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Protein Energy Malnutrition

SETH DUNCAN-WESLEY

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Introduction

A well nourished woman is likely to be healthy and therefore able to look after her family well. The outcome of pregnancy and lactation are enhanced when the woman is healthy. The nutritional needs of a pregnant and a lactating woman are greater than at other times in her life. During pregnancy, the food the mother eats helps to meet the nutritional needs of the unborn baby. During lactation, the food the mother eats helps in production of breast milk.

However Protein-Energy-Malnutrition (PEM), the most serious nutritional problem among children. The knowledge acquired will enable you to identify children with PEM in your community at the earliest possible stage and be able to manage the situation.

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OBJECTIVES
1. Define the terms: Nutrition Nutrition security Malnutrition Protein-Energy-Malnutrition 2. Name different forms of Protein-EnergyMalnutrition. 3. Discuss the causes of Protein-Energy-Malnutrition.
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4. For each form of PEM: Give its description. Describe its signs and symptoms. Discuss its differential diagnosis. Describe its management. Describe its prevention 5. List categories of children who are at risk of malnutrition. 6. Outline strategies for promoting proper nutrition in the community.
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DEFINITIONS
Nutrition: Science of food, the nutrients and other substances within food, their actions and interactions and balance in relation to health and disease. Nutrition security Appropriate quantity and combination of inputs such as food, health services and caretakers time needed to ensure an active and healthy life at all times for all people.

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Malnutrition Malnutrition includes a wide range of clinical disorders resulting from an unbalanced intake of energy, protein as well as other nutrients. It can present as under or over nutrition. Protein-Energy-Malnutrition (PEM) Protein-Energy-Malnutrition is a clinical syndrome present in infants and children as a result of deficient intake and/or utilization of food.

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Types of Protein-EnergyMalnutrition (PEM)


What are the different types of Protein-Energy-Malnutrition? Protein-Energy-Malnutrition takes different forms which include: Underweight Kwashiorkor Marasmus MarasmicKwashiorkor Stunting Wasting But I will take you through: 1.Kwashiorkor 2. Marasmus 3. Marasmic-kwashiorkor.

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CAUSES OF PROTEINENERGY MALNUTRITION


The causes of PEM can either be direct or indirect. Direct causes The direct factors, which are commonly referred to as immediate factors include: (i)Inadequate food intake (ii) Diseases
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(i) Inadequate food intake


Inadequate food intake is the result of limited access to food in terms of quality and quantity. (ii) Diseases Diseases notably malaria and measles lead to loss of appetite, increased rate of metabolism due to fevers thereby increasing the bodys nutrient demands. Diarrhoea reduces the absorption of food nutrients, whereas vomiting decreases food intake. Intestinal parasites compete for nutrients with the body e.g. hookworm competes for iron.

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INDIRECT CAUSES
Indirect causes of PEM include: (i) Food insecurity and limited access to foodstuffs Families cannot acquire or produce enough food to for energy needs. Lack of or limited access to land or agriculture marketing and distribution of foods. cater

inputs,

Loss of food through destruction by pests, fungi, rodents, birds and wild animals. Soil erosion, often resulting from overstocking, deforestation and discriminate burning.
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Poor farming practices often due to lack of


knowledge, money, time or equipment. Poor weather conditions like failure of rains, floods etc. Lack of time to gather food, prepare it properly and provide special dishes for young children. Among the time consuming and energy expending activities of the rural African housewife are the fetching of water from long distances. Urbanization and rapid migration to the larger towns
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(ii) Poor water / sanitation and inadequate health services. Health services may be of low quality, expensive, nonexistent or unfriendly. Lack of pre-natal and child health care. Inadequate management of sick children. Inadequate water and sanitation facilities.

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(iii) Inadequate maternal and childcare practice. Families do not give adequate time and resources for women and childrens health, dietary and emotional needs. Poor caring practices, including the inappropriate care of sick children.

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Not utilizing health care facilities for special needs of pregnant mothers or adolescent girls. Not supporting mothers to breastfeed adequately. Inadequate diets for women including food taboos during and after pregnancy.

