Treating kwashiorkor

Ifkwashiorkor is identified early it can be treated with either specially formulated milk-based feeds or ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF).

RUTF istypically made up of peanut butter, milk powder, sugar, vegetable oil, and addedvitamins and minerals.

More intensive treatment in hospital will be needed in severe cases or where there are already complications, such as infections.

Hospitaltreatment will usually involve:

  • treatingor preventing low blood glucose
  • keeping the person warm kwashiorkor can make it harder to generate body heat
  • treating dehydration with specially formulated rehydration solution
  • treating infections with antibiotics kwashiorkor greatly increases the risk of infections
  • treating vitamin and mineral deficiencies vitamin supplements are usually included in the special milks or RUTF
  • slowly introducing small amounts of food before gradually increasing the amount of food

The whole process usually takes between two and six weeks to complete.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018