Kwashiorkor is the most common nutritional disorder in developing countries.
It is a form of malnutrition caused by not getting enough protein in the diet. All the cells in our body contain protein. We need protein in our diet for our body to repair cells and make new cells. A healthy body regenerates cells in this manner constantly.
Protein is also important for growth during childhood and pregnancy. Children are affected by kwashiorkor more than adults. It starts after the child has been weaned and breast milk has been replaced with a diet that is low in protein.
It can occur in infants if the mother does not get a sufficient amount of protein. Protein is found in meat, milk, cheese, fish, eggs, soybeans, nuts, seeds, etc. Kwashiorkor is most common in drought and famine areas. Kwashiorkor is due to the inadequate protein in the diet though we take adequate caloric intake
Kwashiorkor can also occur due to parasites and infections. Children who suffer from kwashiorkor may not grow or develop properly. It is a very serious condition and it can be life-threatening if not treated.
Kwashiorkor is caused by not eating enough protein. It is most common in countries where there is a limited food supply or in places with low levels of education. It is especially common in developing countries that are experiencing:
– Political unrest.
– Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, floods, etc.
– Irritability and fatigue.
– Weight loss and slow growth
– Loss of muscle mass.
– Abdomen swelling.
– Enlargement of the liver and abdomen.
– Weakening of the immune system, leading to frequent infections.
– Change in skin and hair color (reddish-orange color).
– The large belly that sticks out.
– Kwashiorkor can be prevented by including foods that are rich in proteins, such as meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, soybeans, etc.
– Calories in the form of carbohydrates, sugars, and fats should be given. Once these calories provide energy, then the child should be given foods with proteins. Calories should be increased slowly because you have been without proper nutrition for a long period and the body may need to adjust to the increase.
– The doctor will also recommend vitamin and mineral supplements.