorb fewer nutrients.


A comprehensive home stool test from Great Smokies Lab can give you more insight into your digestive function and gut microbial ecology.

The test offers a noninvasive differential diagnosis between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), expanded bacteria, yeast and parasite detection, a reliable assessment of exocrine pancreatic function, and a noninvasive risk assessment for colorectal cancer.

If bacteria, yeast or parasites are detected, they are grown out to establish which natural products will inhibit their growth.