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Signs of micronutrient deficiency in children

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PT Health Life – Micronutrients participate in most of the body’s metabolic processes. Therefore, lack of micronutrients is the leading cause of rickets, anemia, malnutrition… and many other diseases.

Micronutrients include 2 groups: Vitamins (A, B, C, D, E…) and Mineral elements (Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, Iodine…). These are substances that the body only needs in small amounts, but play a very important role in growth, intellectual development, maintaining and improving health, and disease prevention, especially in young children. Therefore, recognizing micronutrient deficiencies in children is extremely important.

1. Why do children lack micronutrients?

Many parents mistakenly believe that only children with anorexia and stunting are at risk of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency. In fact, any child is at risk of micronutrient deficiency, even those who are chubby or overweight or obese.

Young children are susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies due to many different reasons such as:

  • During pregnancy, the mother’s nutrition is not guaranteed.
  • Babies born prematurely or with low birth weight.
  • Children grow rapidly after birth.
  • Children’s nutrition is not diverse in substance groups.
  • Children often suffer from gastrointestinal diseases, leading to poor absorption of nutrients

2. Symptoms when children are deficient in micronutrients

When children lack micronutrients, they will have symptoms such as:

  • Slow weight gain, slow height development , slow teething.
  • Frequently crying, having trouble sleeping, being startled and having night sweats.
  • Loss of appetite, loss of appetite, loss of appetite.
  • Frequent diarrhea , nasopharyngitis,…
  • Pale blue skin, hair loss, brittle nails.
Micronutrients are essential for child development. Illustration photo.

Children with micronutrient deficiencies are often easy to recognize through their daily eating habits. However, to know exactly what nutrients children are lacking and how they need to supplement, parents should proactively take their children for examination at a reputable medical facility.

If a child is deficient in micronutrients, how will it affect their health is a question asked by many parents. In fact, the child’s body’s need for nutrients is not much. But micronutrients are extremely important.

Improper supplementation or insufficient multi-micronutrient supplementation can lead to health problems such as:

  • Lack of calcium and vitamin D : Leads to children’s slow growth in height, rickets , slow teeth growth, and slow walking.
  • Iron deficiency: Causes anemia , respiratory infections, and infectious diseases in children.
  • Vitamin A deficiency: Children are susceptible to infections such as diarrhea, respiratory tract diseases, corneal dryness, blindness…
  • Iodine deficiency: Children lacking iodine will have slow mental development, slow growth, and mental retardation. Susceptible to thyroid disease
  • Zinc deficiency: Causes children to grow slowly, lose their appetite, and reduce their resistance. Often suffer from infections, malnutrition, and slow growth in height.

Among the above micronutrients, vitamin D, iron, iodine, and zinc are vitamins and minerals that children are easily deficient in. Even children who are not malnourished can still be deficient due to inadequate nutrition. Therefore, it is extremely important for parents to have their children tested for micronutrients, this will help detect early and supplement nutritional deficiencies for children.

The easiest way to check the content of micronutrients and the level of deficiency in a child’s body is through blood tests . These tests can be applied to micronutrients such as: Iron, potassium, calcium, zinc … If you suspect your child is deficient in micronutrients, you can take your child to the hospital for a micronutrient deficiency test. .

  • Micronutrient deficiency testing for children is carried out with the following basic steps:
  • Complete blood analysis to diagnose anemia in children.
  • Analyze serum iron and ferritin to diagnose iron deficiency.
  • Analyze zinc, magnesium… to diagnose zinc and magnesium micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Calcium and calcium ion blood tests: Detect calcium deficiency that affects children’s development.

In addition to testing children for micronutrient deficiency, to help children ensure their health status, mothers should have their children have regular health check-ups every 6 months to help detect potential diseases early as well as have methods timely treatment.

Summary : Micronutrients are essential for children’s development. Although a child’s body needs only a very small amount, deficiency can lead to many serious consequences.

The most proactive and safe way to prevent micronutrient deficiency in children is through food sources to supplement vitamins and minerals in each meal. Therefore, parents need to diversify and combine a variety of foods from 4 groups of substances: Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals for children at every meal. You should regularly change the menu from the time your baby starts weaning.

In addition, encouraging children to exercise properly is also a supportive solution to help enhance their ability to absorb nutrients effectively.

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