For an older child, crushed groundnuts can be added twice a day, or, if preferred by custom, roasted groundnuts can be eaten. In persons with hypothyroidism caused by iodine deficiency, most of the dose of iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland, and less than 10 percent remains. When sugar is used in soft drinks, much of it is broken down to glucose and fructose right in the bottle. Among the sweetest ones are rebaudioside A, also called reb A or rebiana, and stevioside. In most countries vitamin B 12 deficiency is uncommon. A balanced diet comprising of diverse and healthy foods is key to promoting good health. Nabisco has since sold salatrim to another company, Cultor.
Below is a list of the percentage of fat content for various meats. As you can see rabbit meat again is the best meat choice as it is lowest in fat. This information can be found in 4-H publication 4H Again the rabbit meat exceeds all other meat products. In my research I have found some other various nutritional facts.
Many people will like the fact that rabbit meat is an all white meat, making it suitable for many diets. To summarize here are the benefits of rabbit meat: These facts led the USDA to proclaim that rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man. Although we are not doctors and you should check with your physician, rabbit meat is recommended for a variety of health specific specialty diets.
Hopefully you find this article interesting and thought provoking. The Merits of Domestic Rabbit Meat. The tender, healthy white meat-domestic rabbit. This means that those who are experiencing digestive problems-whether young, old, or on special diets-can enjoy the tender texture and mild flavor of domestic rabbit. And to others it may serve as a preventative measure. Again, looking at the domestic rabbit we see from its lifestyle- preferring to live in a clean, quiet, undisturbed orderly manner-an environment that the rabbit lives in with quietness and confidence.
Expressing the attributes of prayer and meditation, content with accepting its place in this world and going about its business. We find among those eating chicken the majority of people prefer the breast portion, which comprises itself of all-white meat.
So looking at the domestic rabbit, we have everything considered healthful and desireable by most people-a finer boned, fine grained, chewy textured, tender, mild-flavored, beneficial all-white meat. The USDA has provided a statistical breakdown of the nutritional value of the above mentioned meats. Rabbit meat contains Medium-fat veal has A medium-fat lamb contains Domestically produced rabbit meat contains less fat than other meats.
Again, beginning with the rabbit we see only What about the natural moisture content found in meat? How much are we paying per pound for water when we purchase pre-packaged meats? All meat has a natural moisture content and this offers no nutritional value. Rabbit meat leads with a moisture content per pound of only Too bad there is a high fat content in pork, but wait, there is more coming.
Subsequently these categories came to be known as follows: Percentage of standard weight for age. Bengoa of WHO suggested that all children with oedema be placed in Grade This became known as the Bengoa modification. This classification makes a distinction between current and past influences on nutritional status.
It helps the examiner assess the likelihood that supplementary feeding will markedly improve the nutritional status of the child, and it gives the clinician some clue as to the history of the malnutrition in the patient.
It also has advantages for nutritional surveys and surveillance. In general, stunting is more prevalent than wasting worldwide. In country reports published based on weight for age alone, "underweight" is commonly used to denote weight below 2 SD of the NCHS standards in children up to five years of age.
In a normal distribution it is expected that 2 to 3 percent of children will fall below the -2 SD cut-off point. Prevalence above that level suggests that there is a nutritional problem in the population assessed. If measurements are also taken of length or height, then the children can be further divided into those who are wasted, stunted, or wasted and stunted.
Policy-makers and health workers need to decide which growth standards to use as a yardstick for judging malnutrition and for surveys, monitoring and surveillance. The international growth standards have been found to be applicable for developing countries, as evidence shows that the growth of privileged children in developing countries does not differ importantly from these standards, and that the poorer growth seen among the underprivileged results from social factors, including the malnutrition-infection complex, rather than from ethnic or geographic differences.
The functional significance of mild or moderate PEM is still not fully known. Studies from several countries show that the risk of mortality increases rather steadily with worsening nutritional status as indicated by anthropometric measures. Recent investigations in Guatemala indicated that teenagers who had manifested poor growth when examined in early childhood were smaller in stature, did less well at school, had poorer physical fitness and had lower scores on psychological development tests than children from the same villages who grew better as young children.
These results suggest long-term consequences of PEM in early childhood. The attempt to control the extent and severity of PEM using many different strategies and actions is at the heart of nutritional programmes and policies in most developing countries.
The reduction and eventual prevention of mild or moderate malnutrition will automatically reduce severe malnutrition. Thus, although it may be tempting particularly for doctors and other health workers to put major emphasis on the control of nutritional marasmus and kwashiorkor, resources are often better spent on controlling mild and moderate PEM, which will in turn reduce severe PEM.
Kwashiorkor is one of the serious forms of PEM. It is seen most frequently in children one to three years of age, but it may occur at any age. It is found in children who have a diet that is usually insufficient in energy and protein and often in other nutrients. Often the food provided to the child is mainly carbohydrate; it may be very bulky, and it may not be provided very frequently.
