From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Malnutrition is a lack of or imbalance in vitamins, minerals or other nutrients.[1]

Types of malnutrition include:

when not enough essential nutrients are consumed or they are excreted more quickly rapidly than they can be replaced
micronutrient-related malnutrition
deficiency in specific nutrients, for example iron or vitamin B12
people consume too much, the wrong things, don't exercise enough, or take too many dietary vitamins or other nutrients[2][3]

Signs and symptoms[edit | edit source]

Further complications caused by malnutrition include:

Possible causes and risk factors[edit | edit source]

  • Lack of food including starvation
  • Poverty
  • overnutrition risk is increased by being more than 20% overweight or having a diet high in fat and salt
  • Eating disorders
  • Disease-related malnutrition - due to reduced dietary intake, malabsorption, inability to eat, increased nutrient losses or increased energy expenditure caused by certain diseases
Examples of illnesses that can cause malnutrition include diarrhea, and cancer.[1][2][3][6][7]

Treatment[edit | edit source]

ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Very severe ME can cause malnutrition, for example patients who are physically unable to eat enough due to extreme exhaustion and post-exertional malaise, gastrointestinal symptoms of ME/CFS, or food intolerances.[9]

Diet and nutritional deficiencies[edit | edit source]

ME/CFS cannot be diagnosed until medical tests have been carried out to rule out certain nutritional deficiencies, including iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, but these can occur after diagnosis.[10][11][12]

Nutritional deficiencies identified in people with ME/CFS include:

A review by Jones and Probst stated that "unhealthy dietary intake [was] not significantly associated with fatigue severity or functional impairment" in chronic fatigue syndrome patients, and found that avoiding dairy or grains was common, and was usually not based on a diagnosed allergy or intolerance.[13]

Notable articles[edit | edit source]

  • 2021, Life-Threatening Malnutrition in Very Severe ME/CFS[9] - (Full text)
  • 2017, Role of dietary modification in alleviating chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms: A systematic review[13] - (Full text)
  • 2017, Vitamin and mineral status in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis[14] - (Full text)
  • 2005, Nutrient intake is unrelated to nutrient status in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome[16] - (Full text)

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Fact sheets - Malnutrition". World Health Organization. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Malnutrition". Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Poor Nutrition". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 12, 2021. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Malnutrition". British Dietetic Association. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  5. National Health Service (October 23, 2017). "Malnutrition – Symptoms". National Health Service. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Malnutrition". MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  7. Glassford, Julian A. G. (2017). "The Neuroinflammatory Etiopathology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)". Frontiers in Physiology. 8. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00088. ISSN 1664-042X. PMC 5314655. PMID 28261110.
  8. "Consumer Resources". Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Baxter, Helen; Speight, Nigel; Weir, William (April 2021). "Life-Threatening Malnutrition in Very Severe ME/CFS". Healthcare. 9 (4): 459. doi:10.3390/healthcare9040459. PMC 8070213. PMID 33919671.
  10. NICE Guideline Development Group (October 29, 2021). "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or Encephalopathy)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:diagnosis and management. NICE guideline". National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
  11. Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, ACP; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Gerken, A; Jo, D; Lewis, DP; Light, AR; Light, KC; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; McLaren-Howard, J; Mena, I; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Stevens, SR (2012), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Adult & Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (PDF), ISBN 978-0-9739335-3-6
  12. Carruthers, Bruce M.; Jain, Anil Kumar; De Meirleir, Kenny L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Klimas, Nancy G.; Lerner, A. Martin; Bested, Alison C.; Flor-Henry, Pierre; Joshi, Pradip; Powles, AC Peter; Sherkey, Jeffrey A.; van de Sande, Marjorie I. (2003), "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols" (PDF), Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 11 (2): 7–115, doi:10.1300/J092v11n01_02
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Jones, Kathryn; Probst, Yasmine (June 14, 2017). "Role of dietary modification in alleviating chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms: a systematic review". Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 41 (4): 338–344. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12670. ISSN 1326-0200.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Joustra, Monica L.; Minovic, Isidor; Janssens, Karin A.M.; Bakker, Stephan J.L.; Rosmalen, Judith G.M. (April 28, 2017). "Vitamin and mineral status in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis". PLOS ONE. 12 (4): e0176631. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0176631. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 5409455. PMID 28453534.
  15. Werbach, Melvyn R. (2000). "Nutritional Strategies for Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (PDF). Alternative Medicine Review. 5 (2): 93–108.
  16. Jenkins, Michael; Rayman, Margaret (January 1, 2005). "Nutrient intake is unrelated to nutrient status in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome". Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine. 15 (4): 177–189. doi:10.1080/13590840600681751. ISSN 1359-0847.