FAQ - Kwashiorkor
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Why does kwashiorkor cause a distended abdomen in children?

I understand that Kwashiorkor is a protein deficiency, I know the symptoms and all that, but why, BIOLOGICALLY/MOLECULARLY speaking does kwashiorkor cause a distended abdomen? Is it the swollen liver? The lactose intolerance?

I'm am not exactly sure, but I will tell you what I know.

Proteins are broken down into amino acids.
When the liver receives these amino acids, or it breaks
down other proteins; it makes proteins like Albumin
and other plasma proteins.
Albumin is one of the main proteins it makes.
{This protein transport things through our body: like hormones,
vitamins, minerals, bilirubin, fatty acids, metal, ions
and other things.} However, it is also the protein that
holds fluid inside our vessels.
If this protein goes lower then normal range, in the blood,
then fluid seeps out of the vessels and collects in the
abdomen...it is usually known as ascites.

When the body lacks proteins, such as in people who
are malnourished, then they start to have muscle
wasting. Certain proteins cannot be made in the body,
some only come from the foods we eat.

I come to understand that people who are
malnourished, tend to have fat infiltration in the
liver, also. This fat inside the liver can damage
the liver cells, leading to what is known as
Fatty liver disease. When the liver cells
are damaged, the immune system of the body
respond to this damage and causes
inflammation inside the liver which will cause
the liver to enlarge in size. This is then known
as Steatohepatitis. Steato stands for fat,
hepat stands for liver and itis stands for
Damage to the liver cells or the liver cells
dying off can decrease the functions the
liver is able to do to keep the body well.
One of these functions is to produce proteins...
therefore, it also leads to a decrease in
Albumin levels. Which leads to this build
up of abdominal fluid.

I hope this information may be of some help
to you in understanding this.  (+ info)

Why does lack of protein cause Kwashiorkor?

I am trying to understand the relationship between lack of protein and a swollen belly.

Protein, particularly serum albumin is important for keeping fluid in blood vessels. If you have a membrane with fluid on one side and a solute on the other the water will flow across the membrane to try and maintain similar concentrations. This is why pure salt will dehydrate and possibly kill a snail or slug.

Fluid from blood seeps out into the tissue under pressure to deliver nutrients, but it relies on the protein to draw it back into lower pressure vessels. If you are protein deficient then it can't do this and the fluid builds up in the tissue, making their skin and abdomen appear swollen and puffy.  (+ info)

How can we prevent the childhood malnutrition, Kwashiorkor?

Hope you guys can provide as many preventions as possible. (: Thanks in advance!

Eat!  (+ info)

Do you know what is Kwashiorkor?

a child should not be placed on a vegan diet too early .... too difficult to get enough protein for proper growth.

I didn't know, but now I do.

Kwashiorkor is a virulent form of childhood malnutrition characterized by edema, irritability, anorexia, ulcerating dermatoses, and an enlarged liver with fatty infiltrates. The presence of edema caused by poor nutrition defines kwashiorkor.[1] The cause of kwashiorkor was thought to be due to insufficient protein consumption alone, however micronutrient and antioxidant deficiencies are now believed to play important roles.

Jamaican pediatrician Cicely D. Williams introduced the name into the medical community in her 1935 Lancet article.[2][3] The name is derived from the Ga language of coastal Ghana, translated literally "first-second"[citation needed], and reflecting the development of the condition in an older child who has been weaned from the breast when a younger sibling comes.[4] Breast milk contains proteins and amino acids vital to a child's growth. In at-risk populations, kwashiorkor may develop after a mother weans her child from breast milk and replaces the diet with foods high in starches and carbohydrates and deficient in protein.  (+ info)

what are the organs of the body affected by marsmus kwashiorkor?

what are the organs in the body that is affected by marasmus kwashiorkor

Marasmus and Kwashiorkor are two different things (although you can get marasmic Kwashiorkor- a combination).

Because they are manifestations of severe malnutrition (acute or chronic) most if not all organs of the body will be affected evetually, in some way or another.


- skin desquamation in severely affected children, and changes in hair/skin pigmentation
- immune system: malnutrition increases risk of infections, so the organs these impact will be affected (eg. kidneys)
- the brain!

Hope this helps.  (+ info)

what causes the distended bellies in children with kwashiorkor?

Protein malnutrition. Proteins function in the blood to help keep blood from leaking out of the blood vessels into body tissues and cavities. When blood proteins are very low serum seeps in to the soft tissues and the abdominal cavities causing diffuse body swelling or edema, and abdominal bloating or ascites.  (+ info)

what What is Kwashiorkor?

All vegans need to be aware of getting enough protein in the diet for long term health reasons.... protein does not have to be meat - but enough protein is very important!

Kwashiorkor is a virulent form of childhood malnutrition characterized by edema, irritability, anorexia, ulcerating dermatoses, and an enlarged liver with fatty infiltrates. The presence of edema caused by poor nutrition defines kwashiorkor.[1] The cause of kwashiorkor was thought to be due to insufficient protein consumption alone, however micronutrient and antioxidant deficiencies are now believed to play important roles.
n industrialized countries, protein-calorie malnutrition may occur secondary to chronic metabolic disease that decreases protein and calorie intake or absorption or trauma that increases protein and calorie requirements. In the United States, protein-calorie malnutrition is estimated to occur to some extent in 50% of surgical and 48% of medical patients. Those who aren’t allowed anything by mouth for an extended period are at high risk for developing protein-calorie malnutrition. Conditions that increase protein-calorie requirements include severe burns and injuries, systemic infections, and cancer (accounts for the largest group of hospitalized patients with protein-calorie malnutrition.) Conditions that cause defective utilization of nutrients include malabsorption syndrome, short-bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease.  (+ info)

Kwashiorkor - Disease Questions please help!?

Just wondering if you can help me with the answers to these questions ( homework)

* Why are children suffering Kwashiorkor usually inactive?
*Why are children suffering Kwashiorkor less resistant to infections?


The child has a chronic deficiency of macronutrients, which are the building blocks for energy sources in the body.

On the second, my guess is that the body is catabolizing itself to provide energy. This (and the first) impact the formation of the body's defense mechanisms.  (+ info)

what does Kwashiorkor mean?

food and nutrition

"Kwashiorkor is a type of childhood malnutrition with controversial causes, but commonly believed to be caused by insufficient protein intake."  (+ info)

Cure for Kwashiorkor?

can somebody tell me a cure of Kwashiorkor please, because i cant find anything about any cures for it...

kwashiorkor can be defined as protien malnutrition which is caused by inadequate protein intake in the presence of fair to good energy (total calories) intake. Severe kwashiorkor may leave a child with permanent mental and physical disabilities. Kwashiorkor is a serious problem in underdeveloped countries, affecting children from infancy to about 5 years of age. The incidence of kwashiorkor in children in the U.S. is extremely low and only rare, isolated cases are seen. Kwashiorkor occurs most commonly in areas of famine, limited food supply, and low levels of education, which can lead to inadequate knowledge of proper diet. Improving calorie and protein intake will correct kwashiorkor, provided that treatment is not started too late. However, full height and growth potential will never be achieved in children who have had this condition.
kwashiorkor Symptoms

* irritability
* lethargy or apathy
* diarrhea
* dermatitis
* changes in skin pigment
* increased numbers of infections
* shock (late stage)
* coma (late stage)

kwashiorkor Treatment

Adequate diet with appropriate amounts of carbohydrate, fat (minimum of 10 percent of total calories), and protein (12 percent of total calories) will prevent kwashiorkor.  (+ info)

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