Protein-calorie Malnutrition

Protein-calorie malnutrition refers to one of two conditions: marasmus (an inadequate intake of both calories and protein) or kwashiorkor (a protein deficiency, despite sufficient intake of calories). Both disorders commonly affect infants in underdeveloped countries. In industrialized countries, these disorders most commonly affect hospitalized patients. Infants with marasmus suffer from growth retardation and wasting, physical inactivity, apathy, frequent infections, anorexia, weakness, irritability, hunger, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In kwashiorkor, the child may be severely lethargic, irritable, and anorexic. Growth retardation may be less pronounced than in marasmus. Treatment involves providing high­quality protein foods and protein-ciuorie supplement.

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