Causes of malnutrition
The causes of malnutrition can be divided into somatic, functional, psychological and social factors. Often several causes play at the same time.
Somatic factors can be: the disease state (inflammation of various degrees) and symptoms/nutrition problems as a result of disease or its treatment, such as decreased taste, smell, appetite, dental complaints, swallowing problems, a disturbance of the feeling of hunger and satiety, a disturbed digestion and gastrointestinal absorption and pain.
Functional factors may include: reduced mobility, reduced or no ability to do groceries and prepare food, and fatigue.
Psychological factors may include: anxiety, sadness, depression, and impaired cognition.
Social factors may include: loneliness, no social network to run errands, and poverty.
The determinants specifically in the elderly have been brought together in the DoMap model. This pyramid of determinants (click on the image on the right) was developed by the MaNuEl (MalNutrition in the Elderly) knowledge hub. Click here for the MaNuEl toolbox.
For people living at home with dementia , the TrEat project has developed a signaling map in which signals for possible nutritional problems and increased risk of malnutrition are described for this target group.
Also in children, think about the underlying cause of the malnutrition and treat it if possible.