What is kwashiorkor?
A person with kwashiorkor has a form of malnutrition that results when there is not enough protein in the diet. Kwashiorkor is relatively rare in the USA and is more common in areas that are prone to famine following war or a natural disaster. The elderly in nursing homes are at increased risk for this condition.
What are the symptoms of kwashiorkor?
Symptoms of kwashiorkor include weight loss, excessive fatigue, generalized weakness, abdominal swelling, irritability, diarrhea, rash, swelling, and decreased muscle mass.
How does the doctor treat kwashiorkor?
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition, but always includes getting more calories and protein into the diet. Food must be re-introduced slowly. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is also part of the treatment.
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