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Symptoms and adverse health effects of not eating enough

We often do not eat as much as we should to maintain our health. This can be due to many factors: increased daily exercise, a low calorie diet, stress or being too busy for proper meals.

Malnutrition can cause a variety of adverse effects. Malnutrition can have a variety of negative effects, even if the initial effects are minimal.

How many calories do I need per day?The number of calories that you require daily will vary depending on your age, health conditions, weight and activity level. Calorie intake is influenced by your age, health condition, weight, level of activity, etc.


Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that adults women require between 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day. Adult men need between 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day.

Signs and Symptoms of not Eating Enough
You will receive many signals if you do not consume enough calories to fuel both your body and brain. People who do not eat enough often struggle with low energy, low blood sugar and malnutrition.

Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia is a condition where a person’s blood glucose level is too low. Low blood sugar symptoms are fast-acting and unpleasant.

Low blood sugar symptoms include:

  • Extreme hunger
  • Dizziness
  • Sweaty palms
  • Agitation
  • Weakness or shaking
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Coordination Issues

At this stage, a sugary snack such as fruit, juice, or candy will quickly resolve symptoms. If you do not eat, your hypoglycemia symptoms will worsen and cause new symptoms, including:

  • Slurred speech
  • Confusión
  • Fainting
  • Sleepiness
  • The extremities may feel numb or tingly
  • In extreme cases, seizures

Malnutrition can develop if someone consistently consumes less food. Malnutrition occurs when there is a deficit of calories and, therefore, essential vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins.

Malnutrition can manifest as:

  • Pale skin tone
  • Reduced muscle strength and/or tone
  • Easy to bruise
  • Dry skin and/or rashes
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Increased infections due to a weakened immune system

It is dangerous to ignore these symptoms. This can lead to other more serious conditions and symptoms, including infertility and cardiovascular issues.

A well-balanced, calorie-rich diet is essential for good health. It is not wise to ignore the early signs that malnutrition may be present. You should consult a dietitian if you or someone close to you is exhibiting symptoms of malnutrition. They can help you develop a healthy diet tailored to your body’s needs.

Not eating: Signs and symptoms (verywellhealth.com).
Calories: Recommended intake, burning calories, tips, and daily needs (medicalnewstoday.com)
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