Kwashiorkor is often associated with, or even precipitated by, infectious diseases. Diarrhoea, respiratory infections, measles, whooping cough, intestinal parasites and other infections are common underlying causes of PEM and may precipitate children into either kwashiorkor or nutritional marasmus.
These infections often result in loss of appetite, which is important as a cause of serious PEM. Infections, especially those resulting in fever, lead to an increased loss of nitrogen from the body which can only be replaced by protein in the diet. Kwashiorkor is relatively easy to diagnose based on the child's history, the symptoms reported and the clinical signs observed Figure 6.
Laboratory tests are not essential but do throw more light on each case. All cases of kwashiorkor have oedema to some degree, poor growth, wasting of muscles and fatty infiltration of the liver. Other signs include mental changes, abnormal hair, a typical dermatosis, anaemia, diarrhoea and often evidence of other micronutrient deficiencies. The accumulation of fluid in the tissues causes swelling; in kwashiorkor this condition is always present to some degree.
It usually starts with a slight swelling of the feet and often spreads up the legs. Later, the hands and face may also swell. To diagnose the presence of oedema the medical attendant presses with a finger or thumb above the ankle. If oedema is present the pit formed takes a few seconds to return to the level of the surrounding skin. Growth failure always occurs. If the child's precise age is known, the child will be found to be shorter than normal and, except in cases of gross oedema, lighter in weight than normal usually 60 to 80 percent of standard or below 2 SD.
These signs may be obscured by oedema or ignorance of the child's age. Wasting of muscles is also typical but may not be evident because of oedema. The child's arms and legs are thin because of muscle wasting. Fatty infiltration of the liver.
This condition is always found in post-mortem examination of kwashiorkor cases. It may cause palpable enlargement of the liver hepatomegaly. Mental changes are common but not invariably noticed. The child is usually apathetic about his or her surroundings and irritable when moved or disturbed. The child prefers to remain in one position and is nearly always miserable and unsmiling. Appetite is nearly always poor. The hair of a normal Asian, African or Latin American child is usually dark black and coarse in texture and has a healthy sheen that reflects light.
In kwashiorkor, the hair becomes silkier and thinner. African hair loses its tight curl. At the same time it lacks lustre, is dull and lifeless and may change in colour to brown or reddish brown. Sometimes small tufts can be easily and almost painlessly plucked 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. In Latin America bands of discoloured hair are reported as a sign of kwashiorkor. These reddish-brown stripes have been termed the "flag sign" or "signa bandera".
Dermatosis develops in some but not all cases of kwashiorkor. It tends to occur first in areas of friction or of pressure such as the groin, behind the knees and at the elbow. Darkly pigmented patches appear, which may peel off or desquamate.
The similarity of these patches to old sun-baked, blistered paint has given rise to the term "flaky-paint dermatosis". Underneath the flaking skin are atrophic depigmented areas which may resemble a healing burn.
Most cases have some degree of anaemia because of lack of the protein required to synthesize blood cells. Anaemia may be complicated by iron deficiency, malaria, hookworm, etc. Stools are frequently loose and contain undigested particles of food. The cheeks may appear to be swollen with either fatty tissue or fluid, giving the characteristic appearance known as "moonface". Signs of other deficiencies. In kwashiorkor some subcutaneous fat is usually palpable, and the amount gives an indication of the degree of energy deficiency.
Mouth and lip changes characteristic of vitamin B deficiency are common. Xerosis or xerophthalmia resulting from vitamin A deficiency may be seen. Deficiencies of zinc and other micronutrients may occur. Oedema is also a feature of nephrosis, which may therefore be confused with kwashiorkor. In nephrosis, however, the urine contains much albumin as well as casts and cells.
In kwashiorkor, there is usually only a trace of albumin. If flaky-paint dermatosis or other signs of kwashiorkor are present, the diagnosis is established. Ascites is frequently seen in nephrosis, but only rarely in kwashiorkor. In most developing countries kwashiorkor is a much more common cause of oedema than nephrosis.
Oedema may result from this cause alone. In young children kwashiorkor is often also present. In pure hookworm anaemia there are no skin changes other than pallor.
In all cases the stools should be examined. Pellagra is rare in young children. The skin lesions are sometimes similar to those of kwashiorkor, but in pellagra they tend to be on areas exposed to sunlight not the groin, for example. There may frequently be diarrhoea and weight loss, but no oedema or hair changes. In most countries marasmus, the other severe form of PEM, is now much more prevalent than kwashiorkor.
In marasmus the main deficiency is one of food in general, and therefore also of energy. It may occur at any age, most commonly up to about three and a half years, but in contrast to kwashiorkor it is more common during the first year of life.
Nutritional marasmus is in fact a form of starvation, and the possible underlying causes are numerous. For whatever reason, the child does not get adequate supplies of breastmilk or of any alternative food. Perhaps the most important precipitating causes of marasmus are infectious and parasitic diseases of childhood. These include measles, whooping cough, diarrhoea, malaria and other parasitic diseases.
