Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries

Malnutrition is a clinical state caused by an imbalance or deficiency of calories and/or micronutrients and macronutrients. The 2 main manifestations of acute severe malnutrition are marasmus (total caloric insufficiency) and kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition with characteristic edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema). Malnutrition is almost always associated with an underlying disease process, which can be classified into 4 categories: decreased nutrient intake, decreased absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption of micronutrients and macronutrients, increased nutrient loss, and increased energy expenditure Energy expenditure Energy expenditure is the sum of internal heat produced and external work. Energy Homeostasis. The clinical presentation of marasmus varies based on severity, duration of caloric restriction, and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. The clinical presentation of kwashiorkor includes peripheral pitting edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema, muscle atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation, and abdominal distention Abdominal distention Megacolon. Anthropometry is essential in the diagnosis of malnutrition. The 3-step approach to treat malnutrition includes resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, rehabilitation, and relapse Relapse Relapsing Fever prevention.

Last updated: Jul 25, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Malnutrition is a clinical state with an imbalance, a deficiency, or an excess of a wide range of nutrients and energy.

  • Marasmus:
    • Inadequate caloric/nutrient intake 
    • Low weight-to-height ratio (< 3 standard deviations of the mean Mean Mean is the sum of all measurements in a data set divided by the number of measurements in that data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion for age)
    • Muscle wasting Muscle Wasting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and reduced adipose tissue Adipose tissue Adipose tissue is a specialized type of connective tissue that has both structural and highly complex metabolic functions, including energy storage, glucose homeostasis, and a multitude of endocrine capabilities. There are three types of adipose tissue, white adipose tissue, brown adipose tissue, and beige or “brite” adipose tissue, which is a transitional form. Adipose Tissue: Histology
  • Kwashiorkor:
    • Protein deficiency 
    • Usually sufficient calories (compensated diet)
    • Classic finding: edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema due to lack of intravascular colloid Colloid Colloid solutions include large proteins or cells that do not readily cross capillary membranes. They remain in the ecf and do not distribute into the icf (similar to crystalloids). Intravenous Fluids pressure
Malnutrition types

Two forms of severe acute malnutrition: nonedematous (marasmus) and edematous (kwashiorkor) malnutrition

Image: “Clinical picture” by Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark. License: CC BY 4.0

Epidemiology

  • Global prevalence Prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency for acute malnutrition: 
    • Moderate malnutrition: 32.7 million children
    • Severe wasting: 14.3 million children < 5 years of age
  • Primarily in resource-limited regions (e.g., South Asia ASIA Spinal Cord Injuries and sub-Saharan Africa)

Etiology

Malnutrition is often associated with underlying disease and can be conceptually categorized into 4 broad etiological categories:

  • Decreased intake:
    • Lack of availability
    • Lack of access (e.g., difficulty physically reaching food and chewing food) 
  • Decreased absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption of micronutrients/macronutrients ( malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion):
    • Chronic diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
    • Lack of small bowel Small bowel The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy surface area
  • Increased loss and/or a change in energy requirements:
    • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care
    • Enterocutaneous fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula 
  • Increased energy expenditure Energy expenditure Energy expenditure is the sum of internal heat produced and external work. Energy Homeostasis:
    • Hypermetabolic states ( hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism Hypersecretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. Elevated levels of thyroid hormones increase basal metabolic rate. Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism)
    • Specific pathological states (e.g., extensive burns Burns A burn is a type of injury to the skin and deeper tissues caused by exposure to heat, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation. Burns are classified according to their depth as superficial (1st-degree), partial-thickness (2nd-degree), full-thickness (3rd-degree), and 4th-degree burns. Burns, cardiac dysfunction, and head injury)

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Clinical Presentation

Pathological changes caused by malnutrition

  • Basal metabolic rate ↓ by 30%
  • ↓ Protein synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)  
  • Sodium-potassium pump Pump ACES and RUSH: Resuscitation Ultrasound Protocols dysfunction → increased intracellular sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia
  • Endocrine:
    • Insulin Insulin Insulin is a peptide hormone that is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin plays a role in metabolic functions such as glucose uptake, glycolysis, glycogenesis, lipogenesis, and protein synthesis. Exogenous insulin may be needed for individuals with diabetes mellitus, in whom there is a deficiency in endogenous insulin or increased insulin resistance. Insulin production
    • ↓ Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) production
    • Cortisol Cortisol Glucocorticoids production

Clinical presentation of marasmus

Clinical presentation varies based on severity, duration of caloric restriction, and presence of vitamin/mineral deficiencies.

