Marasmus

Marasmus disease is caused by low intake of nutrients and energy. As a result, it leads to wasting or the loss of muscle and body fat. Additionally, the natural growth among human beings is hindered due to this health condition.


What is Marasmus?

Marasmus is an extreme form of protein-energy malnutrition. It occurs when an individual does not consume enough calories and protein in their diet for an extended period. Therefore, in the absence of these vital nutrients, energy level within the body goes down dangerously. As a result, vital organs cease to operate.

Even though marasmus is chiefly found in children and young adult, others can get affected as well.


Causes of Marasmus Disease 

Primarily marasmus disease is caused by lack of nutrition. This lack of nutrition can occur due to various reasons such as –

  • Poverty.

  • Famine.

  • Consuming wrong nutrition or not balancing it properly with others.

  • Existing health conditions and any bacterial, or viral infections.

  • Apart from that, marasmus causes in adults are noted due to the lack of healthy food for a long period.


What are the Symptoms of Marasmus?

The main symptom of marasmus is the loss of body fat and muscle tissues. It leads to the scenario of a strange dip in body mass index, called wasting. However, in the case of children, the main symptom of this disease is their inability to grow. Other signs and symptoms of marasmus are –

  • Weight loss.

  • Chronic diarrhoea. 

  • Dehydration.

  • Dizziness.

  • Lack of energy.

  • Measles.

  • Respiratory infections.

  • Brittle hair and dry skin.

  • Stomach shrinkage.

Along with these symptoms, individuals often suffer from anorexia. It is a condition where they do not want to or cannot eat.

Furthermore, another visible sign of this condition is when bones under the skin become visible. Additionally, the eyes look sunken.


Risks with Marasmus

This diseases or health conditions also pose some serious threat to an individual, which can be fatal. Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms or signs, individuals suffering from this condition also goes through mental trauma.

Therefore, the treatment of mental health is also essential to completely recover from this condition. Marasmus, in the long run, can also create complication like hypothermia, hypotension, and bradycardia.


How to Diagnose Marasmus?

Clinical features of marasmus discussed above are a way of understanding whether a person is suffering from this disease or not. On the other hand, doctors can diagnose individuals via physical exam.

Measurements of height and weight can help determine this illness as well. Patients below the ideal criteria of a particular age often suffer from this condition.


Treatment of Marasmus

  1. The marasmus treatment process is not instant; it takes time. Initially, patients, especially children, are given skim milk powder mixed with boiled water. Gradually, various vegetable oils are included in the diet as they increase energy.

  2. Once they begin to show signs of recovery, doctors prescribe a more balanced diet.

  3. On the other hand, if dehydration is an issue, then methods to rehydrate the body is followed. Oral hydration is sufficient in most cases. 

  4. Last but not least, to treat any infections, antibiotics and standard medications are followed. Experts believe that addressing any underlying health issues at the same time helps patients to get better sooner. 


Prevention of Marasmus

Marasmus can be a life-threatening condition if not detected and treated early. The recovery process here is slow and often takes months based on the condition of a patient. Therefore, individuals should consider the following tips for the prevention of marasmus –

  • Eating nutritious food.

  • Drinking adequate water.

  • Following a balanced diet.

  • Maintaining good hygiene.

Additionally, if anyone develops any symptoms of marasmus, consult a doctor as soon as possible. If diagnosed early, patients can recover quickly from this situation.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Primary Cause of Marasmus?

Ans. The reason for marasmus is the lack of sufficient nutrition. Children and young adults primarily suffer from this condition, but others can get affected also.

2. What type of Tissues gets Broken Down to Create Energy?

Ans. When an individual does not consume any protein for a long time, their body starts using their muscles tissue to create energy. As a result, they lose weight, muscles, and began to look skinny.

3. What Type of Diet can Cause Marasmus Ailments?

Ans. If individuals stay on a diet devoid of protein for an extended period, they may suffer from this condition. Thus, a balanced diet is necessary to combat such a disease.