Chronic infections such as tuberculosis may also lead to marasmus. Other common causes of marasmus are premature birth, mental deficiency and digestive upsets such as malabsorption or vomiting. A very common cause is early cessation of breastfeeding.
The important features of kwashiorkor and nutritional marasmus are compared in Table The following are the main signs of marasmus. In all cases the child fails to grow properly. If the age is known, the weight will be found to be extremely low by normal standards below 60 percent or -3 SD of the standard.
In severe cases the loss of flesh is obvious: The child appears to be skin and bones. An advanced case of the disease is unmistakable, and once seen is never forgotten. The muscles are always extremely wasted. There is little if any subcutaneous fat left. The skin hangs in wrinkles, especially around the buttocks and thighs.
When the skin is taken between forefinger and thumb, the usual layer of adipose tissue is found to be absent. 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.
The child often has a good appetite. In fact, like any starving being, the child may be ravenous. Children with marasmus often violently suck their hands or clothing or anything else available. Sometimes they make sucking noises. Stools may be loose, but this is not a constant feature of the disease. Diarrhoea of an infective nature, as mentioned above, may commonly have been a precipitating factor.
There may be pressure sores, but these are usually over bony prominences, not in areas of friction. In contrast to kwashiorkor, there is no oedema and no flaky-paint dermatosis in marasmus. Changes similar to those in kwashiorkor can occur. There is more frequently a change of texture than of colour. Although not a feature of the disease itself, dehydration is a frequent accompaniment of the disease; it results from severe diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting.
Children with features of both nutritional marasmus and kwashiorkor are diagnosed as having marasmic kwashiorkor. In the Wellcome classification see above this diagnosis is given for a child with severe malnutrition who is found to have both oedema and a weight for age below 60 percent of that expected for his or her age.
Children with marasmic kwashiorkor have all the features of nutritional marasmus including severe wasting, lack of subcutaneous fat and poor growth, and in addition to oedema, which is always present, they may also have any of the features of kwashiorkor described above.
There may be skin changes including flaky-paint dermatosis, hair changes, mental changes and hepatomegaly. Many of these children have diarrhoea.
Laboratory tests have a limited usefulness for the diagnosis or evaluation of PEM. Some biochemical estimations are used, and give different results for children with kwashiorkor and nutritional marasmus than for normal children or those with moderate PEM. In kwashiorkor there is a reduction in total serum proteins, and especially in the albumin fraction. In nutritional marasmus the reduction is usually much less marked. Often, because of infections, the globulin fraction in the serum is normal or even raised.
Serum albumin drops to low or very low levels usually only in clinically evident kwashiorkor. Serum albumin levels are not useful in predicting imminent kwashiorkor development in moderate PEM cases. It is often true that the more severe the kwashiorkor, the lower the serum albumin, but serum albumin levels are not useful in evaluating less severe PEM.
It has also been suggested that serum albumin levels below 2. Serum albumin determinations are relatively easy and cheap to perform, and unlike the other biochemical tests mentioned below, they can be done in modest laboratories in many developing countries.
Levels of two other serum proteins, pre-albumin and serum transferrin, are also of use and not too difficult to determine. Levels of both are reduced in kwashiorkor and may be useful in judging its severity. However, serum transferrin levels are also influenced by iron status, which reduces their usefulness as an indicator of kwashiorkor. Levels of retinol binding protein RBP , which is the carrier protein for retinol, also tend to be reduced in kwashiorkor and to a lesser degree in nutritional marasmus.
However, other diseases, such as liver disease, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies and hyperthyroidism, may also influence RBP levels.
Other biochemical tests that have been used or recommended for diagnosing or evaluating PEM have limited usefulness. These include tests for: These tests are not specific, and most cannot be performed in ordinary hospital laboratories. All children with severe kwashiorkor, nutritional marasmus or marasmic kwashiorkor should, if possible, be admitted to hospital with the mother. The child should be given a thorough clinical examination, including careful examination for any infection and a special search for respiratory infection such as pneumonia or tuberculosis.
Stool, urine and blood tests for haemoglobin and malaria parasites should be performed. The child should be weighed and measured. Often hospital treatment is not possible. In that case the best possible medical treatment available at a health centre, dispensary or other medical facility is necessary. If the child is still being breastfed, breastfeeding should continue.
Treatment is often based on dried skimmed milk DSM powder. The child should receive ml of this mixture per kilogram of body weight per day, given in six feeds at approximately four-hour intervals.
Each feed is made by adding five teaspoonfuls of DSM powder to ml of water. Attention to providing all micronutrients is important. The milk mixture should be fed to the child with a feeding cup or a spoon. If cupor spoon-feeding is difficult - which is possible if the child does not have sufficient appetite and is unable to cooperate or if the child is seriously ill the same mixture is best given through an intragastric tube.
The tube should be made of polyethylene; it should be about 50 cm long and should have an internal diameter of 1 mm. It is passed through one nostril into the stomach. The protruding end should be secured to the cheek either with sticky tape or zinc oxide plaster.
