Kwashiorkor Disease Essay

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Kwashiorkor is a disease that is caused by malnutrition when there is not enough protein in the diet. Other names for Kwashiorkor are protein malnutrition, protein-calorie malnutrition, and malignant malnutrition (Kwashiorkor, 2011). Kwashiorkor is most common in areas where there is famine, limited food supply, and low levels of education. This disease can occur when people do not understand how to eat a proper diet. In very poor countries, this disease is more common. Often Kwashiorkor occurs during a natural disaster or during political unrest because of the lack of food which leads to malnutrition (Kwashiorkor, 2011). In this paper I will discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and nursing interventions.…show more content…
Possible Complications from kwashiorkor include coma, permanent mental and physical disability, and shock (Kwashiorkor, 2011). Diagnosis Upon examination, kwashiorkor disease may show general swelling and hepatomegaly. Tests to diagnose this disease include: arterial blood gas, BUN, CBC, creatinine clearance, serum cretinine, serum potassium, total protein levels, and urinalysis. Malnourished children often have low hemoglobin and serum electrolytes may be variably abnormal. Serum protein and albumin are usually normal or low in kwashiorkor (The New York Times, 2008). Treatment If treated is started early enough, getting more calories and protein will correct kwashiorkor. Children who have this condition will never reach their full growth. Depending on the severity of the condition, people who are in shock need immediate treatment to restore blood volume and maintain blood pressure. Food must be reintroduced slowly since the person will have been without much food for a long period of time. Eating can cause problems, especially if the calories are too high at first. Calories are given first in the form of simple sugars, fats, and carbohydrates.
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