Marasmus – Symptoms, Causes, Risks, Diagnosis, How is Marasmus Treated?


A Marasmus is a form of severe undernourishment. It can occur in anyone who is severely malnourished, but it usually occurs in children. It usually happens in developing countries. Marasmus can be life-threatening, but it can be treated.

Symptoms Of Marasmus

The main symptom of Marasmus is low weight. Children with this form have lost a lot of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous is the layer of fat just under the skin. Dry skin and brittle hair are also symptoms of Marasmus.

Children with Marasmus may also experience the following:

  1. Chronic Diarrhea
  2. Respiratory infections
  3. Intellectual disability
  4. Growth retardation

Children who are severely malnourished may appear older and have little energy or enthusiasm for anything. It can also make children irritable and short-tempered, but this is often a more common symptom of kwashiorkor.

Kwashiorkor is another form of severe malnutrition. Kwashiorkor causes fluid to build up in the body, leading to a rounded face and swelling.

Marasmus (1)

Causes of Marasmus

Lack of nutrients is the leading cause of Marasmus. It occurs in children who do not get enough protein, calories, carbohydrates, and other vital nutrients. It is generally due to poverty and lack of food.
There are several types of malnutrition. A malnourished child can have more than just Marasmus.

Among the most common types of malnutrition are severe deficiencies:

  1. Iron
  2. Iodine
  3. Zinc
  4. Vitamin A

Risk Factors for Marasmus

They were growing up in a developing country as a risk factor for Marasmus. In areas with hunger or high poverty rates, the percentage of children with it is higher. Breastfeeding mothers may not make enough breast milk due to malnutrition. It affects their babies.

Viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections can cause babies to eat too few nutrients. In regions with high rates of disease and underserved health care, there may also be other factors that make people less likely to have enough food.

How is Marasmus Diagnosed?

A Doctor can often make an initial diagnosis of Marasmus with a physical exam. Measurements like height and weight can help determine if a child is crazy. When these indicators are much lower than the indicators in a healthy child of a certain age, the cause may be Marasmus.

Lack of movement in a malnourished child can also help confirm the diagnosis of it. Children with this condition generally lack the energy or desire to do something. It is challenging to diagnose with blood tests. It is because several children with it also have infections that can interfere with the results of their blood tests.

How is Marasmus Treated?

The initial treatment for it often involves skim milk powder mixed with boiled water. Later, the mix can also include vegetable oils such as sesame seeds, casein, and sugar. Casein is a milk protein. The oil raises the energy content and density of the mixture.

When a child begins to recover, he should eat a more balanced diet that meets her nutritional needs.
If Dehydration is a problem due to Diarrhea, rehydration should also be a priority. Your child does not need to receive fluids through an IV. Oral hydration may be sufficient.

Infections are common in children with Marasmus, so treatment with antibiotics or other medications is standard. Treating diseases and any other health problems can give you a better chance of recovery.

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What is the Perspective?

With proper nutrition and medical care, the prognosis can be favourable. Aid workers can provide food and health care in areas where Marasmus and other malnutrition are common. The best results are achieved when the parent or guardian of the child is aware of the importance of nutrition and how to make food accurately.

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Healthy weight gain and growth can be resumed reasonably quickly once a child with Marasmus begins to consume more:

  1. Calories
  2. Protein
  3. Carbohydrates
  4. Other nutrients

Also Read: Fungal Acne – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, How To Treat And Prevent?

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