Kwashiorkar

Kwashiorkor is one of the more severe forms of protein malnutrition and is caused by inadequate protein intake. It is, therefore, a macronutrient deficiency.

Causes—

  1. Areas where there is:
  • Famine
  • Limited food supply
  • Low levels of education (do not know what is a balanced diet)
  • Protein-depleted diets (starches and vegetables, with little meat and animal products)

2. Infections

3. Chronic illnesses

Symptoms And Signs–

Symptoms–

  • Changes in skin pigment
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Edema
  • Failure to gain weight and grow
  • Fatigue
  • Hair changes (color or texture)
  • Irritability
  • Enlarged liver
  • Lethargy or apathy
  • Severe infections
  • Shock

Signs—

  • Edema
  • Growth retardation
  • Muscle wasting
  • Mental changes

Investigations—

Blood test—

  • Arterial blood gas
  • BUN
  • Full blood count
  • Creatinine clearance
  • Serum creatinine
  • Serum potassium
  • Total protein levels

Urine test

Treatment—

  • Oral rehydration
  • Nutritional support
    1. Calories(carbohydrates, simple sugars, and fats)
    2. Protein
    3. Vitamins
    4. Mineral supplements.
    5. lactase enzyme(for lactose intolerance)
  • Food must be reintroduced slowly
  • Restore blood volume and maintain blood pressure(if in shock )
  • Ayurvedic Medicines

Complications—

  • Coma
  • Permanent mental and physical disability
  • Shock

Prevention–

Take a balanced diet which has enough carbohydrates, fat (at least 10 percent of total calories), and protein (12 percent of total calories).

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