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Kwashiorkor severe malnutrition affecting mostly children. This condition is caused by an acute protein deficiency. It is also known as “inflammatory malnutrition” because of its link to inflammation. Patients with kwashiorkor have a hot appearance all over their body. The ovaries, legs and abdomen swell with water.

kwashiorkor images

Kwashiorkor is mostly found in rural areas, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Areas affected by famine or areas with limited food availability are particularly vulnerable. There are also many cases of kwashiorkor in communities where people do not know about proper food and nutrition.

Causes of Kwashiorkor

Our bodies need protein to repair cells and make new ones. It is an important ingredient in pregnancy and child development. Protein deficiency inhibits growth and normal body functions, and this leads to kwashiorkor.

Kwashiorkor is mostly found in countries with limited food supply. Lack of awareness of a balanced diet and dependence on low-carb communities can also develop this condition.

Symptoms of Kwashiorkor

  • Change in skin and hair colour and texture
  • Loss of weight
  • Swelling (oedema) of the ankles, feet, and belly
  • Irritation
  • Compromised immune system
  • Failure to gain muscle mass
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea

Treatment of Kwashiorkor

A high-protein, high-calorie diet can treat kwashiorkor. Long-term vitamins and minerals are recommended by doctors. Calories must be increased slowly because the patient’s diet has been nutritionally deficient for a long time.

If treatment is delayed, the child may be left with permanent physical and mental disabilities. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal.

Complications in Kwashiorkor

  • Physical disabilities

  • Mental disabilities

  • Coma

  • Shock

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