Marasmus is a form of severe malnutrition. It can occur in anyone who has severe malnutrition, but it usually occurs in children. Marasmus can be life-threatening, but you can get treatment for it.


  • Thin face
  • Ribs and shoulders clearly visible through the skin
  • Very loose skin that sometimes hangs in folds in the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks
  • Persistent dizziness
  • Sunken eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Active, alert, or irritable behavior
  • Frequent dehydration
  • Frequent infections that don’t show external signs like fever or lesions


  • Nutrient deficiency:
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A

Risk factors

  • Growing up in a developing country
  • Poverty
  • Nursing mothers
  • Regions with high disease rates and insufficient medical care

Diagnostic Tests

  • physical examination


  • Balanced diet
  • Oral rehydration
  • Treating infections

Lifestyle management

  • Balanced diet
  • Good sanitation and hygiene
  • Prevent malnourishment in the newborns
  • Cooking foods at high temperature
  • Ensuring complications like diarrhea and dehydration don’t occur