Individuals present with:

  • Failure to thrive Failure to Thrive Failure to thrive (FTT), or faltering growth, describes suboptimal weight gain and growth in children. The majority of cases are due to inadequate caloric intake; however, genetic, infectious, and oncological etiologies are also common. Failure to Thrive:
    • Low weight for height
    • Decreased mid-upper arm Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy circumference (MUAC) 
  • Loss of adipose tissue Adipose tissue Adipose tissue is a specialized type of connective tissue that has both structural and highly complex metabolic functions, including energy storage, glucose homeostasis, and a multitude of endocrine capabilities. There are three types of adipose tissue, white adipose tissue, brown adipose tissue, and beige or “brite” adipose tissue, which is a transitional form. Adipose Tissue: Histology:
    • Begins in the groin Groin The external junctural region between the lower part of the abdomen and the thigh. Male Genitourinary Examination or axilla Axilla The axilla is a pyramid-shaped space located between the upper thorax and the arm. The axilla has a base, an apex, and 4 walls (anterior, medial, lateral, posterior). The base of the pyramid is made up of the axillary skin. The apex is the axillary inlet, located between the 1st rib, superior border of the scapula, and clavicle. Axilla and Brachial Plexus: Anatomy → buttocks, face, and thigh Thigh The thigh is the region of the lower limb found between the hip and the knee joint. There is a single bone in the thigh called the femur, which is surrounded by large muscles grouped into 3 fascial compartments. Thigh: Anatomy
    • General appearance: shrunken and wasted
  • Signs unique to infants:
  • Symptoms of marasmus associated with vitamin/mineral deficiencies: 
    • Vitamin A deficiency Vitamin A Deficiency A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of vitamin A in the diet, characterized by night blindness and other ocular manifestations such as dryness of the conjunctiva and later of the cornea (xerophthalmia). Vitamin a deficiency is a very common problem worldwide, particularly in developing countries as a consequence of famine or shortages of vitamin a-rich foods. In the United States it is found among the urban poor, the elderly, alcoholics, and patients with malabsorption. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies: dry eyes and Bitot spots
    • Iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements deficiency and anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types: spoon nail ( koilonychia Koilonychia Iron Deficiency Anemia)
    • Hypocalcemia Hypocalcemia Hypocalcemia, a serum calcium < 8.5 mg/dL, can result from various conditions. The causes may include hypoparathyroidism, drugs, disorders leading to vitamin D deficiency, and more. Calcium levels are regulated and affected by different elements such as dietary intake, parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, pH, and albumin. Presentation can range from an asymptomatic (mild deficiency) to a life-threatening condition (acute, significant deficiency). Hypocalcemia: hyperreflexia
      • Chvostek’s sign: twitching of the facial muscles Facial muscles The facial muscles (also called mimetic muscles) control facial expression and are supplied by the facial nerve. Most of them originate from the skull and attach to the skin around the facial openings, which serve as a method to group or classify them. Facial Muscles: Anatomy in response to tapping over the area of the facial nerve Facial nerve The 7th cranial nerve. The facial nerve has two parts, the larger motor root which may be called the facial nerve proper, and the smaller intermediate or sensory root. Together they provide efferent innervation to the muscles of facial expression and to the lacrimal and salivary glands, and convey afferent information for taste from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and for touch from the external ear. The 12 Cranial Nerves: Overview and Functions.
      • Trousseau’s sign: carpopedal spasm Carpopedal Spasm Hypoparathyroidism caused by inflating the blood-pressure cuff to a level above systolic pressure for 3 minutes
  • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes and vitamin D deficiency Vitamin D Deficiency A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of vitamin D in the diet, insufficient production of vitamin D in the skin, inadequate absorption of vitamin D from the diet, or abnormal conversion of vitamin D to its bioactive metabolites. It is manifested clinically as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies: bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types deformities including rickets Rickets Disorders caused by interruption of bone mineralization manifesting as osteomalacia in adults and characteristic deformities in infancy and childhood due to disturbances in normal bone formation. The mineralization process may be interrupted by disruption of vitamin d; phosphorus; or calcium homeostasis, resulting from dietary deficiencies, or acquired, or inherited metabolic, or hormonal disturbances. Osteomalacia and Rickets and/or osteomalacia Osteomalacia Disorder caused by an interruption of the mineralization of organic bone matrix leading to bone softening, bone pain, and weakness. It is the adult form of rickets resulting from disruption of vitamin d; phosphorus; or calcium homeostasis. Osteomalacia and Rickets
  • Long-standing marasmus:
    • Stunted growth 
    • Symptoms of anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types and rickets Rickets Disorders caused by interruption of bone mineralization manifesting as osteomalacia in adults and characteristic deformities in infancy and childhood due to disturbances in normal bone formation. The mineralization process may be interrupted by disruption of vitamin d; phosphorus; or calcium homeostasis, resulting from dietary deficiencies, or acquired, or inherited metabolic, or hormonal disturbances. Osteomalacia and Rickets
    • Impairment of cardiovascular function → hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, hypothermia Hypothermia Hypothermia can be defined as a drop in the core body temperature below 35°C (95°F) and is classified into mild, moderate, severe, and profound forms based on the degree of temperature decrease. Hypothermia, and bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias
Bitot spots

