Understand the Malnutrition of Energy-Proteins and Risks

Understand the Malnutrition of Energy-Proteins and Risks

Have you ever heard of energy-protein malnutrition? Although foreign in your ears, this disease is often found. Energy-protein or MEP malnutrition diseases are defined as insufficient energy and protein intake to meet your body's needs. Don't consider this disease, because the article, energy-protein malnutrition can be experienced by infants, children, and adults.

Understand the Malnutrition of Energy-Proteins and Risks

Malnutrition or malnutrition is a nutritional problem commonly found throughout the world. WHO or the World Health Organization estimates that around 181.9 million or 32 percent of children living in developing countries experience malnutrition or hungry, and around 5 million cases of death children under the age of 5 years in the area are caused by malnutrition.

Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to make you healthy. If you don't get enough nutrients, covering protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, you will suffer a nutritional deficiency, one of which is malnutrition of energy-protein.

Causes and types of energy-protein malnutrition

Your body requires calories, protein, and overall general nutrients to function properly. Without nutrition, your muscles will be wasted, the bones become fragile, and your mind becomes no focus.

Malnutrition is a serious condition that occurs if a person's diet does not contain the right amount of nutrients. The cause of the occurrence of malnutrition includes a lack of certain nutrients in your food, even the lack of one vitamin can cause malnutrition. In addition, the food menu is not balanced and certain medical problems, such as cancer and malabsorption syndrome, can also cause you to get malnutrition.

Malnutrition of energy proteins can cause metabolic disorders. Your body needs energy and protein to run various body functions and also to form body tissue. Every cell in your body contains protein. You need protein in food so that the body can repair and form new cells. A healthy human body can regenerate cells continuously. Without sufficient protein, wounds or other damage to the body's tissue cannot heal easily. In addition, protein is also very important for growth during childhood and pregnancy. If the lack of protein, growth and body function will normally be hampered.

Energy-protein malnutrition is divided into two types, namely Marasmus and Kwashiorkor, along with the explanation:

  • Marasmus

Marasmus is a severe form of malnutrition. This disease can occur in anyone who has malnutrition but is usually more common in children. This disease generally occurs in developing countries or conflict areas where poverty and hunger are still quite high. Causes of this disease include children's lack of calorie intake in the form of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and other important nutrients. This is usually caused by poverty and food scarcity. The main symptom of this disease is a thin body, children with this condition have lost a lot of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat (fat layers under the skin). In addition, someone who has a disease will have dry skin and fragile hair. Marasmus energy-protein malnutrition can threaten someone's life. Children who experience this condition will also be able to suffer from chronic diarrhea, dehydration, respiratory infections, intellectual barriers, and dwarf growth (stunted). Usually, they might look older and don't have energy or enthusiasm for anything. In addition, this disease can cause sufferers to be easier to be angry and offended.

  • Kwashiorkor

Kwashiorkor is another form of malnutrition that can threaten lives and weaken the body. This condition is caused by a lack of protein in food. Kwashiorkor is also known as Edematous Malnutrition, because this type of malnutrition has something to do with edema (fluid retention), and is a nutritional disorder that often occurs in the area that experiences hunger. People who experience kwashiorkor usually have a very thin appearance in all parts, except the ankles, parts, and stomachs swelling with fluid. Most people who experience this disease can be completely recovered if they are treated early. The treatment involves adding extra calories and proteins into food. Children who experience this type of malnutrition can not grow or develop properly, and there is a possibility of still being hampered by its development for the rest of their lives. If not treated, this malnutrition can also threaten the life of the sufferer, because it can cause the failure of the main organs and ultimately cause coma, severe dehydration, to death. Some of the symptoms caused by Kwashiorkor's type of energy-protein malnutrition include changes in skin and hair and their texture (brownish and brittle hair such as corn hair), dry skin, feeling fatigued, diarrhea, muscle mass loss, failure to increase weight or growth, and Disorders in the immune system that can cause infections to occur more often and severe.

Malnutrition of energy-proteins can also occur in several conditions such as trauma or severe infections, spinal cord injury, chronic infections, diabetes, kidney failure, Crohn disease, swallowing disorders, eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, side effects of treatment such as chemotherapy, severe depression, Elderly with treatment or poor health, and HIV infection.

To diagnose and determine the medical problems contained in patients, doctors will conduct nutritional status checks by calculating the body mass index (BMI) and physical examination in general. WHO also recommends checks: blood sugar, feces examination, complete blood, urine analysis and culture, albumin, electrolyte, and VCT and HIV examination. This examination aims to determine the causes of malnutrition and the possibility of other accompanying diseases that can be even worse due to nutritional problems.

Energy-protein malnutrition, both the type of Marasmus and Kwashiorkor, can be treated by increasing calorie intake slowly and through food administration in small portions but often. The doctor may add liquid protein if sufferers experience problems digesting food. Doctors will also recommend multivitamin supplements and prescribe drugs to increase appetite. If the symptoms experienced by the patient are too severe, then hospitalization may be needed to give fluids and treat other complications due to malnutrition such as infection and dehydration. In people with interference with swallowing or other medical conditions, the installation of nasogastric pipes can also be done to give fluids and food into the stomach to give nutrition. Some types of nutrients, such as albumin, can be given through infusion.

Giving calorie intake and nutrients on this nutritional problem need to be done in stages and according to the ability of the body in digesting and processing it. Giving nutrition that is too high or fast and not following the ability of the body of the patient to cultivate nutrition, will exacerbate the condition of the patient. This situation is called a refeeding syndrome, and is a dangerous weight condition and can cause death. This condition can also occur in patients with anorexia by handling an inappropriate diet. Giving food and medicines will be scheduled by doctors and nutritionists to improve the general conditions and nutritional status of sufferers gradually.

The best way to prevent yourself and also family from energy-protein malnutrition is to consume balanced nutrition and healthy nutrition. You need to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, bread, rice, potatoes, and other starchy food. In addition, some milk and processed milk products, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and non-milk protein sources can also prevent you from getting this disease.

If you, children, or your family experience some symptoms of energy-protein malnutrition above, immediately consult a doctor to get the right handling. In children, nutritional problems are not trivial problems, because they can affect their future and life.