EFFECTS OF DEFICIENCY
Deficiency of energy and protein commonly occur in developing countries like India. This is manifested as Marasmus and Kwashiorkor. Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) is a term used to describe clinical disorders resulting from varying degrees of protein and energy deficiency.
Kwashiorkor is due to quantitative and qualitative deficiency of protein in diet in which energy intake is adequate. Marasmus is due to continued restriction of energy intake.
PEM is prevalent in all parts of the World and in all ages. It is primarily a disease that occurs in young children who live in poverty. In India PEM is the most widespread form of malnutrition among pre-school children. A majority of them suffer from varying grades of malnutrition.
As many as 43.8 percent of pre-school children suffer from moderate degrees of PEM and 8.7 percent suffer from extreme forms of malnutrition. The paths leading from early weaning to Nutritional marasmus and from protracted breast feeding to kwashiorkor.
Clinical symptoms of Protein Energy Malnutrition
1) Failure to grow accompanied by thinning, weakening and wasting of muscles.
2) Behavioural changes ranging from the irritability of kwashiorkor to the apathy of marasmus.
3) Oedema which is the accumulation of fluid in the tissues making them soft and spongy.
4) Skin changes including changes in colour, lack of colour, peeling and ulceration.
5) Changes in hair which becomes dry and sparse and takes on a characteristic red color (Flags syndrome).
6) Loss of appetite, Vomitting, diarrhoea resulting in dehydration.
7) Enlargement of the liver.
8) AnaemiaIncreased susceptibility to infection and fever.