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Edu 2 project

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Kendall Pitre

on 14 January 2013

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Transcript of Edu 2 project

FIRST THINGS FIRST I have the risk of developing anemia from my current eating habits. I could possibly be at risk for tetany with my current calcium intake. I was one of those people who thought that I was getting all of my nutritional requirements met. Sure I ate some junk food here and there throughout the day, but hey, what would that do to my body? My perspective and outlook on my diet really changed after I tracked down what I ate for 3 days. By doing this I realized that I wasn't meeting half of my nutrient intake minimums, and I was over my maximum for sodium by 2714 grams! From those 3 days I discovered that I am deficient in iron, calcium, potassium, folate, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin A, protein and fibre. I learned that I am consuming too much saturated fat also. Having so many things wrong with my daily intake is concerning, so I researched the risks I could have if I continued my diet like this. I consume a very low amount of iron, the minimum intake a day is 45mg and I only consume 14.89mg. Ouch! According to many sources, iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies, so I'm not alone. There are many symptoms and signs of iron deficiency, and they sound like they can happen to a person of any age.

Some symptoms of iron deficiency are fatigue, dizziness, paleness, hair loss, weakness, brittle nails, and anemia. Anemia is a common illness that can be caused by the lack of iron in a person's body. Anemia has all of the symptoms as iron deficiency itself, so it's really important to keep an eye on your iron levels.

I do have a lot of the symptoms of iron deficiency, such as fatigue, dizziness, paleness and weakness, and I believe that it is caused by my incredibly low amount of iron in my body. If I continue with my current potassium intake, I could possibly develop hypokalemia or experience more symptoms. I am over 2000mg away from meeting the minimum requirement of potassium my body needs, so I am probably more likely to be experiencing more symptoms of potassium deficiency.

Potassium is a very important nutrient in your body, and it helps with a lot of things. Potassium helps maintain blood sugar level, helps prevent muscle cramps and it benefits your nerves, it impacts brain function, helps balance blood pressure and helps your kidneys remove waste.

Having a deficiency is potassium is called hypokalemia, and that can lead to muscle weakness, cramps, spasms and once again, tetany. More serious cases of hypokalemia can cause muscles to become paralyzed, and can even stop your breathing. Less severe symptoms can include dizziness, fainting, numbness, heart palpitations and bloating.

I do consume a low amount of potassium, and I do experience dizziness and muscle cramps quite frequently, but I believe that I do not have hypokalemia. Apparently consuming low amounts of potassium is a very rare way to get hypokalemia, and I feel that my levels would have to be much lower for me to get it also. It still would be very wise to improve my intake of potassium, as all of the side effects sound really unpleasant. Let's start off with my favorite, calcium. I was really surprised to find out that I am deficient in calcium, because I love milk and anything that has to do with it. I really thought that 3 glasses of milk a day was enough to meet my body's needs, but I was wrong.

Calcium is needed in the body because it helps maintain strong bones, especially your teeth. It also helps with hormones and enzymes, muscle contractions and it makes your blood vessels happy. All of that stuff sounds really important, so make sure to drink a lot of milk (unlike me).

Anyways, if you are deficient in calcium one of the first signs is something called tetany. Tetany can cause you to experience muscle cramps, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. You could also develop a disease called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes your bones to become fragile, but that mostly affects adults over the age of 45. Although osteoporosis seems very uncommon to
happen to a teenager, some early signs and tetany sound very likely.
Dry skin and brittle nails can occur from lack of calcium intake, muscle cramping can
develop too. For the ladies, increased PMS symptoms are likely.

The only symptom I have that could be related to my deficiency in calcium is dry skin.
No matter what cream I use my skin remains incredibly dry, so that could be the problem. If I continue with my current diet I could possibly develop more respiratory infections or I could have poor night vision. Vitamin A is very important for our eyes and to our immune system. Sadly, our bodies do not create it in our bodies so it's our jobs to eat foods that have plenty of vitamin A in them.

The first sign of vitamin A deficiency is poor night vision, and if you continue to consume low amounts of the vitamin you could develop night blindness. Other signs of the deficiency include dry or cracked skin, dry eyes, slow wound healing, nerve damage and you're more likely to get respiratory infections.

Even though I am very far away from my requirement for Vitamin A, I do not experience any of the symptoms other than dry eyes and dry, cracked skin. I've only been experiencing dry eyes for the past couple of months so possibly could have developed that from my poor vitamin A intake. If my intake of this vitamin decreases I could possibly develop anemia. Increasing my intake of this vitamin would be great because my family has a history of bad bones, so it might help fight that. Vitamin E is another vitamin that cannot be made in our bodies, so it's important to consume foods that have it! This vitamin keeps your hair, eyes, skin, nerves, muscles, and immune system healthy. It also protects your cell membranes. I only consume around 6mg of vitamin E a day, while the minimum for my body is 15mg.

