Kwashiorkor

by Rachel Bhan


It is condition arising from protein deficiency in the body. It is malnutrition due to insufficient intake of proteins and improper diet. It is common in famine areas. It occurs in poor countries with scarcity of food, countries with political unrest and countries with recurring natural calamities like drought. Children are more prone to this kind of malnutrition than old people in old age homes.

Symptoms


The symptoms of malnutrition are fatigue, irritability, inability to gain weight, stunted growth, diarrhea, loss of body mass, skin ailments like dermatitis, peeling of skin, pigmentation, thinning of hair and change in hair color, vitilgo, lack of immunity and protruding belly.

The body is prone to number of infections. It brings about mental and physical disabilities. Shock and Coma are the last stages of this disease followed by death.

Causes


Paucity of food leads to malnutrition and in turn causes Kwashiorkor or protein deficiency.

Remedies


  • Kwashiorkor can be treated in the early stages though the child may not achieve full growth of height. But in chronic cases, permanent disability can occur.
  • Shock in kwashiorkor patients should be treated immediately by restoring blood volume and maintaining blood pressure.
  • The basic remedy is to give calories in the form of carbohydrates, sugars, fats and protein rich diets. Vitamins and mineral supplements should be given.
  • Children affected by kwashiorkor have been starving for days; hence they should be fed in small quantities initially. First, carbohydrates should be given for energy then protein foods.
  • Children who are lactose intolerant should be given enzyme lactose to benefit from milk products.

Prevention


The best way to avoid kwashiorkor is to eat nutritious diet rich in carbohydrates, fats (10% of the total calories) and proteins (12% of the total calories).


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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