What are symptoms and causes of Marasmus?

Marasmus : It is a form of malnutrition which is caused due to inadequate protein and calories intake. It is one form of protein-energy malnutrition and other is kwashiorkor and occurs at the age of one year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every year ten million children under the age of five died and 50 percent of them died with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). It results in growth retardation and muscle wasting.

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Symptoms of Marasmus : Main symptoms that are seen in children who suffer from marasmus are lethargy, displaying decreased activity, slow growth, behavioral changes and loss of weight. Growth retardation, muscle wasting and loss of muscle fat are subsequent effects on the body. Children suffer from marasmus will never gain full height and growth. In many children there may be bands of pigmented hair and flaky paint appearance due to peeling.

Causes of Marasmus : Main factor that causes protein and calories deficiency is transition from breastfeeding and put infant to poor nutrition foods. Moreover infection of gastrointestinal tract and severe form of infection such tuberculosis also contributes to marasmus. Increased energy demand and intake of decreased energy can cause negative energy balance. It results in reduced energy consumption by the body.

Treatment of Marasmus : The aim of marasmus treatment is to supply the body with necessary nutritional requirements. At rehabilitation stage a child requires at least 150 kilocalories per kilogram per day. Oral rehydration is give to cope up with dehydration. Supplementation is done to cover micronutrient deficiency which can be due to deficiency of vitamin A.

Immunization and family education : As top priority immunization should be reviewed and given to children to reduce the burden of infectious diseases. Moreover the education of family must be ongoing that can improve their behavior response to such conditions. Family must be aware of ready- to-use medication and foods that have also been developed. Only the broad approach can help reduce mortality caused by the condition.

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