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WHAT IS KWASHIORKOR?

Kwashiorkor is a word from Ghanaian

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CAUSES OF KWASHIORKOR

(i) Kwashiorkor occurs most frequently in children between 1 and 3 years of age, after they have been taken off the breast. While they are getting good quantities of breast milk, they are usually getting enough protein of good nutritional quality, containing all the amino acids essential for health and growth. The immediate cause for stopping breast-feeding is frequently the realization by the mother that she is pregnant again. She may often believe that her milk will now poison the child, who is therefore taken away from the breast. There are of course other reasons why mothers stop breast-feeding their babies 11/6/12 including the need for some mothers to work or live early,

This may be maize, cassava, banana, millet, rice, sorghum, or sometimes potatoes. The child is sometimes sent away to live with a relative, frequently a grandmother, in order to make the process of complete weaning easier. (ii) A young African child up to this time has usually had an extremely close relationship with his mother. He has ridden on his mothers back when she went to draw water or to till the field, he has slept in the same bed with the mother. He has had access to the breast more or less on demand. The sudden removal from this intimacy is a severe psychological shock, which may cause the child to lose his appetite, and may therefore be a factor in causing kwashiorkor. In more than one tribal language, the term for kwashiorkor is the equivalent of displaced person. The baby in his mothers womb has displaced the child.
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(iii) Short intervals between births. If a mother becomes pregnant and when her previous baby is only 6 months old, she may neglect the first child. Her breast milk will get less and her time and attention will be concentrated more on the new baby. (iv) Other diseases may sometimes play an important role in precipitating the onset of true kwashiorkor in an already poorly nourished child. Among the most important of these are gastrointestinal infections, which cause diarrhoea and may hinder proper absorption of nutrients. They may also result in vomiting, and thus loss of food. Intestinal worms and other parasitic infections may be important, as well as measles, whooping cough and other infectious diseases. Nearly all infectious diseases lead to an increased loss of nitrogen from the body. This can only be replaced by protein in the diet.
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v) Many children in a home is another cause of kwashiorkor. In large families there often less food for each person. The smaller children may be neglected because the mother has too much work. (vi) Poverty: Poor socio-economic status is another cause of Kwashiorkor due to limited access to resources (vii) Lack of education on child feeding practices (viii) Prejudices and cultural beliefs that interfere with care and feeding of young children

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CLINICAL SIGNS OF KWASHIORKOR


A child with kwashiorkor presents with the following signs. (i) Growth failure Growth failure always occurs in a child with kwashiorkor. If the childs precise age is known, he will be found to be shorter than normal. Except in cases of gross oedema, the child will be lighter in weight than normal. Usually between 60 and 80 percent of standard. These signs may be obscured by oedema or ignorance of the childs age.

(iii) Wasting of muscles Wasting of muscles is also typical but it may not be evident because of oedema.

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(ii) Oedema Oedema causes swelling owing to the fluid in the tissue, and is always present. It usually starts with a slight swelling of the feet and often spreads up the legs. Later, the hands, the scrotum and the face may also swell. To diagnose the presence of oedema, press with your finger or thumb over the stun bone, for example above the ankle for about 30 seconds. If a dent (pit) remains after the thumb is removed, oedema is present. If oedema is present the pit formed takes a few seconds to return to the level of the surrounding skin.

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(iii) Irritable child The child is usually miserable and apathetic. Irritable when being moved or disturbed. He prefers to remain in one position and is nearly always miserable. He has no appetite and is difficult to feed. (iv) Diarrhoea Stools are frequently loose and contain undigested particles of food. Sometimes they are offensive, watery, or bloodstained. (v) Anaemia Few cases do have some degree of anaemia. This is due to lack of the protein required to synthesize blood cells. Anaemia may be complicated by iron deficiency, malaria, hookworm, etc.

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A CHILD WITH KWASHIORKOR.