Bitot spots resulting from vitamin A deficiency Vitamin A Deficiency A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of vitamin A in the diet, characterized by night blindness and other ocular manifestations such as dryness of the conjunctiva and later of the cornea (xerophthalmia). Vitamin a deficiency is a very common problem worldwide, particularly in developing countries as a consequence of famine or shortages of vitamin a-rich foods. In the United States it is found among the urban poor, the elderly, alcoholics, and patients with malabsorption. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies

Image: “Bitot spots” by Professor of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. License: CC BY 2.0

Clinical presentation of kwashiorkor

Individuals present with:

  • Peripheral pitting edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema:  
    • Gravity-dependent edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema: begins in the lower extremities and moves cranially
    • Symmetrical Symmetrical Dermatologic Examination
  • Significant muscle atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation
  • Abdominal distention Abdominal distention Megacolon (with or without dilatation of the bowel loop and hepatomegaly)
  • Round face with prominent cheeks Cheeks The part of the face that is below the eye and to the side of the nose and mouth. Melasma
  • Skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions changes:
    • Dryness
    • Thinning 
    • Peels easily
    • Confluent areas of scaling and hyperpigmentation Hyperpigmentation Excessive pigmentation of the skin, usually as a result of increased epidermal or dermal melanin pigmentation, hypermelanosis. Hyperpigmentation can be localized or generalized. The condition may arise from exposure to light, chemicals or other substances, or from a primary metabolic imbalance. Malassezia Fungi
    • Lesions and dermatitis Dermatitis Any inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) in the perineum Perineum The body region lying between the genital area and the anus on the surface of the trunk, and to the shallow compartment lying deep to this area that is inferior to the pelvic diaphragm. The surface area is between the vulva and the anus in the female, and between the scrotum and the anus in the male. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy, groin Groin The external junctural region between the lower part of the abdomen and the thigh. Male Genitourinary Examination, limbs, ears, and armpits
  • Hair changes:
    • Dryness
    • Hypopigmentation Hypopigmentation A condition caused by a deficiency or a loss of melanin pigmentation in the epidermis, also known as hypomelanosis. Hypopigmentation can be localized or generalized, and may result from genetic defects, trauma, inflammation, or infections. Malassezia Fungi
    • Falls out/easily plucked
  • Growth retardation Growth Retardation Failure of a fetus to attain expected growth. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Fat retention in the subcutaneous skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions is accompanied by loose skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions folds in the inner inguinal skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions.
Kwashiorkor presentation

A child with kwashiorkor: Ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites lead to protruding abdomen.

