Extreme malnutrition and emaciation (especially in children); can result from inadequate intake of food or from malabsorption or metabolic disorders.
Marasmus is one of the three forms of serious protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). The other two are kwashiorkor (KW) and marasmic KW. These forms of serious PEM represent a group of pathologic conditions associated with a nutritional and energy deficit occurring mainly in young children from developing countries at the time of weaning. They are frequently associated with infections, mainly gastrointestinal infections.
Symptoms of Marasmus
are essentially characteristic of protein-energy deficiency: dry skin, loose skin folds hanging over the glutei, axillae etc. Drastic loss of adipose tissue from normal areas of fat deposits like buttocks and thighs. The child is fretful, irritable and may show voracious appetite. There may be alternate bands of pigmented and depigmented hair (flag sign) and flaky paint appearance of skin due to peeling.
Homeopathic Medicines & Treatment for Marasmus, protein-energy malnutrition & kwashiorkor
This is our chief remedy, and corresponds to thin, emaciated children who are predisposed to glandular and osseous disease, who have large heads and defective bony development, as shown in the open fontanelles and tardy development of the teeth the spine is so weak that it cannot support the body, and it becomes curved, the neck is very thin, the complexion is sallow, the child is emaciated and poorly developed, vomits persistently and has a diarrhoea of green, slimy and undigested stools, accompanied with much offensive flatus. Calcarea iodata may also prove useful where there are engorged glands, enlarged tonsils and decided scrofulous tendencies.
#Calcarea carbonica. [Calc]
The Calcarea are all valuable in marasmus. The carbonate has the defective nutrition and suits cases where the acidity predominates; there are sour stools and vomiting of milk, there is sweat on scalp, head and face, the feet are damp and cold, enlargement of the glands and voracious appetite. The body dwindles, yet the abdomen remains prominent. The appetite may be morbid, craving indigestible articles. The mesenteric glands are engorged and the fat of the body wastes. It is very valuable in those of scrofulous tendencies. Arsenicum has undigested stools and a diarrhoea on beginning to eat or drink; rapid emaciation with a harsh and dry skin. The debility, weariness and irritable restlessness will indicate the remedy. Phosphorus is also a nutrition remedy, and is indicated by the chest oppression, feeble heart, dyspnoea and tendency to diarrhoea, which is copious and exhausting. It suits delicate, refined children. The nervous centers seem to suffer most; exhausting sweats and great nervous debility mark the remedy.
A grand remedy in marasmus. It has the symptoms of extreme hunger, yet, in spite of this, the patient emaciates rapidly. It seems to suit acute cases with more or less febrile action. The action of the glands is interfered with, and there is great sluggish and torpor of the system; the face is yellow and shrunken.
#Natrum muriaticum. [Nat-m]
This remedy suits marasmus from defective nourishment ; the neck is thin as under Calcarea carbonica, and the appetite is ravenous, though the patient grows thin. There is much thirst and water is craved all the time, as if the patient were possessed of an inward fever. the mouth and throat are dry and there is constipation. The emaciation is all out of proportion to the fever or diarrhoea; the skin is scurfy and may develop oozing eruptions. Craving for salt may also be present, and it is a useful indication.
#Magnesia carbonica. [Mag-c]
Like its relative, Calcarea, this remedy is valuable in marasmus. It suits particularly puny children in whom milk is not borne well, causing pain when taken into this stomach, and is vomited undigested ; there are griping, colicky pains; the stools are sour and are green as grass. The child has the appearance of being improperly nourished; its mouth is full of ulcers, the glands are swollen and the abdomen is bloated. Mercurius is a valuable oftentimes and is indicated by such symptoms as emaciation, swollen and suppurating glands, a jaundiced appearance and a green, sour or watery stool accompanied by straining; the sweat is offensive and the gums are unhealthy.
Suits old looking children who have much heat about the head and cold feet, a hard , distended abdomen and a dirty, sallow , shrivelled skin; it hangs in folds ; the fingers are emaciated, almost resembling knitting needles. The stools are acrid , making the anus sore , and the child has an offensive faecal odor about it. There is excessive hunger at 11 A.M., and the skin is apt to be covered with various eruptions, eczema predominating. Particularly are the cervical, axillary and inguinal glands swollen and the voracious appetite is present. Dentition is slow and the muscles are tardily developed. Psorinum resembles Sulphur somewhat; it has the symptom that the patient has a foetid, there is great debility, dirty looking eruptions and boils. It will sometimes rouse the system when Sulphur fails.
#Hepar sulphur. [Hep]
This remedy stands between Sulphur and Calcarea carbonica. There is weakness of digestion, diarrhoea worse during the daytime, stools are greenish, slimy, undigested and sour, the whole body emitting a sour odor. The child apparently looks plump, but the flesh is flabby and the muscles withered. There is a tendency to unhealthy skin and suppurative conditions. Tendency to catarrhs from least draught of cold air.