Diagnosing kwashiorkor

Kwashiorkor can often be diagnosed based on a child's physical appearance and questions about their diet and care.

However, blood and urine tests may be carried out to rule out other conditions. This can include tests to:

  • measure blood sugar and protein levels
  • check how well the liver and kidneys are working by testing the urine and blood for anaemia
  • measure the levels ofvitamins and minerals in the body

Other tests may include growth measurements, calculating body mass index (BMI) , measuring body water content, taking a skin biopsy and analysing a hair sample.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018