Image: “Kwashiorkor” by Av TKnoxB/Flickr. License: CC BY 2.0

Diagnosis

Malnutrition

Accurate anthropometry is essential in malnutrition diagnosis:

  • Vertical-length precision: 0.5 cm
  • Weight precision: 100 g
  • MUAC precision: 2 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma or less

Laboratory tests to consider:

  • Hemoglobin and CBC
  • Blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency 
  • Blood glucose Glucose A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement. Lactose Intolerance
  • Serum albumin Albumin Serum albumin from humans. It is an essential carrier of both endogenous substances, such as fatty acids and bilirubin, and of xenobiotics in the blood. Liver Function Tests
  • Stool microscopy Stool Microscopy Giardia/Giardiasis and culture (ova and eggs included)
  • Urine microscopy and culture
  • HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs testing
  • Iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements studies
  • Folic acid level
  • Vitamin B12 level

Marasmus

Diagnosis made if:

  • MUAC < 115 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma OR
  • Weight-for-height Z score > 3 standard deviations below the mean Mean Mean is the sum of all measurements in a data set divided by the number of measurements in that data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion
  • Investigate pitting edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema to rule out kwashiorkor.

Kwashiorkor

  • Low MUAC
  • Symmetrical Symmetrical Dermatologic Examination pitting edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
  • Other diagnostic criteria for kwashiorkor:
    • Hair hypopigmentation Hypopigmentation A condition caused by a deficiency or a loss of melanin pigmentation in the epidermis, also known as hypomelanosis. Hypopigmentation can be localized or generalized, and may result from genetic defects, trauma, inflammation, or infections. Malassezia Fungi
    • Cheilosis
    • Dermatitis Dermatitis Any inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Management

Stepwise approach

Divided into 3 main phases:

  1. Resuscitation Resuscitation The restoration to life or consciousness of one apparently dead. . Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome and stabilization of the individual (approximately 1 week):
    • Goals:
      • Treatment and prevention of dehydration Dehydration The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism. Volume Depletion and Dehydration and correction of electrolyte imbalances:
        • The sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia in normal saline Normal saline A crystalloid solution that contains 9. 0g of sodium chloride per liter of water. It has a variety of uses, including: as a contact lens solution, in ophthalmic solutions and nasal lavage, in wound irrigation, and for fluid therapy. Intravenous Fluids solution is too high and the potassium Potassium An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol k, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39. 10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the water-electrolyte balance. Hyperkalemia is too low.
        • ReSoMal ( REhydration Rehydration Dengue Virus SOlution for MALnutrition) is a customized solution administered orally or through a nasogastric tube, which contains the exact amount of electrolytes Electrolytes Electrolytes are mineral salts that dissolve in water and dissociate into charged particles called ions, which can be either be positively (cations) or negatively (anions) charged. Electrolytes are distributed in the extracellular and intracellular compartments in different concentrations. Electrolytes are essential for various basic life-sustaining functions. Electrolytes, minerals Minerals Electrolytes, water, and sugar needed.
      • Treatment and prevention of infection:
        • Individuals may not present with an overt response to sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock.
        • Give antibiotics to individuals with suspected infection.
      • Treatment and prevention of hypothermia Hypothermia Hypothermia can be defined as a drop in the core body temperature below 35°C (95°F) and is classified into mild, moderate, severe, and profound forms based on the degree of temperature decrease. Hypothermia
    • Prevention of refeeding syndrome Refeeding syndrome A condition of metabolic imbalance that is caused by complications of initially feeding a severely malnourished patient too aggressively. Usually occurring within the first 5 days of refeeding, this syndrome is characterized by water-electrolyte imbalance; glucose intolerance; cardiac arrhythmias; and diarrhea. Failure to Thrive:
      • Nutrition should be delivered at a slow rate with a caloric intake between 60% and 80% of age-specific needs. 
      • Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is an emergency condition defined as a serum glucose level ≤ 70 mg/dL (≤ 3.9 mmol/L) in diabetic patients. In nondiabetic patients, there is no specific or defined limit for normal serum glucose levels, and hypoglycemia is defined mainly by its clinical features. Hypoglycemia is a risk of refeeding syndrome Refeeding syndrome A condition of metabolic imbalance that is caused by complications of initially feeding a severely malnourished patient too aggressively. Usually occurring within the first 5 days of refeeding, this syndrome is characterized by water-electrolyte imbalance; glucose intolerance; cardiac arrhythmias; and diarrhea. Failure to Thrive: Recommend continuous nasogastric feeds or small meals at night to avoid hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is an emergency condition defined as a serum glucose level ≤ 70 mg/dL (≤ 3.9 mmol/L) in diabetic patients. In nondiabetic patients, there is no specific or defined limit for normal serum glucose levels, and hypoglycemia is defined mainly by its clinical features. Hypoglycemia.
      • Administer thiamine Thiamine Also known as thiamine or thiamin, it is a vitamin C12H17N4OSCl of the vitamin B complex that is essential to normal metabolism and nerve function and is widespread in plants and animals Water-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies and oral phosphate Phosphate Inorganic salts of phosphoric acid. Electrolytes to prevent hypophosphatemia Hypophosphatemia A condition of an abnormally low level of phosphates in the blood. Bartter Syndrome.
  2. Nutritional rehabilitation (2–6 weeks):
    • Caloric intake can be increased to 120%–140% of age-specific requirements.
    • Administer needed vaccinations.
    • Encourage increased motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology activity.
    • Mother/child bonding is beneficial to reverse developmental delay and provide sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology stimulation and emotional support.
  3. Follow-up and prevention of recurrence:
    • Educate the caregiver (especially for breastfeeding Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is often the primary source of nutrition for the newborn. During pregnancy, hormonal stimulation causes the number and size of mammary glands in the breast to significantly increase. After delivery, prolactin stimulates milk production, while oxytocin stimulates milk expulsion through the lactiferous ducts, where it is sucked out through the nipple by the infant. Breastfeeding considerations and supplemental feeding).
    • Infectious Infectious Febrile Infant disease control and a continuous supply of adequate nutrition and clean drinking water are crucial.

