Nutritional Imbalance Nursing Diagnosis

Nutritional imbalances are a common nursing diagnosis and can be caused by many different things. Nutritional imbalances can lead to complications such as: malnutrition or dehydration. The symptoms include: weight loss, dizziness, weakness, nausea and vomiting. Nutritional imbalance is commonly seen in hospitalized patients but can also be found in people who have been on bed rest or who are unable to eat due to surgical procedures or other illnesses that prevent them from being able to eat normally.

Nutritional Imbalance Nursing Diagnosis

1. Nutritional Imbalance refers to an intake of nutrients that does not meet the body’s needs.

Nutrients are chemical substances that provide the body with energy. These nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, and water.

2. It can be caused by:

  • Malnutrition. If you’re not getting the right amounts of nutrients in your food, it can cause nutritional imbalances.
  • Poor diet. If you don’t eat enough or if you don’t eat the right foods, your body won’t get all the nutrients it needs to function properly and stay healthy.
  • Disease or illness that affects the digestive system, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease). These can make it difficult for people with these conditions to absorb nutrients from their food properly, leading to nutritional imbalances if they don’t eat well-balanced meals with enough calories every day.*Disease or illness that affects eating ability: People who are unable to chew because they have broken teeth may need help eating nutritious meals.*Disease or illness that affects nutrient absorption: People with liver problems may have trouble absorbing some important vitamins and minerals from their food because their livers aren’t working right anymore

3. Worsened by:

  • Worsened by: stress, illness, injury, change in diet, change in lifestyle, change in environment (for example, moving to a new house), and age.
  • May be related to: body weight and body composition (for example, when the client loses weight too quickly or gains weight too slowly). It may also be cause by changes in body systems (for example loss of stamina), structure (for example becoming prone to infections) or function.

4. Symptoms include:

The symptoms of nutritional imbalance include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Irritability and depression
  • Dry skin, hair and mucous membranes (e.g., a dry mouth)
  • Anemia, including low hemoglobin and hematocrit levels in the blood

Other signs may include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; joint pain; muscle pain; brittle nails that are slow growing or split easily.

5. This can lead to complications such as:

The following complications may occur because of nutritional imbalance:

  • Nutritional deficiency: You may be deficient in a certain nutrient if you have poor intake levels and poor absorption or utilization of that nutrient. If not corrected, this can lead to other health problems and even death.
  • Malnutrition: The most severe form of malnutrition is marasmus, which is caused by an insufficient calorie intake. Children with marasmus have a very low body weight for their height (less than 80 percent of normal body weight for age). Another serious form of malnutrition that occurs in adults is kwashiorkor, which is diagnosed when the person has both severe protein deficiency and severe calorie deficiency (less than 80 percent of normal body weight).
  • Weight loss: A decrease in your weight over time indicates that your body has lost more fat than muscle mass during this period. It can also indicate that you are not eating enough food to maintain your energy needs for living activities such as walking, working at home or school etcetera

6. Nutritional Imbalance is a condition where your body is not getting the nutrients it needs.

Nutrients are the building blocks of our bodies. They’re obtained from food and drink, as well as supplements.

There are six essential nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Vitamins (A, B1 – B12 and C) 5. Minerals (calcium, iron and zinc) 6. Water


Nutritional Imbalances can be a serious condition that requires medical attention, so you should always seek help if you think you might have one. If left untreated, it can lead to complications including death or organ failure.

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