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Difference between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

Difference between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

When most people think of malnutrition, they usually think of Kwashiorkor or Marasmus. However, what many people don’t know is that there is a big difference between the two. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus. We will also discuss the symptoms and causes of each condition.

What is Kwashiorkor?

Kwashiorkor is a form of severe malnutrition that is typically seen in children in developing countries. The condition is caused by a lack of protein in the diet and can lead to stunted growth, delayed mental development, and a host of other health problems. Kwashiorkor is often difficult to treat, and children who suffer from the condition often have a permanently impaired quality of life. However, with early diagnosis and proper treatment, Kwashiorkor is preventable. Proper nutrition is essential for all children, but it is especially critical for those who live in areas where food insecurity is common. By ensuring that all children have access to adequate nutrition, we can help to prevent Kwashiorkor and other forms of malnutrition.

What is Marasmus?

Marasmus is a form of malnutrition that is characterized by extreme weight loss and muscle wasting. It is most common in developing countries where food is scarce or diets are lacking in essential nutrients. Marasmus is often seen in young children who are not getting enough to eat, but it can also occur in adults. The condition can be fatal if left untreated. Marasmus can be treated with a combination of dietary changes and nutritional supplements. With proper treatment, most people who suffer from marasmus make a full recovery.

Difference between Kwashiorkor and Marasmus

Kwashiorkor and Marasmus are two types of protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). Kwashiorkor is usually seen in developing nations and is characterized by an extreme lack of protein in the diet. Marasmus is more common in developed nations and results from a lack of both calories and protein. Kwashiorkor typically affects young children who have been weaned off breast milk onto a diet of mostly starchy foods, while marasmus affects infants who are not getting enough calories and protein from breast milk or formula. Kwashiorkor is more serious than marasmus, as it can lead to edema, liver damage, and heart failure. Marasmus, on the other hand, is more likely to cause muscle wasting and weakness. Both Kwashiorkor and Marasmus can be fatal if left untreated.


The difference between kwashiorkor and marasmus is significant, as one can be deadly if left untreated. It’s important for parents to understand the signs and symptoms of both conditions in order to seek medical help quickly if their child falls ill. With early diagnosis and treatment, most cases of kwashiorkor and marasmus can be cured.

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