Symptoms of kwashiorkor

As well as oedema, symptomsof kwashiorkor can include:

  • loss of muscle mass
  • an enlarged tummy ("pot belly")
  • regular infections, or more serious or long-lasting infections than usual
  • red, inflamed patches of skin that darken and peel or split open
  • dry, brittle hair that falls out easily and may lose its colour
  • failure to grow in height
  • tiredness or irritability
  • ridged or cracked nails

Kwashiorkor can be fatal if it's left untreated for too long because children become very vulnerable to infections.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018