Protein energy malnutrition

Protein Energy Malnutrition

  • Protein energy malnutrition also called protein calorie malnutrition is the most common nutritional disorder of developing countries.
  • Two extreme conditions of PEM are Kwashiorkar and Marasmus.
  • Definition
    • Malnutrition produced by a severely inadequate amount of protein in the diet.
    • Literally means sickness of the deposed child.
  • Occurrence:
    • pre-school children
  • Symptoms:
    • stunted growth,edema, diarrhea, discoloration of head and skin, anemia, apathy, moon face
  • Biochemical manifestations
    • Decreased plasma albumin (<2g/dl)

    • Decreased K+

    • Decreased fasting glucose

    • Decreased or normal serum cortisol

    • Decreased immunity

    • Decreased retinol binding protein

  • Mnemonic:
    • Peter Pan Makes Light Drinks With Oranges

      • Peter-Pre-school children
      • Pan-Protruding belly
      • Makes-Moon face
      • Light-Low protein intake
      • Drinks-Dermatitis
      • With-Wasting of muscles
      • Oranges- Oedema
  • Treatment:

    • Ingestion of protein rich foods or the dietary combinations to provide about 3-4 g of protein/kg body weight/day.

  • Definition
    • Malnutrition due to deficiency of calories 
    • Usually observed in children given watery gruels to supplement the mother’s breast milk
    • Occurrence-weaned infants
  • Symptoms
    • growth retardation, muscle wasting, anemia, weakness
  • Biological manifestations:
    • Increased serum cortisol
    • Decreased fasting blood glucose
  • Mnemonic:
    • Lisa Saw a Dish With Olives and Walnuts

      • Lisa-low calories
      • Saw-Shrunken abdomen
      • Dish-Dry and atrophic skin
      • With-Weaned infants
      • Olives-Old man’s face 
      • and Walnuts-Weak and atrophic muscles
  • Treatment

    • Not only the symptoms but the complications of disorders including infections, dehydration and circulation disorders should be treated.

-Anuja Mandavkar

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