Some risks that are associated with vitamin E deficiency are muscle weakness, sight problems, anemia and poor balance. I already have terrible eyesight, muscle weakness and really bad balance, so my vitamin E deficiency might have had something to do with that. I do not believe that my intake is low enough for anemia, but it is something to watch out for because I experience 3 of the symptoms already. Vitamin D is needed for healthly and strong bones. This vitamin also helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Apparently you do not need to consume a lot of this vitamin to be healthy, if you go outside in the sun a lot you can get your vitamin D intake from there! Although it sounds very easy to just sit in the sun and soak up the vitamin D, I get rashes from the sun and I just really don't like the sun in general. Because of this, I should be consuming foods that have vitamin D in it, but I do not.

I am almost 200iu away from the minimum requirement for vitamin D, so this is a problem for me. From having a deficiency in vitamin D, you could develop a disorder called Rickets. Rickets leads to the softening and weakening of the bones. This really isn't good for me, as my family has really weak bones and almost everybody in my family has had to have a major operation because of their bones. After searching around a little, I discovered that having a deficiency in vitamin D can increase your death rate if you have cardiovascular disease, can cause asthma, and can help contribute to the development of cancer. This all sounds really serious, but then again I am not a complete hermit! I walk to my bus and I sometimes stroll around lunch hour, so I do believe that I am safe from severe problems.

I do think that I can be at risk of rickets though, because it can be caused by lack of sunlight and by not consuming a lot of calcium. I am deficient in calcium so I should probably start going outside more. Symptoms of rickets are bone pain, developing more teeth cavities, muscle cramps, pigeon chest and spine deformities. I find this interesting because my brother and I both have very large pigeon chests and we both shy away from the sun. If I continue with my habits of consuming and absorbing vitamin D I could develop rickets disorder. If I continue with my current intake my hair and nails could get brittle. If I start to consume less I could be at risk for developing depression or anxiety. Protein is extremely important for your body, and it can be found in your muscles, bones, hormones and enzymes. In fact, protein makes up around 45% of your body! Protein helps your body resist diseases that can happen to malnourished people, and it also prevents you from getting tired because it produces energy. Lastly, protein is necessary for repairing body tissue.

Having a protein deficiency can cause many symptoms, such as constant cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, muscle and/or joint pain, severe weight loss, thinning and brittle hair, brittle nails, paleness, rashes, headaches, depression, anxiety and lack of energy.

I rarely eat meat because I hate the way it tastes, and I eat very little vegetables that might have protein in it. I mostly get all of my protein from eggs and peanut butter. I am only a little more than 25g away from the minimum requirement so I believe that I will not develop depression. I do however get rashes like no tomorrow. My body is covered in extreme eczema, and I've read that having a good amount of protein in your body can soothe it a little. I also suffer from headaches a lot, but I'm not sure if it is caused by my deficiency. One of fibre's main functions is to keep your digestive system healthy and functioning properly. Fibre speeds up the excretion of toxins that lay in your intestines and that itself helps prevent disease! Fiber also softens bowel movements so you don't have to fear of constipation. Having a deficiency in fibre can be very unhealthy and very uncomfortable. The first sign of a fibre deficiency is constipation. You can also develop a something called diverticulitis, and that is a digestive disorder that causes swollen sacs to grow in your intestines. If those sacs burst, it sends waste material into your abdominin and that can cause infection. Lastly, if you do not consume enough fibre, your chances of contracting heart disease is higher.

I am only 20g away from my minimum requirement for fibre, so I strongly believe that I will not develop diverticulitis or have a higher chance of heart disease. I do get constipated, but not a lot. I believe that I probably get my fibre needs for some days, but others I do not. If I do not improve my fibre intake I could possibly get more serious constipation more often. If it worsens I have a chance of developing diverticulitis. That is all for my deficiencies, but I do have some things that I consume too much of too. Sodium is important for regulating the amount of fluid your body holds in order to make it function properly. Without having the proper amounts of sodium you can also have a hard sweating, and that may cause to become overheated, and that can lead to a stroke or dehydration.

Having too much sodium in your diet is very dangerous to your health and it can lead to death. One thing that can happen by having too much sodium is hypertension. Hypertension increases your blood volume and pressure, and sudden rises in those can cause heart attacks or strokes. Another risk is abnormal heart development, and that is when your heart has to work a lot harder (because of the increased blood volume) and it becomes very large. This can result in heart failure or heart attack. High sodium intake can also contribute to osteoporosis, because having too much sodium in your body causes you to absorb less calcium. Other less threatening risks of high sodium are swelling and dehydration.

