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The Visible Signs of Hidden Hunger.

The Visible Signs of Hidden Hunger.

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Hidden hunger is caused by the insufficiency of Minerals and Vitamins in an individual’s diet. Globally, the lack of these micronutrients has lead to major health concerns which affect 2 billion people.

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Hidden hunger may prevail in situations where individuals eat periodically in appropriate amounts, however, the food is deficient in essential micronutrients.

For infants, the first 1000 days are crucial in terms of health and nutrition. A baby needs adequate nourishment to support the growth changes occurring in the initial years. Micronutrients play an important role, not only in encouraging physical and mental growth but also in sustaining the developmental changes in your baby.

Protecting your infant against nutritional deficiency is a priority for you. As parents, you have to be aware of the signs of nutrient deficiency. It can help you identify the situation and take necessary actions at the right moment. Here are some of the visible signs of hidden hunger.

1. Iron:

  •  Pale skin: The skin appears to have lost its colour, especially around the eyelids and hands. 
  •  Weakness: The baby is constantly tired and drowsy.
  •  Irritability: Infants may show increased irritability.
  •  Low appetite: Babies may eat minute quantities of food or avoid eating altogether.
  •  Trouble breathing: Babies suffering from Iron deficiency may experience breathing difficulties and shortness of breath.
  •  Swelling in limbs: Anaemic babies develop swelling in limbs.

2. Zinc:

  •  Poor neurological function: Low Zinc levels affect an infant’s attention and motor co-ordination. 
  •  Low Immunity: One of the signs of Zinc deficiency is the susceptibility to infections and diseases.
  •  Diarrhoea: Since the immunity is compromised, stomach infections leading to Diarrhoea can be a sign of insufficient Zinc in the infant’s diet.
  •  Allergies: Infants may be more prone towards developing allergies from food and the environment.

3. Vitamin A:

  •  Eye inflammation: If your baby develops eye inflammation, this could be a sign of Vitamin A deficiency.
  •  Infections: Babies are also susceptible to throat and chest infections along with gastroenteritis.
  •  Growth: Insufficient growth can mean that the baby’s diet lacks Vitamin A.
  •  Skin condition: Babies may develop dryness of skin, hair, resulting in itching.

4. Vitamin B 

  •  Weakness: If your baby appears to be fatigued and weak, it may suffer from the deficiency of Vitamin B 12.
  •  Skin Disorders: Insufficient amount of Vitamin B6 can lead to the appearance of skin rashes and cracks around the baby’s mouth.
  •  Diarrhoea: One of the signs of Vitamin B9 deficiency is frequent diarrhoea.

It is crucial that you take necessary measures at the first sign of hidden hunger in your child. It not only impairs the growth and development of infants, but also leads to long-lasting consequences.

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