Singer and actress Brandy revealed recently she is taking some time to recover from a health scare–dehydration and low nutrition. She took to social media to thank fans and address the situation. The 43-year-old wrote, “To my beloved fam, friends, and starz thank you for sending love and light my way,” Brandy shared on Twitter. “I am following doctors’ orders and getting the rest I need due to dehydration and low amounts of nutrition. … Grateful for you all, see you soon.”
While few details were shared, this isn’t the first time Brandy has had health issues. Back in 2017, the Moesha alum lost consciousness on a Delta flight from Los Angeles to New York. Entertainment Tonight reported at the time that, “Delta and a spokesperson for the L.A. County Fire Department confirmed to ET that a passenger was transported via ambulance to a local hospital.” The singer’s rep told the outlet, “She has been traveling extensively as part of an ongoing tour and several personal appearances. In recent days, she has taken more than 10 long-haul flights including internationally. She was in the studio all night last night until it was time for her to leave for the airport to catch a 5:45 a.m. flight..The stress of all of the traveling and working so incessantly has exhausted her,” the statement continues. “She will be relaxing for the next few days.”
According to a 2017 study, “Thirty-one percent of the U.S. population was at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia, with 23%, 6.3%, and 1.7% of the U.S. population at risk of deficiency in 1, 2, or 3–5 vitamins or anemia, respectively.” Dehydration and low nutrition can cause health problems and lead to infections, muscle weakness, falls, confusion and more. “It is important to know that undernutrition, or low nutrition, can occur in any individual regardless of body size, BMI, or health history,” Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD tells us. She adds, “Not following a balanced diet, cutting out food groups, over exercising, and not hydrating can all lead to poor nutrition with serious side effects.” Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
What to Know About Not Getting the Right Amounts of Nutrition
Best explains, “Getting the right amount of nutrients isn’t optional to life, it is vital. Diets and programs that suggest cutting our or significantly reducing certain food groups, macronutrients, or restricting calories are dangerous and not sustainable to an ideal quality of life and health. Our bodies require specific nutrients and to restrict any can lead to short and longer term consequences. Having a biochemical analysis of your nutrient related health should be a priority.”
Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of the Candida Diet explains, “When it comes to getting the right amount of nutrients the general public assumes they are far from malnutrition. However, there is a difference between malnutrition and undernutrition, sometimes referred to as low nutrition. Both are serious, but undernutrition refers more specifically to being deficient in certain nutrients not necessarily as a result of restricting food. This can occur from eating an imbalanced diet, dehydration, and removing food groups as is common among some fad diets.”
The Main Nutrients You Need, According to Nutritionists
Best shares, “The body requires two categories of nutrients; macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are where we obtain calories and include protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, while they offer no calories they are vital to proper function of every body system and function. With that being said, not all micronutrients are equal in terms of vital necessity. Of the vitamins it is important to take in all four fat soluble vitamins; A, D, E, and K. The B vitamins and vitamin C are also important just on a lesser scale. All three macronutrients are vital to life and optimal health. Minerals are also important, even though they are smaller in size and required in smaller amounts. Iron, zinc, and magnesium are three minerals that are very important to maintaining a healthy balance and life.”
Richards says, “The body requires both macronutrients and micronutrients at varying degrees and amounts. The three macronutrients are essential to function and life and include fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, which are also vital to varying degrees depending on the specific nutrient in question. Of these the most important are the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), along with iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, and vitamin C. These vitamins and minerals are involved in just about every function of the body from cellular health to brain and organ function.”
How Vitamin Deficiency Can Happen
Dr. Naheed A. Ali, MD, PhD with USA RX says, “Vitamin deficiency can occur in many ways. Overeating can impede vitamin absorption. Synthetic substances like Vitamin A and D supplements are highly concentrated and hard to digest. Poor digestion of foods and supplements causes vitamin deficiency. This can prevent the body from adequately absorbing vitamins.”
In addition, certain health issues can cause vitamin deficiencies. The Mayo Clinic states, “Medical conditions that can cause vitamin D deficiency include:
–Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease: These conditions can prevent your intestines from adequately absorbing enough vitamin D through supplements, especially if the condition is untreated.
–Obesity: A body mass index greater than 30 is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Fat cells keep vitamin D isolated so that it’s not released. Obesity often requires taking larger doses of vitamin D supplements to reach and maintain normal levels.
–Kidney disease and liver disease: These conditions reduce the amount of certain enzymes (hepatic enzyme 25–hydroxylase from your liver and 1-alpha-hydroxylase from your kidneys) your body needs to change vitamin D to a form it can use. A lack of either of these enzymes leads to an inadequate level of active vitamin D in your body.”
Signs of Low Amounts of Nutrients
According to Best, “The early signs that you are lacking nutrients are very physical in nature. You may begin to feel confused or have trouble concentrating. Feelings of chronic fatigue and irritability or other mood changes can also occur. You will likely begin to feel more weak or frail than usual and have less stamina. Getting sick more easily and for longer periods may also be an indication that you are deficient in certain nutrients.”
Richards states, “Depending on the nutrients which are lacking the side effects range from mild to serious and life threatening. The earliest and most common signs include a combination of some or all of the following; chronic fatigue, irritability, brain fog, dry or cracked skin, feeling cold often, feeling weak, muscle aches, and low mood. In more serious, long-term cases, you may begin to feel a reduction of appetite, which can be dangerous for those losing nutrition through dieting as it may encourage them to continue their food choices. If you are concerned with your nutrition a simple blood test can determine if your nutrient levels are in balance.”
The Dangers of Not Getting Enough of the Proper Nutrients
Best says, “Not getting enough nutrients places you at risk for a host of negative health outcomes. These range on a scale from being minor, like having low energy, to severe like organ failure and death. On the more minor side, but still serious, not getting enough nutrients can interfere with your quality of life. This is due to their impact on energy, cognitive function, mood, strength, and immune health. Not taking in enough nutrients for a prolonged period can lead to muscle wasting, organ damage, unstable vitals, and fatality. “
Richards tells us, “If undernutrition persists these common symptoms can worsen and, depending on the nutrients lacking, can lead to life altering side effects. Undernutrition can easily lead to malnutrition, which begins to impact the immune system, organ function, and homeostasis in the body. For instance, low nutrition can lead to issues in the cardiovascular system causing low heart heart rate, dysrhythmia, and low blood pressure. Portions of the digestive system can begin to atrophy which causes the malnutrition to persist and worsen.”