Vitamin B6 Oxford University closed down its nutrition department after World War II because the subject seemed to have been completed between and The vitamins were studied in the first half of the 20th century.
Also known as protein-calorie malnutrition, PEM is a continuum in which people—all too often children—consume too little protein, energy, or both. At one end of the continuum is kwashiorkorcharacterized by a severe protein deficiency, and at the other is marasmus, an absolute food deprivation with grossly inadequate amounts of both energy and protein.
An infant with marasmus is extremely underweight and has lost most or all subcutaneous fat. The cause is a diet very low in calories from all sources including proteinoften from early weaning to a bottled formula prepared with unsafe water and diluted because of poverty. Poor hygiene and continued depletion lead to a vicious cycle of gastroenteritis and deterioration of the lining of the gastrointestinal tractwhich interferes with absorption of nutrients from the little food available and further reduces resistance to infection.
If untreated, marasmus may result in death due to starvation or heart failure. Kwashiorkora Ghanaian word meaning the disease that the first child gets when the new child comes, is typically seen when a child is weaned from high-protein breast milk onto a carbohydrate food source with insufficient protein.
Children with this disease, which is characterized by a swollen belly due to edema fluid retentionare weak, grow poorly, and are more susceptible to infectious diseaseswhich may result in fatal diarrhea. Other symptoms of kwashiorkor include apathyhair discoloration, and dry, peeling skin with sores that fail to heal.
Weight loss may be disguised because of the presence of edema, enlarged fatty liverand intestinal parasites ; moreover, there may be little wasting of muscle and body fat. Kwashiorkor and marasmus can also occur in hospitalized patients receiving intravenous glucose for an extended time, as when recovering from surgeryor in those with illnesses causing loss of appetite or malabsorption of nutrients.
Persons with eating disorders, cancer, AIDSand other illnesses where appetite fails or absorption of nutrients is hampered may lose muscle and organ tissue as well as fat stores. Treatment of PEM has three components.
The speed and ultimate success of recovery depend upon the severity of malnutrition, the timeliness of treatment, and the adequacy of ongoing support. Particularly during the first year of life, starvation may result in reduced brain growth and intellectual functioning that cannot be fully restored.
Page 1 of Find health information in languages other than English on Infant and Newborn Nutrition Disclaimers MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. Nutritional assessment is a comprehensive process that combines objective measurements, a focused history and physical examination, and clinical judgment to arrive at a decision regarding a patient’s nutritional status.
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