Key considerations:

  • Fluid imbalance is a significant issue in kwashiorkor:
    • Rehydrate vigilantly.
    • Aggressive rehydration Rehydration Dengue Virus may cause acute heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) and severe hypovolemia Hypovolemia Sepsis in Children, resulting in shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock and death.
  • If an infant is < 6 months of age, a MUAC < 110 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma is highly associated with mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status.

Complications

Refeeding syndrome Refeeding syndrome A condition of metabolic imbalance that is caused by complications of initially feeding a severely malnourished patient too aggressively. Usually occurring within the first 5 days of refeeding, this syndrome is characterized by water-electrolyte imbalance; glucose intolerance; cardiac arrhythmias; and diarrhea. Failure to Thrive

  • Intracellular/extracellular electrolytes Electrolytes Electrolytes are mineral salts that dissolve in water and dissociate into charged particles called ions, which can be either be positively (cations) or negatively (anions) charged. Electrolytes are distributed in the extracellular and intracellular compartments in different concentrations. Electrolytes are essential for various basic life-sustaining functions. Electrolytes and fluid levels are abnormal in malnourished individuals.
  • Feeding and hydration performed too rapidly cause unexpected shifts in fluids and electrolytes Electrolytes Electrolytes are mineral salts that dissolve in water and dissociate into charged particles called ions, which can be either be positively (cations) or negatively (anions) charged. Electrolytes are distributed in the extracellular and intracellular compartments in different concentrations. Electrolytes are essential for various basic life-sustaining functions. Electrolytes.
  • Hallmarks of refeeding syndrome Refeeding syndrome A condition of metabolic imbalance that is caused by complications of initially feeding a severely malnourished patient too aggressively. Usually occurring within the first 5 days of refeeding, this syndrome is characterized by water-electrolyte imbalance; glucose intolerance; cardiac arrhythmias; and diarrhea. Failure to Thrive:
    • Edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
    • Rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by muscle necrosis and the release of toxic intracellular contents, especially myoglobin, into the circulation. Rhabdomyolysis 
    • Hypophosphatemia Hypophosphatemia A condition of an abnormally low level of phosphates in the blood. Bartter Syndrome
    • Hypokalemia Hypokalemia Hypokalemia is defined as plasma potassium (K+) concentration < 3.5 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain plasma concentration between 3.5-5.2 mEq/L despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hypokalemia can be due to renal losses, GI losses, transcellular shifts, or poor dietary intake. Hypokalemia

