What is the relationship between diarrhoea and malnutrition?

Diarrhoea is commoner and more severe in children with malnutrition (i.e. undernutrition). Therefore malnourished children often have persistent or repeated diarrhoea. In addition, malnourished children are more likely to develop severe diarrhoea and die from it. There is therefore a close relationship between diarrhoea and malnutrition.

Diarrhoea is both common and more severe in children with malnutrition.

Persistent or repeated diarrhoea may result in weight loss and malnutrition in children who were previously well nourished. Diarrhoea, especially persistent diarrhoea, often precipitates marasmus or kwashiorkor in children who already are mildly malnourished. Therefore, both malnutrition and diarrhoea often occur in the same children. The one condition often makes the other condition worse.

Diarrhoea may precipitate or aggravate malnutrition.

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