What causes kwashiorkor?
Kwashiorkor is caused by a diet low in protein. It can also arise due to infections, parasites, or other conditions that interfere with protein absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. It is most common in children living in areas hit by drought and famine, but it can be related to dietary changes due to milk allergies in infants, fad diets, poor nutritional education, or a chaotic home life.
What are the risk factors for kwashiorkor?
A number of factors increase the risk of developing kwashiorkor. Not all people with risk factors will get kwashiorkor. Risk factors for kwashiorkor include:
- Conditions that interfere with protein absorption such as cystic fibrosis
- Dietary changes for management of milk allergies in infants and children
- Diets that are low in protein such as a vegan diet
- Drought or famine
- Infections that interfere with protein absorption
- Limited food supply, as may occur during political unrest
- Parasites such as intestinal worms
- Poor education about proper nutrition
- Prolonged hospitalization or residence in a nursing home
What is kwashiorkor?
Kwashiorkor is a type of malnutrition that is rare in the United States; it is most common in areas of drought and famine. Kwashiorkor is due to inadequate protein in the diet despite an adequate caloric intake. Symptoms may include irritability and fatigue followed by slowed growth, weight loss, muscle wasting, gene... Read more about kwashiorkor introduction
What are the symptoms of kwashiorkor?
Early symptoms of kwashiorkor include irritability and fatigue. As the condition continues, additional symptoms include slowed growth, weight loss, muscle wasting, generalized swelling, skin changes, enlargement of the liver and abdomen, and weakening of the immune system, leading to frequent infections.... Read more about kwashiorkor symptoms