Imbalanced Nutrition Nursing Diagnosis - Best Care Plan

Imbalanced Nutrition Nursing Diagnosis


Imbalanced Nutrition Nursing Diagnosis

As a nursing student, you must learn several skills, such as nursing diagnosis and care plan. That's why our article today explores imbalanced nutrition nursing diagnosis. In case you need help writing a nursing diagnosis, place an order for our services.

Nursing diagnosis is practiced by nurses to identify the signs and symptoms of a condition and make interventions for the patient. However, physicians are the one who identifies a condition and gives definitive treatment. So, before the medical diagnosis or after, a nurse will help a patient's situation become bearable, thus improving their quality of life.

What is Nutritional Imbalance?

Nutritional imbalance can be caused by the inability of the body to absorb nutrients from food or having fewer nutrients in food, that is, a poor diet. So, your diet can have either more or fewer nutrients, thus causing an imbalance. High and low nutrients lead to unpleasant side effects and conditions that can cause severe diseases.

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Some conditions that may arise from imbalanced nutrition include night blindness, anemia, obesity, and weak bones and muscles.

There are two forms of imbalanced nutrition that we are going to discuss in this article; less than the body requirements and more than the body requirements. Under each, we will handle the features, related factors, outcomes, nursing assessment, and interventions.

If you want to write a nutritional imbalance lab report, we offer quality writing services. Again, we also have an article that can guide you on how to write a lab report.

Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements

 Your body requires the right type and amount of nutrients to function correctly. So, when your body's metabolic and nutritional demands are not sufficiently supplied, it's less than body requirements. This situation occurs when the body cannot ingest, digest or absorb nutrients in the right amount to fulfill its nutritional requirements.

Defining Characteristics

To identify imbalanced nutrition for less than the body requirements, then you need to understand the following characteristics:

  • Abdominal pain with or without pathology
  • Impaired mental health status
  • Sunken fontanel for infants
  • Dry and brittle hair that is to remove from the scalp
  • Red and swollen mucus membranes
  • Low consummation of calories that meets the body's nutritional requirements
  • Decreased serum albumin
  • Decreased total protein
  • Weakness with loss of mobility
  • Poor skin turgor
  • Recent weight loss of 20% or more of the usual adult weight
  • Poor appetite
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Capillary fragility

Related Factors

As a nurse, you must understand the related factors to imbalanced nutrition diagnosis. If you learn these factors, you will implement evidence-based practice for nutritional imbalance. If you are working on an evidence-based practice essay on any condition, contact our nursing experts for assistance.

These related factors are classified as follows:  

  • Pathophysiological
  • Psychosociobehavioral
  • Treatment factors

Pathophysiological Factors

  • Diarrhea
  • High metabolic needs due to therapy of disease process
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Oral trauma
  • Low appetite
  • Sucking complications and dysphagia that may result due to cerebral palsy, cleft lip, and palate, neurologic impairment
  • Tiredness, inadequate sucking, and dyspnea caused by congenital heart disease, respiratory distress, and more
  • Dietary restrictions, malabsorption, and anorexia due to celiac diseases, lactose intolerance, GI malformation, and gastroesophageal reflux
  • Allergies


  • Depression
  • Food altered taste
  • Low appetite
  • Poor digestion
  • Difficulty to prepare food
  • Cultural food preferences
  • Inability to access sufficient foods
  • Insufficient nutritional knowledge
  • Stress

Treatment Factors

  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Tonsillectomy

Imbalanced Nutrition: Excessive Nutrients

When your body gets more nutrients than needed, it’s also an imbalanced nutrition. The following are the characteristics of a patient with this condition:

  • Increased body weight
  • High body mass index ( BMI)
  • Consuming poor diets with added sugars, saturated fats
  • Overeating habits
  • Practicing a sedentary lifestyle

Imbalanced Nutrition: Excessive Nutrients Related Factors

 Some of the agents leading to excessive uptake of nutrients include:

