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…
Carbohydrates are given first to supply energy, followed by protein foods. Many malnourished children will develop lactose intolerance and may need to be given supplements with the enzyme lactase so they can tolerate milk products.
Treatment done early usually leads to good results. Treating kwashiorkor in the late stages will improve the child’s health, but the child may be left will permanent physical and mental problems. This condition is life-threatening if treatment is not given or comes too late (Kwashiorkor, 2011).
Prevention can be done by making sure the diet has adequate carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Fat should be at least ten percent of total calories and protein should be twelve percent of total calories (Kwashiorkor, 2011). Providing a variety of different foods can help the child get all the nutrients needed for a healthy diet. If income is low and assistance is needed, it is important to get aid if possible to prevent this disease.
Nursing Interventions
Education is the number one priority nurses can do to prevent this from happening or to treat Kwashiorkor disease. It is imperative that nurses be at the forefront in educating and reinforcing healthy nutrition habits in parents of small children to prevent malnutrition. Teaching parents and families about a healthy diet is essential. Making sure the family has adequate food and knows the importance of a balanced diet can help prevent this disease and also help