Cardiac and pulmonary implications

  • Cardiac muscle Cardiac muscle The muscle tissue of the heart. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow. Muscle Tissue: Histology mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast reduction → cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics decreases → decrease in renal perfusion and glomerular filtration rate Glomerular filtration rate The volume of water filtered out of plasma through glomerular capillary walls into Bowman’s capsules per unit of time. It is considered to be equivalent to inulin clearance. Kidney Function Tests
  • Weakened diaphragmatic and respiratory muscle function → reduction in cough pressure and decreased secretion Secretion Coagulation Studies expectoration → delayed respiratory tract infection recovery

Gastrointestinal consequences

  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Altered intestinal permeability, villous architecture, and intestinal blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure:
    • Ion and fluid secretions occur in the small and large bowel.
    • The colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy loses the ability to reabsorb water and electrolytes Electrolytes Electrolytes are mineral salts that dissolve in water and dissociate into charged particles called ions, which can be either be positively (cations) or negatively (anions) charged. Electrolytes are distributed in the extracellular and intracellular compartments in different concentrations. Electrolytes are essential for various basic life-sustaining functions. Electrolytes.
  • Leads to diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea → high mortality rate Mortality rate Calculated as the ratio of the total number of people who die due to all causes over a specific time period to the total number of people in the selected population. Measures of Health Status in severely malnourished
  • Individuals may develop ileus Ileus A condition caused by the lack of intestinal peristalsis or intestinal motility without any mechanical obstruction. This interference of the flow of intestinal contents often leads to intestinal obstruction. Ileus may be classified into postoperative, inflammatory, metabolic, neurogenic, and drug-induced. Small Bowel Obstruction, lactase Lactase An enzyme which catalyzes the hydrolysis of lactose to d-galactose and d-glucose. Defects in the enzyme cause lactose intolerance. Digestion and Absorption of Carbohydrates deficiency, or bacterial overgrowth Bacterial overgrowth Lactose Intolerance, which may progress to septicemia and death.

Immunity and wound healing Wound healing Wound healing is a physiological process involving tissue repair in response to injury. It involves a complex interaction of various cell types, cytokines, and inflammatory mediators. Wound healing stages include hemostasis, inflammation, granulation, and remodeling. Wound Healing

  • Impaired cell-mediated immunity Cell-mediated immunity Manifestations of the immune response which are mediated by antigen-sensitized T-lymphocytes via lymphokines or direct cytotoxicity. This takes place in the absence of circulating antibody or where antibody plays a subordinate role. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and altered cytokine, complement, and phagocyte function → increased risk of infection
  • Delayed wound healing Wound healing Wound healing is a physiological process involving tissue repair in response to injury. It involves a complex interaction of various cell types, cytokines, and inflammatory mediators. Wound healing stages include hemostasis, inflammation, granulation, and remodeling. Wound Healing is observed in malnourished surgical individuals.

