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Nutritional Deficiencies to Fertility Issues: 5 potential health risks of being underweight

Know the 5 potential health risks associated with being underweight, from weakened immunity to potential heart complications. Learn how maintaining a healthy weight can improve overall well-being and prevent these issues.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Published on: May 20, 2024 16:33 IST
Image Source : SOCIAL 5 potential health risks of being underweight

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for well-being, and being underweight can pose significant health risks. Being underweight can have serious health implications, affecting everything from immune function to bone health. Individuals who are underweight need to seek medical advice and work towards achieving a healthy weight through a balanced diet and appropriate lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to ensuring overall health and well-being. So, here are five key health risks associated with being underweight:

1. Weakened Immune System

Underweight individuals often have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to infections and illnesses. A lack of essential nutrients can impair the body's ability to produce enough white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting pathogens.

2. Nutritional Deficiencies

Being underweight can lead to various nutritional deficiencies. Insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D can cause conditions like anaemia, weakened bones, and poor overall health. These deficiencies can have long-term effects on bodily functions and overall energy levels.

3. Osteoporosis

Underweight individuals are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterised by brittle and fragile bones. This is often due to insufficient calcium and vitamin D intake, essential for bone health. Over time, this can lead to an increased risk of fractures and bone-related injuries.

4. Fertility Issues

For women, being underweight can lead to irregular menstrual cycles or even amenorrhoea (the absence of menstruation), which can affect fertility. Low body fat levels can disrupt the balance of reproductive hormones, making it difficult to conceive. Additionally, pregnancy in underweight women carries higher risks for complications such as preterm birth and low birth weight.

5. Muscle Weakness and Fatigue

A lack of adequate nutrition can result in muscle weakness and chronic fatigue. The body may start to break down muscle tissue for energy if it doesn't receive enough calories and protein from the diet. This can lead to decreased muscle mass, reduced physical strength, and persistent tiredness, affecting daily activities and overall quality of life.

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