This child shows oedema of the legs and face, dermatosis of the thigh, arm, and back. The oedema masks and muscle wasting. 11/6/12

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(vi) Hair changes The hair of a normal African child is usually dark black, coarse in texture and has a healthy sheen that reflects light. In kwashiorkor, the texture often changes, with the hair becoming silkier and losing its tight curl. At the same time it lacks luster, is dull and lifeless, and may change colour to brown or reddish brown or grey. It becomes sparse, and is easily pulled out. On examination under a microscope, plucked hair exhibits root changes and a narrower diameter than normal hair. The tensile strength of the hair is also reduced.

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(x) Hepatomegaly The liver may be palpably enlarged. This is due to fatty infiltration of the liver, which is always found post-mortem in cases of kwashiorkor. (xi) Moonface The cheeks appear to be swollen either with fatty tissue or oedema fluid, giving the characteristic appearance known as moonface.

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Differential diagnosis In trying to make a diagnosis, the conclusion that the child has kwashiorkor does not rule out other diseases also being present. (i) Nephrosis (ii) Severe hookworm anaemia iii) Pellagra

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Management
1.Medical treatment is mainly to treat infections or worms. 2.Balanced-diet, ensure good quality protein diet. 3.Give skimmed milk. 4.Take time to feed the child, serve in small amount and serve meals appetizingly. 5.Give child food from minimum to maximum as increases. Then introduce other foods. 6.Personal hygiene daily bathing, oral toileting, training, eye care, cutting of finger nails, etc.
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appetite toilet

SIGNS OF RECOVERY
1. Brightening of the face. 2. General improvement in the childs out look and activity. 3. Improved hair colour and texture. 4. Improved appetite. 5. Oedema subsides.

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marasmus

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Description Marasmus is another severe form of protein-energy malnutrition. Whereas in kwashiorkor the main deficiency is protein, in marasmus the main

(ii) Premature birth, mental deficiency and digestive upsets (malabsorption, vomiting, etc.) (iii) Early cessation of breast-feeding. This may be due to death of the mother, pregnancy, failure of lactation, separation of the mother from the infant because of family problems or because she is a working mother, etc. (iv) Mothers desire to feed her baby from the bottle rather than the breast. She may be influenced by advertisements or alien cultures into believing that this is sophisticated or superior and also ease of using a bottle.

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(v) The family having insufficient income The family having insufficient income to buy enough milk to feed a baby properly. The tendency therefore is to over dilute a purchased mixture. Similarly, few households have running water or the other items in their homes that facilitate the sterile preparation of milk bottles for an infant. As a result of improperly cleaned feeding bottles, the child commonly develops gastrointestinal infections, which starts the vicious circle leading to marasmus
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(vi) Prolonged breastfeeding without introduction of

(vii) Many children in large families like in kwashiorkor, there is often less food for each person. The smaller children may be neglected because the mother has too much work to do. (viii) Delay in introducing additional food. Breast milk is best and should be given up to 2 years of age. However, other foods should be added after 6 months and increased in amount as the child grows older. If this is not done growth will slow, and this may lead to malnutrition.

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CLINICAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MARASMUS


(i) The child fails to grow properly. The child has severely retarded growth. If the age is known, the weight will be found to be extremely low by normal standards (below 60 percent of the standard).

(ii) In severe cases the loss of flesh is obvious. The ribs are prominent, the belly, in contrast to the rest of the body, may be protuberant, the face looks like that of an old person, and the limbs are very emaciated. The child is skin and bones. An advanced case of the disease is unmistakable, and once seen is never forgotten.

(iii) The muscles are always extremely wasted. There is little if any subcutaneous fat left. The skin is loose and seems to be too big for the body. It hangs in wrinkles, especially around the thighs and buttocks where the muscles should be thick. When taken between forefinger and thumb will reveal the absence of the usual layer of adipose tissue.

