4.6.1 Treat the underlying cause

An assessment of the cause of undernutrition is essential. If the cause is primarily poverty or food insecurity related, these socioeconomic issues will need to be addressed. If underlying medical causes are suspected, then an appropriate medical referral should be considered. In cases of co-morbid medical (e.g., diabetes) or psychiatric conditions (e.g., alcohol use), again the individual should be referred appropriately.

Irrespective of these causes, the person should be offered the counselling techniques already described: basic psychological support (4.5.1), strengthen social support (4.5.2), Problem solving technique (4.5.3), and provide support to the family/caregivers (4.5.4).

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