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Medications and conditions like hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome may lead to increased eating habits.
  • Lack of proper nutritional knowledge
  • Lack of portion control
  • Emotional triggers like stress, boredom
  • Cultural and social influences like gatherings, social gatherings putting pressure on consuming unhealthy foods
  • Psychological issues such as self-esteem, body image, trauma

Expected Outcomes of Imbalanced Nutrition

 After encountering a patient with a nutritional imbalance disorder, you should create goals for the nursing care plan. These outcomes will help the patient attain better health and stability. These goals that you should set include:

  1. The patient remains within 10% ideal body weight range
  2. The client should understand the importance of proper nutrition for healing and general health
  3. The individual should comprehend the choice of foods suitable for gaining appropriate weight
  4. The client should consume sufficient amounts of nutrients and calories
  5. The patient should have zero malnutrition signs

That summarizes imbalanced nutrition nursing diagnoses for less and excess nutrients. If you need an essay on imbalanced nutrition, place an order for our services. We also offer similar essays, like a nursing diagnosis for pneumonia.

Nursing Assessments

Before undertaking any assessment, you should gather the entire patient’s information on nutritional status. Understand all the factors contributing to the patient's inadequate or excessive nutrient intake. With these details, it’s you can now consider the following assessments:

Nutritional History

Note the patient's dietary intake, eating frequencies, food preference, and if there are any current changes in weight and appetite. You can learn the nutrition pattern of your patient by asking about the quality and quantity of meals, snacking habits, and any restrictions they may have.

Anthropometric Measurements

Take the patient's height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). Calculating the client's BMI helps you assess their nutritional status and monitor occurring changes. Again, you identify the best dietary interventions that will apply to the patient.

Body Composition Analysis

This Procedure means assessing the fat proportion to the fat-free mass in a patient’s body. You can use techniques like skinfold thickness or bioelectrical impedance analysis. The outcome of these procedures will help you identify lean body mass and fat distribution, which will be a sign of excess fats or malnutrition.

Clinical Examination

This test deals with assessing the signs of malnutrition or excess nutrients. Some signs of insufficient nutrient uptake include hair loss, oral ulcers, edema, brittle nails, and muscle wasting.

Laboratory Tests

There are various lab tests that you can request to help you identify the nutrition imbalance condition. These tests are re-albumin, hematocrit, vitamin levels, electrolytes, blood glucose, and vitamin levels. The above tests will reveal the specific nutrient deficiency in your patient.  

Dietary Assessment

Collect information about the patient's dietary intake using a 24-hour recall, food diary, or food frequency questionnaire. This data review of the patient will assist in identifying the nutrient gaps and patterns.

Psychosocial Factors

We learned that one related factor to nutritional imbalance is psychosocial issues. So, as a nurse, find out the socioeconomic, cultural beliefs, mental health, and the stressors that may be affecting the client's nutrition. Understand how these factors influence appetite, food choices, and overall nutrition balance. Additionally, mental health disorders like stress and depression can affect ones eating behaviors and appetite.

Medications and Medical History

Find out if the patient's condition may affect their nutritional status. Review their medical history, recent surgery, and chronic illnesses. Again, evaluate their medications as some drugs can affect nutrient absorption.

Assessment of Oral Cavity

Check out for any oral illness, such as dental carries or difficulty chewing or swallowing. If one has any oral health issues, it may affect their nutrient uptake and cause imbalanced nutrition.

Nursing Interventions for Imbalanced Nutrition

After identifying the nutritional condition that the patient has, then is best to empower them with information and also address the causing factors.  