(iv) Children with marasmus are quite often not disinterested like those with kwashiorkor. Instead the deep sunken eyes have a rather wide-awake appearance Similarly, the child may be less miserable and less irritable. 11/6/12

(v) The child usually has a good appetite In fact, like any starving being, he may be ravenous. He often violently sucks his hands or clothing or anything else available. Sometimes he is heard making sucking noises. (vi) Loose stools Stools may be loose, but this is not a constant feature of the disease. Diarrhoea of an infective nature, as mentioned earlier, may commonly have been a precipitating factor. (vii) Anaemia Anaemia due to iron, protein and other deficiencies is usually present. (ix)Hair changes similar to those in kwashiorkor can occur. There is more frequently a change of texture than of colour. Dehydration, although not feature of the disease itself, is a frequent accompaniment of the disease, and results from severe diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting.
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MARASMIC CHILD A picture showing loss of subcutaneous tissue

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Tuberculosis and AIDS

Tuberculosis and AIDS may also cause muscle wasting, failure to thrive and anaemia. MANAGEMENT/MEDICAL TREATMENT 1,Treatment of the complications, 2.Initiation of dietary cure give small frequent meals because these reduce the risk of diarrhoea, vomiting, hypoglycaemia and hypothermia, 3.Maintenance of treatment, 4.Enhance growth using high energy concentrated alimentation.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

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1. Ensure patient is given a balanced diet; - contain all essential nutrients, 2. Offer small food at a time and increase as the patient demands, 3. Educate mother on all essential food nutrients and where to get them, 4. Give Intravenous fluid, 5. Check vital signs, 6. Ensure good personal hygiene, 7. Prevent infection, 8. Prevent bedsore. 11/6/12

NURSING INTERVENTIONS

Marasmic - Kwashiorkor
Description It is emphasized that kwashiorkor and nutritional marasmus are forms of protein-energy malnutrition. Kwashiorkor is the syndrome where the main deficiency is protein, while in marasmus the deficiency is mainly energy. In some cases the children are half way between kwashiorkor and marasmus. They might perhaps be very thin like a marasmic child and at the same time have oedema like a child with kwashiorkor. These children are said to have marasmic-kwashiorkor. In some areas, most children will be like this and there will be a few with either pure kwashiorkor or pure marasmus. CLINICAL SIGNS OF MARASMIC-KWASHIORKOR (i) The child will be very thin like a child with marasmus. (ii) The child will have oedema like a child with kwashiorkor.

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CAUSES OF MARASMIC-KWASHIORKOR
Since a child with Marasmic-Kwashiorkor is half way between kwashiorkor and marasmus, the causes of marasmic-kwashiorkor therefore, are the same as those for kwashiorkor and marasmus.

Management of a child with marasmickwashiorkor


Since a child with marasmic-kwashiorkor has both marasmus and kwashiorkor, the treatment is the same as for marasmus and kwashiorkor. However, each patient should in any case be treated as an individual according to 11/6/12 the clinical and other findings

A child Suffering from Marasmic-kwashiorkor The pictures below are of the same child

He is wasted as evidenced by his and he has bi-lateral pitting oedema in his feet prominent ribs 11/6/12

Prevention and Health Education


1. Educate mothers on type of food to be given. 2. Educate mothers on what to eat when pregnant and what to eat after birth 3. Educate and teach mothers on how to prepare well balanced diet for the children. 4. Educate mothers on the disease and causes of their childs disease. 5. Encourage breast-feeding up to 2 years. 6. Introduce weaning diet at 4-6 months, using locally available foods. 7. Immunize all children and monitor growth monthly. 8. Encourage family planning. 9. Encourage a balanced diet for the family including pregnant and lactating women. 10. Encourage nutrition education in schools and villages and include husbands.
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GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF DIABETES MANAGEMENT


To relieve symptoms To correct associated health problems and to reduce morbidity, mortality and economic costs of diabetes To prevent as much as possible acute and long-term complications; to monitor the development of such complications and to provide timely intervention To improve the quality of life and productivity of the individual with diabetes

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Diet is a basic part of management in every case. Treatment cannot be effective unless adequate attention is given to ensuring appropriate nutrition.