Psychosocial impact

Differential Diagnosis

  • Human immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology ( HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs): a single-stranded RNA RNA A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. RNA Types and Structure virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology transmitted sexually or through blood-to-blood contact. The virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology attacks CD4 T lymphocyte cells, macrophages Macrophages The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood monocytes. Main types are peritoneal macrophages; alveolar macrophages; histiocytes; kupffer cells of the liver; and osteoclasts. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to epithelioid cells or may fuse to form foreign body giant cells or langhans giant cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation, and dendritic cells Dendritic cells Specialized cells of the hematopoietic system that have branch-like extensions. They are found throughout the lymphatic system, and in non-lymphoid tissues such as skin and the epithelia of the intestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts. They trap and process antigens, and present them to T-cells, thereby stimulating cell-mediated immunity. They are different from the non-hematopoietic follicular dendritic cells, which have a similar morphology and immune system function, but with respect to humoral immunity (antibody production). Skin: Structure and Functions leading to immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome. The presentation is marked by constitutional symptoms Constitutional Symptoms Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (ANCA)-Associated Vasculitis, such as lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy and fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever. Immediate treatment with combination antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy Antiretroviral therapy (ART) targets the replication cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and is classified based on the viral enzyme or mechanism that is inhibited. The goal of therapy is to suppress viral replication to reach the outcome of undetected viral load. Anti-HIV Drugs is recommended.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: a chronic pathological condition of the bowels divided into Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis. Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic, recurrent condition causing patchy, transmural inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation involving any part of the GI tract. Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis ( UC UC Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis) is an idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis inflammatory condition involving the mucosal surface of the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. Extraintestinal manifestations of CD include calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes oxalate renal stones, gallstones Gallstones Cholelithiasis (gallstones) is the presence of stones in the gallbladder. Most gallstones are cholesterol stones, while the rest are composed of bilirubin (pigment stones) and other mixed components. Patients are commonly asymptomatic but may present with biliary colic (intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant). Cholelithiasis, erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum is an immune-mediated panniculitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous fat) caused by a type IV (delayed-type) hypersensitivity reaction. It commonly manifests in young women as tender, erythematous nodules on the shins. Erythema Nodosum, and arthritis Arthritis Acute or chronic inflammation of joints. Osteoarthritis. Extraintestinal manifestations of UC UC Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with Crohn’s disease (CD). The rectum is always involved, and inflammation may extend proximally through the colon. Ulcerative Colitis include primary sclerosing cholangitis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an inflammatory disease that causes fibrosis and strictures of the bile ducts. The exact etiology is unknown, but there is a strong association with IBD. Patients typically present with an insidious onset of fatigue, pruritus, and jaundice, which can progress to cirrhosis and complications related to biliary obstruction. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, eye inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, oral ulcerations, and erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum Erythema nodosum is an immune-mediated panniculitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous fat) caused by a type IV (delayed-type) hypersensitivity reaction. It commonly manifests in young women as tender, erythematous nodules on the shins. Erythema Nodosum.
  • Nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome is characterized by severe proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and peripheral edema. In contrast, the nephritic syndromes present with hematuria, variable loss of renal function, and hypertension, although there is sometimes overlap of > 1 glomerular disease in the same individual. Nephrotic Syndrome: a broad category of glomerular diseases characterized by severe proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children, hypoalbuminemia Hypoalbuminemia A condition in which albumin level in blood (serum albumin) is below the normal range. Hypoalbuminemia may be due to decreased hepatic albumin synthesis, increased albumin catabolism, altered albumin distribution, or albumin loss through the urine (albuminuria). Nephrotic Syndrome in Children, edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema, and hyperlipidemia. The clinical presentation of nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndrome is characterized by severe proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and peripheral edema. In contrast, the nephritic syndromes present with hematuria, variable loss of renal function, and hypertension, although there is sometimes overlap of > 1 glomerular disease in the same individual. Nephrotic Syndrome includes edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema (peripheral and periorbital Periorbital Orbital and Preseptal Cellulitis), frothy urine (lipiduria from hyperlipidemia), hypoalbuminemia Hypoalbuminemia A condition in which albumin level in blood (serum albumin) is below the normal range. Hypoalbuminemia may be due to decreased hepatic albumin synthesis, increased albumin catabolism, altered albumin distribution, or albumin loss through the urine (albuminuria). Nephrotic Syndrome in Children, and variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables degrees of renal dysfunction. Management varies with etiology and usually involves glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids.
  • Pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis: persistent inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation, fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans, and irreversible cell damage to the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy secondary to multiple etiologies (e.g., neoplasm, infection, and alcoholism Alcoholism A primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial. Each of these symptoms may be continuous or periodic. Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Syndrome), resulting in a loss of endocrine and exocrine gland function. Individuals often present with recurrent epigastric abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, and features of malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion syndrome (e.g., diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea, steatorrhea Steatorrhea A condition that is characterized by chronic fatty diarrhea, a result of abnormal digestion and/or intestinal absorption of fats. Diarrhea, and weight loss Weight loss Decrease in existing body weight. Bariatric Surgery). Therapy focuses on alcohol cessation, diet changes, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways management, and treatment of pancreatic insufficiency.

References

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