Kwashiorkor: Nutrition and Food Aid Organizations Essay

843 Words Oct 30th, 2012 4 Pages
KWASHIORKOR.
INTRODUCTION
Kwashiorkor is a medical condition that develops due to an insufficient intake of proteins. This disease was first identified and described in the 1930”s in Ghana. The word kwashiorkor originated from the Ga language widely spoken in many parts of Ghana. It literally means “one who is physically displaced.” Also called protein energy malnutrition (PEM) or malignant nutrition.
This malnutrition disease is common in areas where there is drought, famine, areas with limited food supply and places where there is low level of education (people do not understand the importance of a proper diet). Unfortunately it is more common in poor countries especially in times of drought or political unrests and it mainly affects
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It’s the accumulation of fluids in the tissues. When the blood plasma undergoes reduction of proteins the blood becomes dilute (a lot of water). Some of the water then diffuses into the tissues therefore causing them to swell. This is noticeable on the lower parts of the legs, hands and also on the feet.
5. Hair changes and becomes thin, straight, sparse and easily removed. It loses pigment and becomes coloured. This is due to lack of protein keratin which is the main component of hair.
6. Nails become very brittle, soft and ridged. This happens due to lack of growth and repairing of body tissues.
7. Irritation and rush, changes in skin pigment- the skin may lose pigment where it has peeled away (desquamated) and it may darken where it has been irritated.
8. Swelling of the liver due to accumulation of fats in the liver.
9. Failure to gain weight and reduced growth especially height, decreased muscle mass (thin muscles) due to lack of protein needed for developing tissues.
10. Diarrhoea
11. Shock- due to fluid and electrolyte imbalances though it happens in the late stage of the disease.
TREATMENT
Treatment should be administered cautiously because the severity of the disease really matters. Therefore:
 Those who are in the late stage of the disease (shock) need immediate treatment to restore blood volume and blood pressure.-this can be corrected through the use of intravenous fluids which corrects the fluid and electrolyte imbalances.
 The

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