Kwashiorkor is protein malnutrition that primarily affects underdeveloped areas and countries with little access to protein and other vital nutrients. Protein deficiency leads to many symptoms, and complications can be fatal. However, treatments for kwashiorkor are quite effective when administered promptly.
Deficiencies in protein and other nutrients result in less albumin, a protein that helps keep fluids from leaking from the blood vessels into other tissues. Impaired albumin function results in both fluid leakage and poor blood circulation, the underlying mechanisms that cause kwashiorkor. Other factors that influence the development of kwashiorkor include an increase in antidiuretic hormone, sodium retention, and low antioxidant levels.
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