The tube can safely be left in position for five days. The milk mixture is best given as a continuous drip, as for a transfusion. Alternatively, the mixture can be administered intermittently using a large syringe and a needle that fits the tube.
The milk mixture is then given in feeds at four-hour intervals. Before and after each feed, 5 ml of warm, previously boiled water should be injected through the lumen of the tube to prevent blockage.
There are better mixtures than plain DSM. They can all be administered in exactly the same way by spoon, feeding cup or intragastric tube. Most of these mixtures contain a vegetable oil e. The vegetable oil increases the energy content and energy density of the mixture and appears to be tolerated better than the fat of full cream milk. Casein increases the cost of the mixture, but as it often serves to reduce the length of the hospital stay, the money is well spent.
A stock of the dry SCOM mixture can be stored for up to one month in a sealed tin. To make a feeding, the desired quantity of the mixture is placed in a measuring jug, and water is added to the correct level. Stirring or, better still, whisking will ensure an even mixture. As with the plain DSM mixture, ml of liquid SCOM mixture should be given per kilogram of body weight per day; a 5-kg child should receive ml per day in six ml feeds, each made by adding five teaspoonfuls of SCOM mixture to ml of boiled water.
A ml portion of made-up liquid feed provides about 28 kcal, 1 g protein and 12 mg potassium. Children with kwashiorkor or nutritional marasmus who have severe diarrhoea or diarrhoea with vomiting may be dehydrated.
Intravenous feeding is not necessary unless the vomiting is severe or the child refuses to take fluids orally. Rehydration should be achieved using standard oral rehydration solution ORS , as is described for the treatment of diarrhoea see Chapter For severely malnourished children, unusually dilute ORS often provides some therapeutic advantage.
Thus if standard ORS packets are used which are normally added to 1 litre of boiled water, in a serious case a packet might be added to 1. Even in tropical areas temperatures at night often drop markedly in hospital wards and elsewhere. The seriously malnourished child has difficulty maintaining his or her temperature and may easily develop a lower than normal body temperature, termed hypothermia.
Untreated hypothermia is a common cause of death in malnourished children. At home the child may have been kept warm sleeping in bed with the mother, or the windows of the house may have been kept closed.
In the hospital ward the child may sleep alone, and the staff may keep the windows open. He or she must be kept in warm clothes and must be kept covered with warm bedding, and there must be an effort to ensure that the room is adequately warm. Sometimes hot-water bottles in the bed are used. The child's temperature should be checked frequently. Although it is useful to establish standard procedures for treating kwashiorkor and nutritional marasmus in any hospital or other health unit, each case should nevertheless be treated on its own merits.
No two children have identical needs. Infections are so common in severely malnourished children that antibiotics are often routinely recommended.
Benzyl-penicillin by intramuscular injection, 1 million units per day in divided doses for five days, is often used.
Ampicillin, mg in tablet form four times a day by mouth, or amoxycillin, mg three times a day by mouth, can also be given. Gentamycin and chloramphenicol are alternative options but are less often used.
In areas where malaria is present an antimalarial is desirable, e. In severe cases and when vomiting is present, chloroquine should be given by injection. If anaemia is very severe it should be treated by blood transfusion, which should be followed by ferrous sulphate mixture or tablets given three times daily.
If a stool examination reveals the presence of hookworm, roundworm or other intestinal parasites, then an appropriate anthelmintic drug such as albendazole should be given after the general condition of the child has improved.
Severely malnourished children not infrequently have tuberculosis and should be examined for it. If the disease is found to be present, specific treatment is needed. On the above regime, a child with serious kwashiorkor would usually begin to lose oedema during the first three to seven days, with consequent loss in weight. During this period, the diarrhoea should ease or cease, the child should become more cheerful and alert, and skin lesions should begin to clear. When the diarrhoea has stopped, the oedema has disappeared and the appetite has returned, it is desirable to stop tube-feeding if this method has been used.
A bottle and teat should not be used. If anaemia is still present, the child should now start a course of iron by mouth, and half a tablet mg of chloroquine should be given weekly.
Children with severe nutritional marasmus may consume very high amounts of energy, and weight gain may be quite rapid. However, the length of time needed in hospital or for full recovery may be longer than for children with kwashiorkor. In both conditions, as recovery continues, usually during the second week in hospital, the patient gains weight.
While feeding of milk is continued, a mixed diet should gradually be introduced, aimed at providing the energy, protein, minerals and vitamins needed by the child. If the disease is not to recur, it is important that the mother or guardian participate in the feeding at this stage. She must be told what the child is being fed and why. Her cooperation with and follow-up of this regime is much more likely if the hospital diet of the child is based mainly on products that are used at home and that are likely to be available to the family.
This is not feasible in every case in a large hospital, but the diet should at least be based on locally available foods.
Thus in a maize-eating area, for example, the child would now receive maize gruel with DSM added. For an older child, crushed groundnuts can be added twice a day, or, if preferred by custom, roasted groundnuts can be eaten. A few teaspoonfuls of ripe papaya, mango, orange or other fruit can be given.