This really is a problem for me, because I'm 2000mg over than what I should be consuming, that's a lot! I do drink a lot of water though, so I believe that I get rid of a lot of my excess amounts when I urinate and such. Still though, I should really consider watching my foods and trying to lower my sodium, because high blood pressure and heart diseases run in my family. I still am young so I don't believe I can develop any of the major risks of having high sodium levels, but if it continues I'm at risk. If I continue consuming the amount of sodium I am now, I could be at risk for hypertension, kidney problems, osteoporosis or abnormal heart development. As you can see, I am deficient in a lot of things and I consume too much sodium and saturated fat. Having that many deficiencies really can not be healthy for a person's body, and I've learned that many diseases are caused by the contribution of more than one deficiency.

One example is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can be caused by lack of calcium, and I already have a calcium deficiency. To add to that, I am also consuming very high amounts of sodium, and having too much sodium in your body can prevent calcium from being fully absorbed. It's almost like being at double the risk.

Another example is that iron, vitamin E and folate can all cause you to develop anemia. I'm not sure if being deficient in all 3 would increase my chances of developing anemia, but it's something to look out for. I believe that the reason I am deficient in so many things is because I do not consume enough calories in a day. I personally believe that this is too much saturated fat to consume in a day so I listed it as too much. Even though I was only 3µg away from the minimum requirement for folate, it's still one of my deficiencies, so I'm going to see what could happen to me if I continued with my current intake or if it got worse.

First off, folate is a fancy word for vitamin B9. Folate helps convert carbohydrates into fuel, and that gives us energy. Folate is also there to help use our fats and proteins. This vitamin is also useful for a nice appearance, because it's needed for healthy skin, hair and eyes. Something pretty interesting is that pregnant women who do not consume enough folate in their diets have a higher chance of having a child with birth defects!

Having a folate deficiency can cause fatigue, gray hair, mouth sores, poor growth and having a swollen tongue. A more severe folate deficiency can cause anemia and can reduce white blood cell levels (severe cases).

Because I am only 3µg away from the minimum requirement, I do not experience any of the symptoms of folate deficiency, except fatigue. If I start consuming a lower amount of folate in my diet I could be at risk for some symptoms. I do not see folate related anemia affecting me any time soon with the amount of folate I consume. This is extremely shocking! After researching the deficiencies and extremes of my diet, I also noticed that many of the symptoms are the same. Almost every deficiency had fatigue as a symptom, and many had muscle weakness and pain.

This made me think about how I get very tired throughout the day, even when I get a 10 hour sleep the previous night. I also get random cramps in my knees and my elbows many times a week, so it's very possible that this can be caused by my diet.

Sadly, most of my deficiencies are caused by the incredibly low amount of fruits and vegetables I have in my diet. I've always known that they were important in a diet, but I never knew how important they were. It is safe to say that probably about 6 or 7 of my deficiencies are caused by the lack of fruit and veggies in my diet, and the others are by how little meat I consume. Since I started and finished this assignment, I've added kiwi, dragon fruit, bananas and blueberries into my diet. It's not much, but it's better than the 1 slice of pineapple I had every 4 days. I never really liked fruit but I've been experimenting, hoping to find some that I like, and I did! I still hate vegetables though, except broccoli.

I really dislike meat. I have a problem with chewing and I get very nervous when I encounter foods like meat. Since I finished learning about my deficiencies, I told my parents that having lots of protein can improve eczema, so they've been making chicken a lot more since it's the only meat I enjoy.

For the extremes of my diet, sodium and saturated fat, I've been keeping my eye open for foods that are high in those. I've stopped eating foods that are sodium packed, and I'm looking out for saturated fat in food labels. I'm also drinking a lot more water, because that helps drain out extra sodium. http://www.livestrong.com/article/458641-what-is-fiber-deficiency/
Consuming proper amounts of saturated fat can help your liver dump out out fat, helps with stronger bones and can help you maintain a healthy immune system. Sadly, many people consume too much saturated fat and the risks of that are very bad. Having too much saturated is the main cause of high cholesterol and heart disease, and that can cause heart attack or stroke. Consuming too much of this fat can also lead to hypertension, and a disease called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis happens when saturated fat and trans fat from foods build up as plaque in the arteries and this causes the arteries to become blocked.
There really are no symptoms if you're consuming too much saturated fat, but obesity can certainly be caused by eating too much of it. I am only 2g over the recommended 20g for my age for this, so I believe that I am quite safe from all of the risks.

If I start to consume more saturated fat I could possibly gain weight, and in the future I could have high blood pressure or heart disease.
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