PROTEIN – ENERGY MALNUTRITION (PEM)
This is a malnutrition caused by coincidental insufficient or lack of dietary protein and energy (calories). It is the cellular imbalance between the supply of nutrients and energy and the body’s demand for them to ensure growth, maintenance, and specific functions.
PEM is a condition whereby a person neither takes a sufficient protein nor sufficient calories.
- Marasmus (in children and adult)
- Kwashiorkor (in children)
- marasmic kwashiorkor
- Low body in weights (in pregnant and lactating mothers)
This is an insufficient intake of calories and other nutrients in the first 12 months of life of a child.
At this stage the child does not get adequate amount of breast milk and adequate amount of other alternative foods.
Marasmus occurs when a person does not consume enough protein and calories.
This simply means that, if you are not taking enough balanced diet you are likely to suffer from marasmus irrespective of your age.
Marasmus is a condition that can be found in both adults and children.
CAUSES OF MARASMUS
- Nutrient deficiency – not having enough nutrition or having too little food.
- consuming the wrong nutrients or too much of one and not enough of another
- Having a health condition that makes it difficult to absorb or process nutrients correctly
Sometimes marasmus can affect an older adult who has not eaten healthfully over a period of some months or years.
THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MARASMUS
- There is wasting of muscles and subcutaneous fat.
- There is growth failure,.
- Sunken eyes give the look of a “little old man.”
- The head seems large as compared to the body, and the face is thin
- Loose skin around the buttocks (buggy pants)
- There may be signs of dehydration
- intellectual disability
- stunted growth
- Seriously malnourished children may look older and have little to no energy or enthusiasm for anything.