"...all doctors should be able to diagnose and treat nutritional deficiencies."

Royal College of Physicians. Nutrition and Patients: A Doctor's Responsibility. London 2002

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Risk Factors for Nutritional Deficiencies

Neither the basic NICE guidelines alone nor even detailed dietary assessment will detect all of those who have significant nutritional deficiencies.

The more detailed NICE publication Nutrition Support for Adults: Oral Nutrition Support, Enteral Tube Feeding and Parenteral Nutrition (reference here and see footnote on page 70) details other clinical situations that give doctors cause for concern about a patient’s nutrition state including:

  • fragile skin
  • poor wound healing
  • apathy
  • wasted muscles
  • poor appetite
  • altered taste sensation
  • impaired swallowing
  • altered bowel habit
  • loose fitting clothes
  • Persistent intercurrent illness.   

These and other well-defined clinical situations suggest a high probability of nutritional deficiencies developing or being present are covered below or are dealt with in the section Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiency

As a general rule the risk of an individual having one or more nutritional deficiencies rises steeply as the number of risk factors increase.

 

Common Risk Factors for Nutritional Deficiencies

This list covers many but by no means all situations of increased risk of nutritional deficiency.

More information on The Four Uses of the Essential Nutrients can be found here.



Copyright Dr. Alan Stewart M.B.B.S.M.R.C.P. (UK)M.F. Hom.
47 Priory Street, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1HJ
Tel 01273 487003 Fax: 01273 487576