Treating malnutrition in adolescents

Treating malnutrition in adolescents

Malnutrition causes the loss of nutrients important for the safety of the body from disease, and we offer you ways to treat malnutrition in adolescents in this article.

Treating malnutrition in adolescents

In the following, we will learn about ways to treat malnutrition in adolescents:

Treatment of malnutrition in adolescents: severe cases

Undernourished adolescents may suffer from extreme thinness, fatigue, mood swings, and low levels of vitamins and minerals. In contrast, overeating may contribute to obesity and not get the important nutrients that the body needs.

Both overeating and undernutrition are causes of malnutrition that may later exacerbate and cause serious health problems.

Therefore, if a teenager is severely malnourished, he may need to spend treatment in the hospital, and the doctor may ask him to start eating nutrients gradually over several days and getting nutrients, such as potassium and intravenous calcium.

And certainly, the specialist doctor will continue to monitor the person to ensure that he gets the nutrition he needs. In general, the methods of treating malnutrition in adolescents are as follows:

1. Feeding tube installation

In cases where a teenager cannot swallow food, the doctor may provide him with a feeding tube. There are two types of feeding tubes:

  • Nasogastric tube: which passes nutrients through the nose into the stomach.
  • Laparoscopic gastrostomy tube: It is surgically placed directly into the stomach through the abdomen.

2. Parenteral nutrition

If a feeding tube does not fit your teen, it may be necessary to deliver the nutrition directly into the bloodstream through parenteral nutrition that helps the teen get nutrients, such as carbohydrates, sugars, proteins, fats, salts, vitamins, and minerals.

Treating Adolescent Malnutrition: Minor Cases

Malnutrition may lead to low energy and a weak immune system in a teenager, which means that he can easily catch colds or other infections, so many home remedies help a teenager to relieve symptoms of malnutrition, and they are as follows:

1. Diet modification

They include:

  • Teenagers get meals that contain starchy carbohydrates while making sure to choose whole grains.
  • Adolescents eat five servings of vegetables and fruits daily.
  • Ensure that dairy products or alternatives are included in the adolescent's diet.
  • Include the teen's meals with proteins, such as beans and legumes.
  • Teenagers eat two portions of fish each week, such as salmon and mackerel.
  • Introduce oils and unsaturated foods into the teen's meals, such as sunflower oil, rapeseed, or olives, with attention to eating them in small and balanced quantities.
  • Your teen drank six to eight glasses of water or glasses of fluid every day.
  • Adolescents reduce the amount of saturated fat in their daily meals found in sausage, pancakes, butter, and cake.
  • Avoid adding sugary foods to your teen's diet.

2. Take nutritional supplements

A dietitian will usually evaluate a teen's medical history and nutritional needs before advising which nutritional supplement is best for the teen's condition.

It is worth noting that these supplements should be obtained in addition to, and not a substitute for, a healthy diet.

Treating malnutrition in children

Malnutrition in children often results from long-term health conditions that require hospital treatment. However, this is not the case for all children who suffer from malnutrition. Treatment may include the following:

  1. A change in children's diet, such as focusing on eating foods rich in energy and nutrients.
  2. Treating the underlying medical condition causing malnutrition in children.
  3. Giving the child supplements that contain vitamins and minerals important for feeding children.

It is worth noting, that it is necessary to regularly monitor the stages of treatment of a child with severe malnutrition to ensure its effectiveness by taking measurements of weight and height and referring the child to medical treatment if no improvement is observed.