Nutrition Focused Physical ExamJoanna Cummings, MS RD CNSCClinical Nutrition Instructor, Lao-American Nutrition InstituteInstructor, Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition at OHSUQuestions to Consider Asking:Hair Has the patient noticed any changes in their hair or more hair loss? Is the hair lighter in color than normal? Has the client washed or brushed their hair recently?Eyes Has the client had any changes in their vision or eyes? Is the client having a hard time seeing at night? Do they report that their eyes feel dry?Lips Has the client noticed any changes in their lips?MouthSkinNails Has the client had any changes in their sense of taste? Do they have a burning sensation in their mouth or any pain with chewing orswallowing? If discoloration of the tongue is noted, has the client recently had a coloredmedication, food or beverage? Has the client noticed any changes in their skin?Is the skin warm or cold? Rough or smooth?Does the skin look dry or oily?Are there rashes or areas of irritation? Has the client noticed any changes in their nails? If discoloration is noted, does the client use tobacco, or have contact withother chemicals? Has the client had any recent injuries to their fingers or nail beds?Other questions to consider:Has the patient taken deworming medication recently?Has the patient had a change in access to food or water recently?Is the patient taking acid blocking medication? (PPI’s/Omeprazole, etc )Has the patient felt more tired, weak, or lethargic recently?
Physical Assessment Findings & Nutrients 1-8AreaPhysical SignsPossible Nutrition AbnormalityHair Thin, sparse, lacklusterIron, zinc, biotinEyes Pallor of lower conjunctivaeFolate, B12, iron, B6Riboflavin, niacin, B6, ironRiboflavin, niacin, B6, B12, folate, ironRiboflavin, niacin, B6, ironFolate, B12, ironRiboflavin, niacin, B6, ironFolate, B12, ironFolate, B12, ironRiboflavin, biotin, B6, zincIronFolate, ironFolate, B12, ironTongueLipsSkinNailsAngular palpebritisGlossitis (sore, red, swollen, smooth)Angular stomatitisPallor of the tongueCheilosis (dry, swollen, ulcerated lips)Pallor of lips, decreased vermilion borderPallor, generalSeborrheic dermatitisKoilonychiaCentral ridge (significant)Pallor of nail bed
Lab AssaySignificanceMethylmalonic AcidMethylmalonic acid is a metabolite of B12. High levels may indicatevitamin B12 deficiency.HomocysteineHigh levels may indicate folate deficiency or B12 deficiency (if coupledwith high methylmalonic acid).ThiaminThiamin diphosphate (TDP) is the most sensitive, specific, and precisemethod of determining nutritional status and is a reliable indicator oftotal body thiamin stores.Soluble TransferrinReceptorTransferrin SaturationFerritinZincNiacinRiboflavinSoluble transferrin receptor concentration is directly proportional toerythropoietic rate and inversely proportional to iron availability. Lowlevels may be due to hemolysis or administration of erythropoiesisstimulating agents. High levels may indicate iron deficiency.Transferrin saturation is the value of serum iron divided by the total ironbinding capacity. Low levels indicate iron deficiency. High levels indicateiron overload or hemochromatosis.Ferritin is the storage form of iron. Low levels indicate irondeficiency.High levels may indicate hemochromatosis, inflammation, or ironoverload.Zinc levels are dependent on albumin and have diurnal variations. Lowlevels may indicate zinc deficiency, malnutrition, infection, inflammation,stress, use of oral contraceptives or pregnancy. High levels may indicatezinc supplementation or fasting.Low levels of N-methylnicotinamide may indicate niacin deficiency.Erythrocyte glutathione reductase assay is a functional index ofriboflavin deficiency.Low levels may indicate riboflavin deficiency
References1. Pogatshnik C, Hamilton, C. Nutrition-focused physical examination: Skin, nails, hair, eyes, andoral cavity. Support Line. 2011;33(2):7-13.2. ASPEN & Cleveland Clinic. Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam: An Illustrated HandbookAmerican Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition; 2016.3. Mordarski, B, Wolff, J. Nutrition Focused Physical Exam Pocket Guide. 2nd Edition. Academyof Nutrition and Dietetics; 2018.4. Litchford M. Nutrition Focused Physical Assessment: Making Clinical Connections. In: CaseSoftware & Books; 2013.5. Esper DH. Utilization of nutrition-focused physical assessment in identifyingmicronutrient deficiencies. Nutr Clin Pract. 2015;30(2):194-202.6. Jensen GL, Binkley J. Clinical manifestations of nutrient deficiency. JPEN Journal of parenteraland enteral nutrition. 2002;26(5 Suppl):S29-33.7. Tosti A, Iorizzo M, Piraccini BM, Starace M. The nail in systemic diseases. DermatolClin. 2006;24(3):341-347.8. Holzberg M. Common nail disorders. Dermatol Clin. 2006;24(3):349-354.9. Schrier SL. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency. In: Post T,ed. UpToDate. Waltham, Mass.: UpToDate; 2018. www.uptodate.com.10. Andres E. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients. Canadian MedicalAssociation Journal. 2004;171(3):251-259.11. Pazirandeh S, Burns D. Overview of water-soluble vitamins. In: Post T, ed. UpToDate.Waltham, Mass.: UpToDate; 2018. www.uptodate.com.12. Pazirandeh S, Burns D. Overview of dietary trace minerals. In: Post T, ed. UpToDate. Waltham,Mass.: UpToDate; 2018. www.uptodate.com.13. Schrier SL. Causes and diagnosis of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in adults. In: PostT, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, Mass.: UpToDate; 2018. www.uptodate.com.14. Stabler SP. Vitamin B12 deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:149---160.15. Schrier SL. Treatment of vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies. In: Post T, ed. UpToDate.Waltham, Mass.: UpToDate; 2018. www.uptodate.com.16. Frank LL. Thiamin in Clinical Practice. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2015;39(5):503- 520.17. Vallerand AH, Sanoski CA. Thiamine. Vol 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: F.A. DavisCompany; 2017.18. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA National Nutrient Databasefor Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, 2013.19. Clark SF. Iron Deficiency Anemia. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2008;23 (2):128141. doi:10.1177/0884533608314536.20. Schrier SL. Treatment of iron deficiency anemia in adults. In: Post T, ed. UpToDate. Waltham,Mass.: UpToDate; 2018. www.uptodate.com.21. Bunn HF. Approach to the Anemias. Goldmans Cecil Medicine. 2012:1031-1039.
(Best) Sensitivity of Nutrient Marker (Limited)
2. ASPEN & Cleveland Clinic. Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam: An Illustrated Handbook American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition; 2016. 3. Mordarski, B, Wolff, J. Nutrition Focused Physical ExamPocket Guide. 2nd Edition. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 2018. 4. Litchford M. Nutrition Focused Physical Assessment: Making Clinical .
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