Poor Nutirtional Status

Etiology

  • Lack of access to calories (limited resources, poverty), lack of interest in eating (decreased appetite for any reason), impaired ability to eat/chew, or problems w/absorption
  • Hypercatabolic states (e.g. cancer, chronic infections, autoimmune disorders, metabolic disorders) Poor dietary choices, specific nutritional deficiencies (e.g. iron, b12, vitamin C)
  • Substance abuse (e.g. cocaine, etoh, crystal meth, etc) can contribute to lack of interest, resources and/or poor choices

Symptoms

  • Weakness, fatigue, impaired wound healing, recurrent infection

Physical Exam Findings

  • May have low weight/BMI (depends on time course, starting point)
  • Sometimes muscle wasting (e..g temporalis)
  • Chronic, non-healing wounds
  • Other indicators of underlying primary disease (e.g. HIV, renal failure, substance abuse, other)