At one or two meals per day, a small portion of the green vegetable and the beans, fish or meat that the mother eats can be fed to the child, after having been well chopped. If eggs are available and custom allows their consumption, an egg can be boiled or scrambled for the child; the mother can watch as it is prepared. Alternatively, a raw egg can be broken into some simmering gruel. Protein-rich foods of animal origin are often relatively expensive. They are not essential; a good mixture of cereals, legumes and vegetables serves just as well.
If suitable vitamin-containing foods are not available, then a vitamin mixture should be given, because the DSM and SCOM mixtures are not rich in vitamins. The above maize-based diet is just an example. If the diet of the area is based on rice or wheat, these can be used instead of maize.
If the staple food is plantain or cassava, then protein-rich supplements are important. After discharge, or if a moderate case of kwashiorkor has been treated at home and not in the hospital, the child should be followed if possible in the out-patient department or a clinic. It is much better if such cases can visit separately from other patients i. A relaxed atmosphere is desirable, and the medical attendant should have time to explain matters to the mother and to see that she understands what is expected of her.
It is useless just to hand over a bag of milk powder or other supplement, or simply to weigh the child but not provide simple guidance. Satisfactory weight gain is a good measure of progress. At each visit the child should be weighed.
Weight is plotted on a chart to provide a picture for the health worker and the mother. Out-patient treatment should be based on the provision of a suitable dietary supplement, but in most cases it is best that this supplement be given as part of the diet. The mother should be shown a teaspoon and told how many teaspoonfuls to give per day based on the child's weight. Many supplements, especially DSM, are best provided by adding them to the child's usual food such as cereal gruel rather than by making a separate preparation.
The mother should be asked how many times a day she feeds the child. If he or she is fed only at family mealtimes and the family eats only twice a day, then the mother should be told to feed the child two extra times. If facilities exist and it is feasible, the SCOM mixture can be used for out-patient treatment. It is best provided ready mixed in sealed polyethylene bags. Most deaths in children hospitalized for kwashiorkor or nutritional marasmus occur in the first three days after admission.
Case fatality rates depend on many factors including the seriousness of the child's illness at the time of admission and the adequacy of the treatment given. In some societies sick children are taken to hospital very late in the disease, when they are almost moribund.
In this situation fatality rates are high. The cause and the severity of the disease determine the prognosis. A child with severe marasmus and lungs grossly damaged by tuberculous infection obviously has poor prospects. The prospects of a child with mild marasmus and no other infection are better. Response to treatment is likely to be slower with marasmus than with kwashiorkor.
It is often difficult to know what to do when the child is cured, especially if the child is under one year of age. There may be no mother or she may be ill, or she may have insufficient or no breastmilk.
Instruction and nutrition education are vital for the person who will be responsible for the child. If the child has been brought by the father, then some female relative should spend a few days in the hospital before the child is discharged.
She should be instructed in feeding with a spoon or cup and told not to feed the child from a bottle unless he or she is under three months of age.
The best procedure is usually to provide a thin gruel made from the local staple food plus two teaspoonfuls of DSM or some other protein-rich supplement and two teaspoonfuls of oil per kilogram of body weight per day. Instruction regarding other items in the diet must be given if the child is over six months old.
The mother or guardian should be advised to attend the hospital or clinic at weekly intervals if the family lives near enough within about 10 km or at monthly intervals if the distance is greater. Supplies of a suitable supplement to last for slightly longer than the interval between visits should be given at each visit. The child can be put on other foods, as mentioned in the discussion of infant feeding in Chapter 6.
It is essential that the diet provide adequate energy and protein. Usually kcal and 3 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day are sufficient for long-term treatment. Thus a kg child should receive about kcal and 30 g of protein daily. It should be noted that a marasmic child during the early part of recovery may be capable of consuming and utilizing to kcal and 4 to 5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
There is little doubt that a disorder due mainly to energy deficiency does occur in adults; it is more common in communities suffering from chronic protein deficiency. The patient is markedly underweight for his or her height unless grossly oedematous , the muscles are wasted, and subcutaneous fat is reduced. Mental changes are common: It is difficult to attract the patient's attention and equally hard to keep it. Appetite is reduced, and the patient is very weak. Some degree of oedema is nearly always present, and this may mask the weight loss, wasting and lack of subcutaneous fat.
Oedema is most common in the legs, and in male patients also in the scrotum, but any part of the body may be affected. The face is often puffy. This condition has been termed "famine oedema" because it occurs where there is starvation resulting from famine or other causes. It was commonly reported in famines in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Frequent, loose, offensive stools may be passed.
The abdomen is often slightly distended, and on palpation the organs can be very easily felt through the thin abdominal wall. During palpation there is nearly always a gurgling noise from the abdomen, and peristaltic movements can often be detected with the fingertips. It is not uncommon for adult kwashiorkor patients to regard their physical state as a consequence of abdominal upset.
