Common symptoms of marasmus include dizziness, diarrhea, extreme weight loss and fatigue, according to Healthgrades. Marasmus is caused by severe malnutrition and involves the degradation of fat, muscles and other tissues of the body. The condition is most often seen in developing areas where people find it difficult to obtain food.
Marasmus is indicative of protein-energy malnutrition and an insufficient caloric intake. Famine conditions lead to marasmus within populations. Marasmus is related to kawashiorkor, a condition that results from an adequate caloric intake but a deficiency in protein intake, states Encyclopedia Brittanica. Prolonged marasmus may result in mental retardation and impaired growth. Marasmus most commonly occurs in very early childhood due to milk deficiency caused by children's mothers' malnutrition. Brittle, extremely dry hair is a sign of marasmus.
Persons suffering from marasmus are below 60 percent of the average body weight for their age, according to Wikipedia. Prolonged marasmus is a fatal medical condition. Persons suffering from marasmus may show visual signs, such as loose skin folds hanging from the body. Irritability, fretfulness and extreme hunger are common among people suffering from marasmus. Marasmus leads to a number of complications, such as infections, circulation issues and dehydration. Infections caused by marasmus are often the result of a tainted water supply that contains harmful bacteria, reports Healthgrades.