  • Work with a dietician - with professional help- to create a customized nutritional plan based on your patient's needs, preferences, and medical conditions.
  • Create nutritional awareness for the family and the patient- teach them about a balanced diet, portion control, proper meals, and taking healthy snacks.
  • Help during meals –assist the patients who can’t feed themselves, like those with poor fine motor skills. Supervise their means to ensure they incorporate their dietary requirements and preferences.
  • Supervise and record the food intake – monitor what the patients feed in compliance with the intervention plan. Always advise on the areas of improvement so that the patient's health status improves. You can use a diary or even nutritional apps to track the progress accurately.
  • Nutritional supplementation – team up with other healthcare providers to give supplements through oral or enteral feeding. Observe the patient's response to the supplements and adjust the regime accordingly.
  • Encourage proper hydration – advise the clients on consuming sufficient amounts of fluids throughout the day. Record the fluids intake and output to deal with any dehydration issues.
  • Handle swallowing difficulties – For individuals with dysphagia or swallowing problems, it's best to seek help from a speech-language pathologist. This specialist can assist with swallowing techniques or interventions on modified diets.
  • Address psychosocial factors – review and intervene on psychosocial factors like depression, financial constraints, anxiety, and social isolation. Collaborate with the best teams on offering emotional support and resources to deal with this issue.
  • Monitor the patient's nutritional status – conduct regular assessments, laboratory tests, and all other nutritional status examinations. Check out if the nursing interventions are working and if adjustments are required in the nursing care plan.

Talking of a care plan, we can help you curate an impressive nursing care plan for your course. Again, you can read how to write a nursing care plan in our article.

To understand the nutritional imbalance nursing diagnosis, assessments, and intervention, below is a summary of the facts in a table:


Defining characteristics

 Related factors

Nursing assessments

Nursing interventions


Less than the body requirements

-Body weakness

-Loss of mobility

-Low serum albumin

-Electrolyte imbalance

-Dry and brittle hair

-Oral trauma

-Lack of appetite

-High metabolic needs



-Take nutritional history

- Lab tests

- Medical history

- Body composition analysis

-Oral cavity assessment




-Help patients to eat

-Handle swallowing difficulties 

- Addressing psychosocial factors

Excess  nutrients

-High BMI

-Overeating habits

-Lack of exercise

-Increased body weight


-Lack of nutritional knowledge

-Emotional triggers

-Living inactive life


Health conditions


Anthropometric measurements

-Dietary assessments

-Body composition analysis

-Take a medical history

-Nutrition education

- Working with a dietician

-Monitoring nutritional status

-Creating an exercise plan

Table: Nutritional imbalance summary of less and excess nutrients.

Which Population is at Risk of Imbalanced Nutrition?

Some people are more prone to suffer imbalanced nutrition than body requirements due to their lifestyles. This unique population includes:

  • Infants –breastfeeding infants should receive adequate nutrition for development, growth, and protection from infections. So, if the mother isn't feeding well to receive adequate nutrients, the infant will suffer.
  • Children should have adequate vitamins, minerals, and calories for proper growth, development, and learning. If the children lack, they will suffer from malnutrition.
  • Elderly - older adults will have trouble shopping and cooking healthy food. Some suffer from dementia or depression, increasing their risk for malnourishment.

If you are dealing with an elderly patient with an imbalanced nutrition diagnosis, you may have to assess depression nursing diagnosis or altered mental status nursing diagnosis. These are common psychological-related factors that will lead to imbalanced nutrition in an older adult.

When you diagnose correctly, your patient will recover quickly from nutritional disorders. So before you diagnose, ensure you understand the condition characteristics. As we discussed in the other articles, the risk for bleeding nursing diagnosis, there are two types of diagnosis, medical and nursing. An accurate nursing diagnosis will lead to the best care plan for the patient, whether an adult, child, elderly, or individuals with underlying conditions.

To Wrap Up

Nutrition means how your body absorbs nutrients, the diet, and its relationship with mental and physical health conditions. The imbalanced nutrition nursing diagnosis occurs in two ways; less than the body requirements and excess nutrients.

A patient can take insufficient nutrients due to stress, health conditions, financial constraints, and ignorance. Also, one can suffer from taking excess nutrients, leading to unhealthy conditions.

Our article gives the facts you need for imbalanced nutrition nursing diagnosis, create and heed the best care plan. If you need help in writing an imbalanced nutrition nursing diagnosis essay, care plans, and other nursing tasks, place an order for our services.

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