For this reason, strong purgatives, either proprietary or herbal, and peppery enemas are sometimes used by these patients before they reach hospital, which may greatly aggravate the condition. The hair frequently shows changes. The skin is often dry and scaly, and may have a crazy-pavement appearance, especially over the tibia.
Swelling of both parotid glands is frequent. On palpation the glands are found to be firm and rubbery. Anaemia is nearly always present and may be severe. The blood pressure is low. There is usually only a trace of albumin in the urine.
Oedema may also be caused by severe anaemia. In adult PEM there is less dyspnoea than in anaemia and usually no cardiomegaly. Other features such as hair changes and parotid swelling are common in adult PEM but not in anaemia.
However, the two conditions are closely related. In contrast to adult kwashiorkor or famine oedema, which is not very prevalent, the adult equivalent of nutritional marasmus is very common.
There are five major causes. Any older child or adult whose diet is grossly deficient in energy will develop signs almost exactly like those of nutritional marasmus, and if the condition progresses it may often be fatal. In the case of famines, the condition may be termed starvation see Chapter Famines and severe food shortages resulting from war, civil disturbance or natural disasters such as droughts, floods and earthquakes may result in nutritional marasmus in children and a similar condition in adults, who suffer from weight loss, wasting, diarrhoea, infectious diseases, etc.
The second major cause of severe wasting or severe PEM in adults is infections, especially chronic, untreated or untreatable infections. The most common of these now is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS resulting from infection with the human immunodeficiency virus HIV. As the disease progresses there is marked weight loss and severe wasting.
Advanced tuberculosis and many other long-term chronic infections also lead to wasting and weight loss. A number of malabsorption conditions cause PEM in adults and children. These diseases, of which some are hereditary, result in the inability of the body to digest or absorb certain foods or nutrients. Examples are cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and adult sprue. Another cause of wasting in people of any age is malignancy or cancer of any organ once it progresses to a stage not treatable by surgical excision.
Cachexia is a feature of many advanced cancers. A group of eating disorders cause weight loss leading to the equivalent of PEM.
The most widely described is anorexia nervosa, which occurs much more commonly in females than males, in adolescents or younger adults rather than older persons and in affluent rather than poor societies. Other psychological conditions may also result in poor food intake and lead to PEM. Treatment of adult PEM includes therapy related to the underlying cause of the condition and therapy related to feeding and rehabilitation, when the cause makes that feasible.
Thus infections such as tuberculosis or chronic amoebiasis require specific therapy which when effective will eliminate the cause of the weight loss and wasting. In contrast, curative treatment is not applicable in advanced AIDS or cancer. Dietary treatment for adult PEM should be based on principles similar to those described for the treatment of severe PEM in children, including those recovering from kwashiorkor or marasmus. Emergency feeding and the rehabilitation of famine victims described in Chapter 24 have relevance to adult PEM.
It is much more difficult than controlling, for example, iodine deficiency disorders IDD and vitamin A deficiency, because the underlying and basic causes, as described above, are often numerous and complex, and because there is no single, universal, cheap, sustainable strategy that can be applied everywhere to reduce the prevalence or severity of PEM. Part V of this book includes various strategies to reduce the prevalence of PEM. Appropriate nutrition policies and programmes are suggested, and separate chapters deal with, for example, improving food security, protection and promotion of good health, and appropriate care practices to ensure good nutrition.
These chapters provide guidance on how to deal with the three underlying causes of malnutrition, namely inadequate food, health and care, which in Chapter 1 were included in the conceptual framework for malnutrition. Other chapters in Part V discuss solutions to particular aspects of the problem, including improving the quality and safety of foods, promoting appropriate diets and healthy lifestyles, procuring food in different ways and incorporating nutrition objectives into development policies and programmes.
Throughout Part V there is an emphasis on improving the quality of life of people, especially by reducing poverty, improving diets and promoting good health. Improving the energy intakes of those at risk of PEM is vital. In the late s and s it was thought that most PEM was caused mainly by inadequate intake of protein. A great deal of emphasis was placed on protein-rich foods as a major solution to the huge problem of malnutrition in the world. This inappropriate strategy diverted attention from the first need, which is adequate food intake by children.
There is now much less emphasis on high-protein weaning foods and on nutrition education efforts to ensure greater consumption of meat, fish and eggs, which are economically out of the reach of many families who have children with PEM.
Protein is an essential nutrient, but PEM is more often associated with deficient food intake than with deficient protein intake. In general, when commonly consumed cereal-based diets meet energy needs, they usually also meet protein needs, especially if the diet also provides modest amounts of legumes and vegetables. Primary attention needs to be given to increasing total food intake and reducing infection.
Sensible efforts are needed to protect and promote breastfeeding and sound weaning; to increase the consumption by young children of cereals, legumes and other locally produced weaning foods; to prevent and control infection and parasitic disease; to increase meal frequency for children; and, where appropriate, to encourage higher consumption of oil, fat and other items that reduce bulk and increase the energy density of foods fed to children at risk.
