Difference Between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

Difference Between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

Kwashiorkor is a severe protein deficiency in children, whereas marasmus are severe nutritional deficiencies and insufficient caloric intake. This is the main difference between the two.

Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) or
Protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM) is the result of a lack of carbohydrates, fats, and especially protein. The two diseases above, namely kwashiorkor and marasmus are the most common diseases and most often affect infants and children aged 1-5 years. This is the cause of death in children under the age of 5 years.

Also read: the difference between babies and toddlers

This disease is seen in developing countries due to lack of healthy and nutritious food, with lack of sanitation, as it can cause bacterial infections in such children. So, protein and proper carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, potatoes, fish, eggs, milk (especially breast milk) are mandatory that must be given to children properly.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between the two types of diseases that can threaten the life of children up to the age of five if not given proper and healthy diet, which is rich in fat, carbohydrates and protein.

One type of malnutrition usually occurs in famine and drought areas. It occurs due to insufficient protein in the diet. Symptoms include slow growth, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, muscle wasting, stomach and liver enlargement, skin changes, swelling, frequent infections and a weakened immune system.

If the body develops adverse effects such as intellectual disability and short stature due to kwashiorkor, it cannot be corrected. Especially children are affected by kwashiorkor than adults. It starts when the baby is not breastfed, and they are getting low protein, even though the mother is deficient in protein, it will affect the baby and his health as well.

Another cause that can cause kwashiorkor is a parasitic infection that affects nutritional conditions in children. Kwashiorkor prevention can be done by following a diet rich in protein such as eggs, fish, meat, soy, dairy products and nuts. Treated by providing a diet rich in carbohydrates, fats and sugars and then slowly followed by protein.

In order to digest dairy products, vitamin and mineral supplements must be taken. Apart from that, treatment is also given for electrolyte imbalance or any type of infection.

Common symptoms are an enlarged liver, frequent infections, diarrhea, abdominal swelling, irritability, muscle wasting, changes in hair and nails, weight loss, changes in the skin (cracks, peeling, loss of pigment, patches).

Difference Between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus-1

A severe type of malnutrition that occurs due to a lack of calories and protein is known as marasmus. It is a chronic infection that affects the muscles and tissues of the body. Deficiency of these nutrients can also lead to vitamin deficiencies and can lead to complete starvation.

Marasmus is considered as one of the major health problems related to protein energy malnutrition (PEM) in the world. This is the most serious problem facing children in developing regions such as South Asia, Africa and Latin America, the main causes of which are lack of healthy food supply, intake of polluted water, and poverty.

Infections also develop as a result of drinking contaminated water, which contains parasites, bacteria that enter the body and worsen the condition.

Symptoms of marasmus can vary based on its severity and other associated conditions and infections. However, some of the common ones are dizziness, fatigue, chronic diarrhea, and weight loss.

Treatment can also vary, if the problem is due to nutritional deficiencies, it can be cured by providing the right diet that is rich in healthy eating patterns; but if the problem is related to other conditions like bacteria or other infections, additional treatment should be given.

A person can reduce the risk of marasmus by providing a correct and healthy diet, drinking clean water, discussing health problems with medical personnel.

Here are important points to understand the general difference between kwashiorkor and marasmus:

  1. Kwashiorkor is a lack of protein in the body of children up to the age of three years. Otherwise, Marasmus is a lack of calories and other nutrients in children up to one year of age.

  2. Kwashiorkor occurs due to protein deficiency, and marasmus occurs due to lack of calories, protein, and other nutrients.

  3. Kwashiorkor occurs in children between the ages of six months and three years, whereas marasmus It occurs in children between the ages of six months and one year.

  4. Acute illness, trauma, infection, measles, sepsis are some of the causes
    kwashiorkor the. However, marasmus are chronic infections, and prolonged starvation, repeated infections are some significant causes.

  5. In the case of Kwashiorkormuscles and limbs become thin, edema, subcutaneous fat are observed, whereas, in the case of marasmusonly limbs are thin, edema, subcutaneous fat is absent.

  6. Typical weight loss is also a feature kwashiorkor which is extraordinary, with enlarged fatty liver cells, cracked skin, great appetite. On the other hand, on marasmus there is also severe weight loss and the skin appears wrinkled and dry, and appetite is low, although there is no such enlargement of fatty liver cells.

  7. In the case of Kwashiorkor no protruding ribs and a high mortality rate, in marasmus there are protruding ribs and a low mortality rate until the condition is severe.

  8. Adequate protein intake can prevent kwashiorkorwhile the intake of carbohydrates, protein and fat in sufficient quantities is a way to avoid the occurrence of marasmus.

Conclusion: So, it can be said that a healthy and nutritious diet is one that contains components rich in fat, carbohydrates and protein. If one fails to get sufficient amount of this key nutrient, it will result in nutritional deficiency, and that will indeed worsen your health status. Therefore, eating healthy and nutritious is the best way to maintain your health.