Malnutrition icd-10, Definition, symptoms in adults

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Malnutrition icd-10, Definition, symptoms in adults

In a world of plenty, malnutrition remains a pressing concern, affecting millions globally. From children in developing nations to adults in industrialized countries, its impact is profound. Understanding malnutrition, its types, symptoms, and diagnostic criteria is essential for effective intervention and prevention. This comprehensive guide explores the nuances of malnutrition, delving into its various facets as defined by the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision ( Malnutrition ICD-10), while also shedding light on its prevalence, screening tools, and treatment options.


Malnutrition encompasses a spectrum of conditions characterized by an imbalance between the body’s nutrient requirements and intake. Contrary to common perception, malnutrition isn’t solely about undernourishment; it also encompasses overnutrition and specific nutrient deficiencies. Essentially, it’s a state where the body doesn’t receive adequate nutrients to support its physiological functions adequately.


  1. Undernutrition: This traditional form of malnutrition occurs when the body doesn’t receive enough calories, protein, or essential nutrients to meet its needs. It includes conditions like kwashiorkor, marasmus, and micronutrient deficiencies.
  2. Overnutrition: On the flip side, overnutrition arises when the body receives an excess of calories or specific nutrients, often leading to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic disorders.
  3. Specific Nutrient Deficiencies: These entail deficiencies in particular vitamins or minerals, such as vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency anemia, or iodine deficiency disorders.


Identifying malnutrition symptoms is crucial for early intervention. While they can vary depending on the type and severity of malnutrition, common symptoms include:

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Poor wound healing
  • Muscle wasting
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Delayed wound healing

Malnutrition in Children

Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of malnutrition, which can have lifelong impacts on their physical and cognitive development. Factors contributing to childhood malnutrition icd-10 include inadequate dietary intake, poor sanitation, infectious diseases, and socio-economic disparities. Early detection through growth monitoring and timely intervention are critical in preventing irreversible harm.

Malnutrition Screening Tool

To identify individuals at risk of malnutrition, healthcare professionals utilize screening tools such as the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) or Subjective Global Assessment (SGA). These tools assess various parameters, including weight loss, BMI, and dietary intake, enabling early detection and intervention.

Malnutrition in a Sentence

“Despite living in a developed country, her prolonged illness led to severe malnutrition, highlighting the importance of access to adequate healthcare and nutrition education.”

Malnutrition ICD-10

In the medical realm, the Malnutrition ICD-10 classification system provides a standardized framework for coding malnutrition diagnoses. The relevant codes include:

  • E40-E46: Malnutrition-related disorders
  • E40: Kwashiorkor
  • E41: Nutritional marasmus
  • E42: Marasmic kwashiorkor
  • E43: Unspecified severe protein-calorie malnutrition
  • E44: Mild to moderate protein-calorie malnutrition
  • E45: Retarded development following protein-calorie malnutrition
  • E46: Unspecified protein-calorie malnutrition icd-10

Symptoms in Adults

While malnutrition in children often receives significant attention, it’s crucial to recognize that adults are also susceptible. Chronic illnesses, aging-related changes, socio-economic factors, and inadequate dietary habits contribute to malnutrition in adults. Symptoms may manifest similarly to those in children, including weight loss, fatigue, and impaired wound healing.

malnutrition icd 10 definition symptoms in adults

Malnutrition Criteria

Healthcare professionals utilize various criteria to assess the severity and risk of malnutrition icd-10, including:

  • BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Percentage of weight loss
  • Serum albumin levels
  • Dietary intake assessment
  • Clinical assessment of muscle and fat mass

Malnutrition in India

In India, malnutrition icd-10 remains a significant public health issue, particularly among children in rural and marginalized communities. Factors such as poverty, inadequate access to healthcare and sanitation, and cultural practices contribute to its prevalence. Government initiatives and community-based interventions aim to address these challenges, emphasizing nutrition education, supplementation programs, and maternal healthcare.

Malnutrition vs. Undernutrition

While often used interchangeably, malnutrition and undernutrition have subtle distinctions. Undernutrition specifically refers to the inadequate intake of essential nutrients, leading to deficiencies and stunted growth. Malnutrition, on the other hand, encompasses a broader spectrum, including both undernutrition and overnutrition.

Nursing Diagnosis

Nurses play a pivotal role in identifying and managing malnutrition in clinical settings. Nursing diagnoses related to malnutrition may include:

  • Imbalanced nutrition: Less than body requirements
  • Risk for imbalanced nutrition: More than body requirements
  • Impaired oral mucous membrane
  • Risk for impaired skin integrity

Malnutrition in Adults

As populations age and chronic diseases become more prevalent, malnutrition in adults has garnered increasing attention. Addressing malnutrition in this demographic requires a multifaceted approach, encompassing nutritional support, rehabilitation, and addressing underlying health conditions.

Malnutrition icd-10 Treatment

Treating malnutrition involves addressing both its underlying causes and its manifestations. Treatment modalities may include:

  • Nutritional supplementation: Providing essential nutrients through oral supplements or enteral feeding.
  • Dietary counseling: Educating individuals on healthy eating habits and portion control.
  • Medical management: Addressing underlying health conditions contributing to malnutrition, such as gastrointestinal disorders or metabolic diseases.
  • Multidisciplinary care: Involving a team of healthcare professionals, including dietitians, physicians, nurses, and therapists, to provide comprehensive care.

Malnutrition is a multifaceted issue with far-reaching implications for individual health and global development. By understanding its various types, symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and treatment options, we can work towards effective prevention and intervention strategies. Through collaborative efforts spanning healthcare, education, and policy, we can strive towards a world where malnutrition icd-10 is a rarity rather than a reality.


Certainly! Here’s a table outlining common causes of malnutrition icd-10.

Causes of MalnutritionDescription
Inadequate Dietary IntakeInsufficient consumption of essential nutrients due to factors such as poverty, food insecurity, limited access to nutritious foods, or dietary restrictions. This can lead to deficiencies in calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to malnutrition.
Poor Absorption of NutrientsConditions affecting the digestive system, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or gastrointestinal surgeries, can impair the absorption of nutrients from food. Malabsorption syndromes hinder the body’s ability to utilize nutrients effectively, even if dietary intake is adequate.
Chronic Illnesses and InfectionsChronic diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and kidney disease can increase nutrient requirements or interfere with nutrient metabolism, leading to malnutrition. Additionally, infections and inflammatory conditions can elevate energy expenditure and impair nutrient absorption, exacerbating malnutrition.
Socio-Economic FactorsPoverty, lack of education, unemployment, and inadequate access to healthcare and sanitation facilities contribute to malnutrition by limiting individuals’ ability to afford nutritious foods, access healthcare services, or adopt healthy lifestyle practices. Socio-economic disparities exacerbate malnutrition prevalence.
Food InsecurityUncertainty or lack of access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious foods due to economic constraints, natural disasters, conflicts, or displacement can result in food insecurity. Persistent food insecurity undermines dietary quality and diversity, increasing the risk of malnutrition icd-10 among affected populations.
Cultural Practices and Dietary HabitsCultural beliefs, dietary taboos, and traditional practices may influence food choices and meal patterns, potentially leading to imbalances in nutrient intake. In some cultures, certain foods may be restricted or prioritized, affecting overall dietary adequacy and contributing to malnutrition.
Causes of Malnutrition icd-10


Malnutrition Definition / Malnutrition icd-10 / Malnutrition symptoms in adults

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