These measures are likely to have more impact if accompanied by growth monitoring, immunization, oral rehydration therapy for diarrhoea, early treatment of common diseases, regular deworming and attention to the underlying causes of PEM such as poverty and inequity. Some of these measures can be implemented as part of primary health care. Nutritional anaemias are extremely prevalent worldwide. Unlike protein-energy malnutrition PEM , vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency disorders IDD , these anaemias occur frequently in both developing and industrialized countries.
The most common cause of anaemia is a deficiency of iron, although not necessarily a dietary deficiency of total iron intake. Deficiencies of folates or folic acid , vitamin B 12 and protein may also cause anaemia. Ascorbic acid, vitamin E, copper and pyridoxine are also needed for production of red blood cells erythrocytes.
Vitamin A deficiency is also associated with anaemia. Anaemias can be classified in numerous ways, some based on the cause of the disease and others based on the appearance of the red blood cells. These classifications are fully discussed in medical textbooks. Some anaemias do not have causes related to nutrition but are caused, for example, by congenital abnormalities or inherited characteristics; such anaemias, which include sickle cell disease, aplastic anaemias, thalassaemias and severe haemorrhage, are not covered here.
Based on the characteristics of the blood cells or other features, anaemias may be classified as microcytic having small red blood cells , macrocytic having large red blood cells , haemolytic having many ruptured red blood cells or hypochromic having pale-coloured cells with less haemoglobin.
Macrocytic anaemias are often caused by folate or vitamin B 12 deficiencies. In anaemia the blood has less haemoglobin than normal. Haemoglobin is the pigment in red cells that gives blood its red colour. It is made of protein with iron linked to it. Haemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body. In anaemia either the amount of haemoglobin in each red cell is low hypochromic anaemia or there is a reduction in the total number of red cells in the body.
The life of each red blood cell is about four months, and the red bone marrow is constantly manufacturing new cells for replacement. This process requires adequate amounts of nutrients, especially iron, other minerals, protein and vitamins, all of which originate in the food consumed. Iron deficiency is the most prevalent important nutritional problem of humans. It threatens over 60 percent of women and children in most non-industrialized countries, and more than half of these have overt anaemia.
In most industrialized countries in North America, Europe and Asia, 12 to 18 percent of women are anaemic. Although deficiency diseases are usually considered mainly as consequences of a lack of the nutrient in the diet, iron deficiency anaemia occurs frequently in people whose diets contain quantities of iron close to the recommended allowances.
However, some forms of iron are absorbed better than others; certain items in the diet enhance or detract from iron absorption; and iron can be lost because of many conditions, an important one in many tropical countries being hookworm infection, which is very common.
Nutritional anaemias have until recently been relatively neglected and not infrequently remain undiagnosed. There are many reasons for the lack of attention, but the most important are probably that the symptoms and signs are much less obvious than in severe PEM, IDD or xerophthalmia, and that although anaemias do contribute to mortality rates they do not often do so in a dramatic way, and death is usually ascribed to another more conspicuous cause such as childbirth.
However, research now indicates that iron deficiency has very important implications, including poorer learning ability and behavioural abnormalities in children, lower ability to work hard and poor appetite and growth. To maintain good iron nutritional status each individual needs to have an adequate quantity of iron in the diet. The iron has to be in a form that permits a sufficient amount of it to be absorbed from the intestines. The absorption of iron may be enhanced or inhibited by other dietary substances.
Human beings have the ability both to store and to conserve iron, and it must also be transported properly within the body. The average male adult has 4 to 5 g of iron in his body, most of it in haemoglobin, a little in myoglobin and in enzymes and around 1 g in storage iron, mainly ferritin in the cells, especially in the liver and bone marrow.
Losses of iron from the body must not deplete the supply to less than that needed for manufacture of new red blood cells.
To produce new cells the body needs adequate quantities and quality of protein, minerals and vitamins in the diet. Protein is needed both for the framework of the red blood cells and for the manufacture of the haemoglobin to go with it. Iron is essential for the manufacture of haemoglobin, and if a sufficient amount is not available, the cells produced will be smaller and each cell will contain less haemoglobin than normal.
Copper and cobalt are other minerals necessary in small amounts. Folates and vitamin B 12 are also necessary for the normal manufacture of red blood cells. If either is deficient, large abnormal red blood cells without adequate haemoglobin are produced.
Ascorbic acid vitamin C also has a role in blood formation. Providing vitamin A during pregnancy has been shown to improve haemoglobin levels. Of the dietary deficiency causes of nutritional anaemias, iron deficiency is clearly by far the most important.
Good dietary sources of iron include foods of animal origin such as liver, red meat and blood products, all containing haem iron, and vegetable sources such as some pulses, dark green leafy vegetables and millet, all containing non-haem iron.
However, the total quantity of iron in the diet is not the only factor that influences the likelihood of developing anaemia. The type of iron in the diet, the individual's requirements for iron, iron losses and other factors often are the determining factors.