DIETARY MANAGEMENT Dietary treatment should aim at: of diabetics


ensuring weight control providing nutritional requirements

allowing good glycaemic control with blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible correcting any associated blood lipid abnormalities ensuring consistency and compatibility with other forms of treatment if used, for example oral agents or insulin.
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The following principles are recommended as dietary guidelines for people with diabetes: Dietary fat should provide 25-35% of total intake of calories but saturated fat intake should not exceed 10% of total energy. Cholesterol consumption should be restricted and limited to 300 mg or less daily. Protein intake can range between 10-15% total energy (0.8-1 g/kg of desirable body weight). Requirements increase for children and during pregnancy. Protein should be derived from both animal and vegetable sources. Excessive salt intake is to be avoided. It should be particularly restricted in people with hypertension and those with nephropathy.

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Carbohydrates provide 50-60% of total caloric content of the diet. Although it has been traditionally recommended that carbohydrates should be complex and high in fibre, more emphasis should be placed on the total amount of carbohydrates consumed than the source of carbohydrate.

Artificial sweeteners are to be used in moderation. Nutritive sweeteners (sorbitol and (fructose) should be restricted.

The same precautions regarding alcohol intake that apply to the nondiabetic population also apply to people with diabetes. Additionally, however, alcohol tends to increase the risk of hypoglycemia in those taking antidiabetic drugs and should be particularly avoided in those with lipid abnormalities and patients with neuropathy.

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Except in special conditions like pregnancy and lactation, routine vitamin and mineral supplementation is generally not needed in people with a well balanced diet. There is, at present, no definite evidence to confirm that such treatment has any benefits.

MEAL PLANNING
Assessment of dietary intake and individual needs of those with diabetes should be made as part of the initial management. Under optimal circumstances, this task is the responsibility of an experienced dietician, in consultation with the treating physician. However, after appropriate training the physician and the nurse can take on this responsibility in places where dietitians are not available.

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Meals and food intake should be planned in relation to economic factors and local circumstances concerning availability and cultural and social values. Special consideration should be given to meal planning during the month of Ramadan. Meals should be evenly distributed throughout the day. Consistency of food timing and energy intake from day to day should be emphasized, especially by those taking insulin. Exercise Physical activity promotes weight reduction and improves insulin sensitivity, thus lowering blood glucose levels. Together with dietary treatment, a programme of regular 11/6/12 physical activity and exercise should be considered for each

The same principles under NIDDM generally apply to IDDM. However, attention should also be given to thyroid function and thyroid function tests may therefore be part of the initial assessment in some places. The assessment is also modified in children and adolescents with diabetes. Investigation for long-term complications is not indicated at the initial stage. Children should be cared for by paediatricians, whenever possible. Height and weight should be measured. Growth should be monitored periodically.

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DIETARY THERAPY
In addition to its general objectives, dietary therapy should also aim to: match food intake with insulin therapy to avoid excessive swings in blood glucose levels; and avoid hypoglycaemia Meal planning should receive adequate emphasis in IDDM Food intake should meet the requirements for normal growth and development. Calories should be distributed into main meals and regular snacks, taking into consideration local circumstances and the type of insulin therapy.

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Generally, the person should have three main meals with snacks in between and at bedtime but the frequency and energy content of the snacks depends on the treatment and calorie requirements. People with diabetes should be trained to adjust their calorie intake and insulin according to self-monitoring results and modify it with physical exercise. Additional carbohydrate intake is required to prevent hypoglycaemia which may result from prolonged or unaccustomed physical activity.

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Many references have been consulted in the preparation of this handout. The following deserve special mention:
1.

BIBLIOGRAPHY/ REFERENCES

American College of Nutrition. 722 Robert E. Lee Drive, Wilmington, NC 20412-0927. (919) 152-1222. American Institute of Nutrition. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3990. (301) 530-7050. Food and Nutrition Information Center.10301 Baltimore Boulevard, Room 304, Beltsville, MD 20705-2351. Diabetes Mellitus, WHO Technical Report Series,727, 1985. M.C. Latham, O.B.E Second Edition 1979. Reprinted 1981: Human Nutrition in Tropical Africa. King, H.M. et al, 1988: Nutrition for Developing Countries, Oxford University press, Nairobi.

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thank You

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