What is Kwashiorkor

Kwashiorkor is a deficiency disease that is seen in young kids due to the reduced intake of proteins. It is termed as a protein energy malnutrition that results in stunted growth and other forms of shortcomings in the kid. One needs to understand the fact that disease is completely different from that of marasmus. The main difference lies in the fact that marasmus is caused dye to deficiency of calories whereas kwashiorkor is seen in kids who do not get sufficient proteins. The most common symptoms of this ailment is said to be potbelly in young kids and hair loss.

The countries of Africa that are underdeveloped have reported the highest number of cases of Kwashiorkor. It is needless to say that the countries where political unrest prevails report the highest number of cases of Kwashiorkor, owing to the fact that in these countries child nutrition is not given the importance that it deserves. The term, ‘Kwashiorkor’, means red boy and was first used in the country, Ghana. In kids who do not get enough milk from their mother, the chances of kwashiorkor being reported are high. The initial symptoms that start as edema in the feet, thinning of hair and pot belly, can go on to assume more serious forms if not treated in the right manner. Therefore, it is important that medication is sort at the earliest before problems of any kind are caused.

Learning more about the symptoms of kwashiorkor in detail would help one recognize this ailment in their kid at an early stage and look for the best kind of treatment. Some other signs and indications of the onset of kwashiorkor in the kid are the change of skin color, and discoloration of hair. The child tends to lose weight rapidly and his growth tends to stop. The chances that other coexisting disorders show up are high too, thereby, making life more miserable for the young kids.

There are a series of tests that need to be conducted prior to opting for treatment to handle the onslaught of kwashiorkor. The patient, who undergoes medication for this condition, is first provided with right amount of carbohydrates till he reaches a stable state, following which proteins are included in his diet.

It is disheartening to note that kids who suffer from kwashiorkor have to live with the physical changes that the ailment brings about in their body. At later stages, the person suffering from kwashiorkor might even go to coma and this condition can be life threatening. Treatment is also a difficult task when the person reaches a later stage and shows signs of mental illness too. Thus, one needs to understand the risks of the ailment and should not overlook the early symptoms that are seen.

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