Iron absorption is influenced by many factors. In general, humans absorb only about 10 percent of the iron in the food they consume. The adult male loses only about 0. On an average monthly basis, the adult pre-menopausal woman loses about twice as much iron as a man. Similarly, iron is lost during childbirth and lactation. Additional dietary iron is needed by pregnant women and growing children.
The availability of iron in foods varies greatly. In general, haem iron from foods of animal origin meat, poultry and fish is well absorbed, but the non-haem iron in vegetable products, including cereals such as wheat, maize and rice, is poorly absorbed. These differences may be modified when a mixture of foods is consumed. It is well known that phytates and phosphates, which are present in cereal grains, inhibit iron absorption. On the other hand, protein and ascorbic acid vitamin C enhance iron absorption.
Recent research has shown that ascorbic acid mixed with table salt and added to cereals increases the absorption of intrinsic iron in the cereals two- to fourfold. The consumption of vitamin C-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables with a meal may therefore promote iron absorption. Egg yolk impairs the absorption of iron, even though eggs are one of the better sources of dietary iron.
Tea consumed with a meal may reduce the iron absorbed from the meal. The normal child at birth has a high haemoglobin level usually at least 18 g per ml , but during the first few weeks many cells are haemolysed. The iron liberated is not lost but is stored in the body, especially in the liver and spleen. As milk is a poor source of iron, this reserve store is used during the early months of life to help increase the volume of blood, which is necessary as the baby grows.
Premature infants have fewer red blood cells at birth than full-term infants, so they are much more prone to anaemia. In addition, iron deficiency in the mother may affect the infant's vital iron store and render the infant more vulnerable to anaemia.
A baby's store of iron plus the small quantity of iron supplied in breastmilk suffice for perhaps six months, but then other iron-containing foods are needed in the diet. Although it is desirable that breastfeeding should continue well beyond six months, it is also necessary that other foods containing iron be introduced into the diet at this time.
Although most solid diets, both for children and adults, provide the recommended allowances for iron, the iron may be poorly absorbed. Many people have increased needs because of blood loss from hookworm or bilharzia infections, menstruation, childbirth or wounds. Women have increased needs during pregnancy, when iron is needed for the foetus, and during lactation, for the iron in breastmilk. It is stressed that iron from vegetable products, including cereal grains, is less well absorbed than that from most animal products.
Anaemia is common in premature infants; in young children over six months of age on a purely milk diet; in persons infected with certain parasites; and in those who get only marginal quantities of iron, mainly from vegetable foods. It is more common in women, especially pregnant and lactating women, than in men. In most of the world, both North and South, the greatest attention to iron deficiency anaemia is directed at women during pregnancy, when they have increased needs for iron and often become anaemic.
Pregnant women form the one group of the healthy population who are advised to take a medicinal dietary supplement, usually iron and folic acid. Pregnant and lactating women are a group at especially high risk of developing anaemia.
It is only in recent years that the prevalence and importance of iron deficiency apart from anaemia has been widely discussed. Clearly, however, if the causes of iron deficiency are not removed, corrected or alleviated then the deficiency will lead to anaemia, and gradually the anaemia will become more serious.
Increasing evidence suggests that iron deficiency as manifested by low body iron stores, even in the absence of overt anaemia, is associated with poorer learning and decreased cognitive development.
International agencies now claim that iron deficiency anaemia is the most common nutritional disorder in the world, affecting over 1 million people. In females of child-bearing age in poor countries prevalence rates range from 64 percent in South Asia to 23 percent in South America, with an overall mean of 42 percent Table Prevalence rates are usually considerably higher in pregnant women, with an overall mean of 51 percent.
Thus half the pregnant women in these regions, whose inhabitants represent 75 percent of the world's population, have anaemia. Unlike reported figures for PEM and vitamin A deficiency, which are declining, estimates suggest that anaemia prevalence rates are increasing. In most of the developing regions, and particularly among persons with anaemia or at risk of iron deficiency, much of the iron consumed is non-haem iron from staple foods rice, wheat, maize, root crops or tubers.
In many countries the proportion of dietary iron coming from legumes and vegetables has declined, and rather small quantities of meat, fish and other good sources of haem iron are consumed.
In some of the regions with the highest prevalence of anaemia the poor are not improving their dietary intake of iron, and in some areas the per caput supply of dietary iron may even be decreasing year by year. In many parts of the world where iron deficiency anaemia is prevalent it is due as much to iron losses as to poor iron intakes. Whenever blood is lost from the body, iron is also lost. Thus iron is lost in menstruation and childbirth and also when pathological conditions are present such as bleeding peptic ulcers, wounds and a variety of abnormalities involving blood loss from the intestinal or urinary tract, the skin or various mucous membrane surfaces.
Undoubtedly one of the most prevalent and important causes of blood loss is hookworms, which can be present in very large numbers. The worms suck blood and also damage the intestinal wall, causing blood leakage. Some million people in the world are infested with hookworms.