What is cachexia?

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anthonda49 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

Cachexia is a wasting away of the physical body without an attempt at dieting. It is a symptom of many serious diseases. Changing nutritional habits will not reverse it. The eventual wasting away of muscles etc. will lead to death unless a doctor can diagnose the cause and treat the disease causing it. This is not an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia as it is not willfully caused by the patient. Anyone suffering from these symptoms should seek medical advice immediately. While the symptoms cannot be treated, the underlying disease can.

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thewriter | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Cachexia also called wasting syndrome is a condition characterized by acute loss of weight, muscle atrophy, fatigue, weakness and significant loss of appetite even though the patient may not be actively trying to lose weight.

This is a loss of body mass that cannot be reversed nutritionally. It cannot be reversed by consuming more calories or shifting to a more nutritious diet. Patients with AIDS, cancer, TB, addictions to drugs and many other such illnesses suffer from cachexia. Cachexia does not have any cure, or FDA approved drugs. Steroids that mimic progesterone may help to increase appetite and put on some weight but the muscle loss is not reversed.

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