Nursing Diagnosis Of Imbalanced Nutrition

A nursing diagnosis checklist or list of diagnoses is one of the most important tools in your arsenal as a nurse. The diagnoses are used to help identify problems that you may encounter during the course of your work. They’ll also help you and your colleagues develop plans for treating those problems.

Nursing Diagnosis Of Imbalanced Nutrition

1 Nursing Diagnosis Of Imbalanced Nutrition Vs. Medical Diagnosis Of Malnutrition

The nursing diagnosis of imbalanced nutrition is not the same as a medical diagnosis of malnutrition. The term malnutrition refers to a number of disorders that result from inadequate intake of nutrients and/or poor absorption, distribution, or excretion of nutrients. Nursing diagnoses are based on signs and symptoms observed by the nurse caring for the patient. Medical diagnoses are based on changes in physical signs and laboratory findings as well as other diagnostic tests performed by medical specialists (e.g., radiologist).

Nursing diagnoses can be confused with medical diagnoses because they may have similar names or similar symptoms. For example:

  • Imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements (a nursing diagnosis) vs malignant neoplasm (a medical diagnosis)
  • Imbalanced nutrition: more than body requirements (a nursing diagnosis) vs hyperparathyroidism (a medical diagnosis)

2 Situations That Diminish Foods Needed For Nutritional Balance

Imbalanced nutrition can be caused by a number of factors. For example, a lack of money to buy necessary foods, the lack of food preparation skills or time to prepare necessary foods, and the lack of food storage space are all conditions that can diminish your intake of essential nutrients.

If you don’t have enough money to buy the right foods for your nutritional needs, you may find yourself consuming less nutritious foods that are cheaper. If this continues over time, it could lead to malnutrition because your body will not be getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs in order to function properly.

If you have limited cooking skills and/or time in which to cook meals at home due to work or school commitments; if there is no space available at home for storing fresh vegetables and fruit; or if there is not enough money available each week then these situations may also increase risk for developing an imbalance between caloric intake versus expenditure leading eventually toward malnutrition!

3 Inadequate Amounts Of Food

You may notice a patient is undernourished if they have a low body mass index (BMI), low weight, or low height-for-age.

A person who is malnourished may have these symptoms:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Reduced level of consciousness or alertness
  • Fatigue/loss of energy

4 Impaired Digestion Or Absorption Of Nutrients

Causes of Impaired Digestion or Absorption of Nutrients

Impaired digestion or absorption of nutrients can be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anorexia and cachexia (loss in weight)
  • Malabsorption syndromes, such as celiac disease and cystic fibrosis
  • Endocrine dysfunction, such as thyroid disease or diabetes mellitus type 1

5 Decreased Intestinal Peristalsis

Good nutrition is essential to the health and well-being of all people, but it is especially important for individuals who are ill. If a person’s gastrointestinal tract is not able to absorb the nutrients needed to maintain the body’s homeostasis, malnutrition may occur. The digestive system uses peristalsis (the rhythmic muscular contraction that moves food through the small intestine) to break down food into smaller particles so that nutrients can be absorbed into the bloodstream. When this process is impaired, as it often is in persons with chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, malnutrition can result.

The nurse must evaluate for decreased intestinal peristalsis during physical assessment of patients who are experiencing symptoms related to poor nutrition intake (such as fatigue) or those requiring surgery or other invasive procedures where nutritional status will be compromised due to reduced bowel function (e.g., ileus).

6 Increased Energy Expenditure

  • Increased Energy Expenditure: The energy expenditure of an individual is the amount of calories or kilojoules they burn each day. This can be increased by engaging in vigorous physical activity, high intensity exercise and/or a high metabolic rate.
  • Measuring Energy Expenditure: To calculate your daily energy expenditure, you can use a calculator or formula to estimate it. There are many calculators available online that will help you get an accurate reading by entering information such as your age, gender, height and weight into their equations. Alternatively, there are also formulas you can use if you would prefer not to use a calculator but still want an accurate measurement of how much excess energy your body has been burning recently (or over a period of time). The first formula is called “Harris-Benedict” which calculates basal metabolic rate for men ages 20-29 years old at approximately 6600 kcal per day [1]. For women aged 19-30 years old this drops down slightly to 5200 kcal per day [2]. A second formula called Mifflin St Jeor’s allows both men and women over age 25 years old who are sedentary (exercise < 3 times per week) or lightly active (exercise 1–3 times per week) with no chronic disease; this predicts BMR for males between 2900 kcal/day while females fall closer together between 2200–2400 kcal/day [3].”

7 Increased Intestinal Losses Of Fluids And Electrolytes

Candidosis is a common term for yeast overgrowth in the body. This can cause an imbalance of fluids and electrolytes, which may be seen in some people with IBS.

Candida albicans can also cause other symptoms, such as fatigue and joint pain; it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider if you have these problems or suspect Candidosis.

Diarrhea is another common cause of dehydration that can lead to electrolyte imbalances. Diarrhea may also be caused by viruses or bacteria that affect the gut or intestines (such as E-coli). You should always see your doctor if you experience diarrhea lasting more than 3 days so they can determine whether it’s caused by something serious like food poisoning or something more minor like a stomach bug.

8 Inadequate Fiber Intake And Regular Exercise To Enhance Bowel Function

Inadequate fiber intake and regular exercise are both important factors in enhancing bowel function, as they stimulate peristalsis. Examples of foods high in fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Subsequently the following exercises will help with bowel function: walking or jogging; swimming; cycling; rowing; gym or resistance training; or yoga/pilates. The nurse should also advise patients on how to improve their diet by introducing more fiber-rich foods into their diet such as whole grains (brown rice), oatmeal, lentils and beans etc., while reducing consumption of processed foods with little nutritional value such as white breads/pasta/rice cakes etc..

9 Weight Loss Or Failure To Gain Adequate Weight During Pregnancy Or Infancy

Weight loss is a sign of malnutrition. Weight loss is a sign of malnutrition in pregnancy, infancy and childhood.

In addition to weight loss, failure to gain appropriate weight during pregnancy or infancy can result in the following:* Decreased muscle tone* Reduced resistance to infection (immunodeficiency)* Increased risk for infections due to reduced ability to fight off pathogens

10 Lactation And Postpartum Periods

If you are breastfeeding, your baby will need more calories than you do. If you are not breastfeeding and still have milk production after delivery, you will also need extra calories.

  • Nursing Diagnosis: Imbalanced Nutrition in Lactation and Postpartum Periods

The lactation period starts from when the baby is born until 12 weeks of age. During this time, the mother’s body needs more food and water for her own growth needs as well as for producing breast milk for her baby. The postpartum period starts 12 weeks after birth or 6 months if there is no vaginal birth (i.e., via cesarean section).

11 A good nursing diagnosis checklist will help you to spot nutritional issues for patients in a wide variety of situations.

When you are in the process of developing a nursing diagnosis checklist, you should keep in mind that this tool is meant to be used by nurses and other healthcare providers. The purpose of a nursing diagnosis checklist is to help identify potential nutritional problems for patients. This can be helpful when assessing an elderly individual with dementia or a child recovering from surgery. A good nursing diagnosis checklist will help you to spot nutritional issues for patients in a wide variety of situations.

The nurse should use the nursing diagnosis checklist to identify the patient’s nutritional needs


The nursing diagnosis of imbalanced nutrition, while not a medical diagnosis, is still an important part of patient care. It can help nurses to identify nutritional problems and provide the necessary interventions to ensure their patients get the best possible care. By using this checklist as a guide for identifying situations that may lead to nutritional imbalance, you will be able to provide better care for your patients who are suffering from these disorders!

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