KWASHIORKOR

Description

  • Life-threatening and debilitating form of malnutrition
  • Caused by lack of protein in the diet
  • Easily treated with a change in diet

Symptoms

  • Change in skin and hair color (to a rust color)
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Failure to grow or gain weight
  • Large belly that sticks out
  • Failure to grow in height
  • Tiredness or irritability

Causes

  • Lack of protein in the diet
  • Limited food supply, poor hygiene
  • Lack of education about the importance of giving an adequate diet
  • Long-term illness
  • Restricted diet

Risk Factors

  • Low- and lower-middle-income regions
  • Affects children and older adults
  • No proper education about food and nutrients

Diagnostic Tests

  • To check for an enlarged liver
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Arterial blood gas
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Blood levels of creatinine
  • Urinalysis
  • Total protein levels

Treatment

  • Calories in the form of carbohydrates, sugars, and fats
  • Foods with proteins
  • Long-term vitamin and mineral supplementation to the diet
  • Maintaining blood pressure
  • Treating infections with antibiotics
  • Treating or preventing low blood glucose

Prevention

  • Eat enough calories and protein-rich foods
  • Follow dietary guidelines from Institute of Medicine
  • Do not neglect the symptoms
  • Report any case of child abuse immediately, if found
  • Eat balanced diet

Lifestyle Management

  • Educate people about complete and nutritional diet
  • Consult a nutritionist and ask for guidance
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid strict and extreme dieting
  • Avoid an all-protein diet
  • Incorporate sufficient carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the diet
  • Educate children about child abuse and neglect behaviours