Marasmus is a severe form of malnutrition that consists of the chronic wasting of fats, muscles, and other tissues in the body.
Malnutrition occurs when your body does not get enough protein and carbohydrates. This lack of nutrition can be from a shortage of certain vitamins to complete starvation. Marasmus is one of the most serious forms of protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) in the world.
Marasmus is a serious problem. It is most common in children in developing regions, such as Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. It is caused because of poverty; inadequate food supplies, famine, contaminated water, etc.
Contaminated water may contain bacteria or parasites that enter the body when the water is consumed and cause infections that complicate the condition. Marasmus can be caused by chronic diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, and rapid weight loss.
The risk of certain infectious diseases can cause marasmus if left untreated. If the disease is caused by poor nutrition, then a change in diet would be enough to correct the problem and prevent a recurrence.
Symptoms of Marasmus
The symptoms of marasmus depend upon the degree of malnutrition. Following are some of the symptoms of marasmus:
– Chronic diarrhea.
– Severe weight loss.
– Change in level of consciousness.
– Paralysis of legs.
– Loss of bowel and bladder control.
– Prolonged vomiting. Diarrhea.
– Delay in the healing of wounds.
– Distended abdomen.
– Growth retardation.
– Loose skin folds.
Causes of Marasmus
– Inadequate food supplies.
– Contaminated water.
– Deficiency of vitamin A, E, and K.
– Poor and unbalanced diet.
Some of the treatments for Marasmus are:
– The child should be provided Vitamin B5 treatment.
– Treatment for dehydration should be provided.
– Treatment for any infections and communicable diseases should be provided without delay.
– Solid food should be provided along with breastfeeding after six months.
– The patient should be provided with the required proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats.