Marasmus is a serious problem and is most common in children in developing regions, such as Africa, Latin America, and South Asia, where poverty, along with inadequate food supplies and contaminated water, are prevalent. Contaminated water may contain bacteria or parasites that enter the body when the water is consumed and cause infections that complicate the condition.
Marasmus symptoms will vary depending on the severity and whether associated infections or other conditions are present. General symptoms of marasmus include chronic diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, and rapid weight loss. If the disease is caused solely by poor nutrition, then a change in diet should be enough to correct the problem and prevent recurrence. Marasmus that is related to an underlying disease may require additional treatment.
Symptoms of marasmus can range from mild to severe depending on the degree of malnutrition.
You may experience marasmus symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these marasmus symptoms can be severe:
Marasmus is a form of malnutrition in which inadequate amounts of both protein and calories are consumed, resulting in an energy deficit in the body. Marasmus occurs most often in developing nations or in countries where poverty, along with inadequate food supplies and contaminated water, are prevalent. Marasmus often affects children in regions with high rates of poverty.
A number of factors increase the risk of developing marasmus. Not all people with risk factors will get marasmus. Risk factors for marasmus include:
A nutritious, well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, and protein will reduce the risk of malnutrition and any related marasmus. If the marasmus is related to an underlying disease, then seek appropriate treatment for that disease.
Complications related to marasmus or malnutrition are particularly serious in infants and young children. Lack of proper nutrition can lead to delays in physical and mental development. Complications of untreated marasmus can be serious and may include:
Abrotanum : Marasmus of children with marked emaciation, especially of legs. Skin is flabby ,hangs loose in folds.
Baryta Carbonica : Scrofulous, dwarfish children who do not grow, abdomen swollen; frequent attacks of colic; face bloated, general emaciation. Children both physically and mentally weak.
Calcarea Phosphorica : For person anaemic and dark complexioned, dark hair and eyes ,thin spare subjects ,instead of fat .Children emaciated ,unable to stand, slow in learning to walk, sunken ,flabby abdomen.
Hepar Sulphur : For torpid lymphatic constitutions; person with light complexion, slow to act, muscle soft and flabby.
Iodum : Person of scrofulous diathesis, with dark or black hair and eyes, a low cachetic condition, with profound debility and great emaciation. Ravenous hunger; eats freely and well ; yet loses flesh all the time.
Natrum Muriaticum : For the anaemic and cachetic person. Great emaciation; losing flesh while living well; throat and neck of children emaciate rapidly during summer complaint.
Sanicula : Emaciation progressive; child looks old, dirty, greasy and brownish; skin about neck wrinkled, hangs in folds.
Sarsaparilla : In children, enlarged abdomen; dry, flabby skin. Great emaciation; skin shrivelled or lies in folds.MANAGMENTManagement of moderate marasmus can be performed on an outpatient basis, but severe marasmus or marasmus complicated by a life-threatening condition generally requires inpatient treatment. In these cases, management is divided into an initial intensive phase followed by a consolidation phase (rehabilitation), preparing for outpatient follow-up management. The WHO has developed guidelines to help improve the quality of hospital care for malnourished children and has prioritized the widespread implementation of these guidelines.e.t.c