Weight Loss or Cachexia: Causes, diagnosis, Treatment

General or Other | Oncology | Weight Loss or Cachexia (Symptom)

Weight Loss or Cachexia: Description

Cachexia is a physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass due to a disease. Also known as marasmus or wasting syndrome is loss of weight, muscle atrophy, fatigue, weakness, and significant loss of appetite in someone who is not actively trying to lose weight. The formal description of cachexia is the loss of body mass that cannot be reversed nutritionally: Even if the affected patient eats more calories, lean body mass will be lost, indicating there is a fundamental pathology in place. It can be caused by starvation or serious disease.

In addition to causing dramatic weight loss, discomfort and pain, the onset of this condition often leads to malnutrition, and marks the beginning of a quick decline in the health of a mesothelioma patient.

Weight Loss or Cachexia: Causes

It can be a sign of various underlying disorders. When a patient presents with cachexia, he has probably one of these conditions: cancer, metabolic acidosis (from decreased protein synthesis and increased protein catabolism), certain infectious diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, AIDS), chronic pancreatitis, and some autoimmune disorders, or addiction to amphetamines.

Weight Loss or Cachexia: Treatment and Diagnosis

Cachexia physically weakens patients to a state of immobility stemming from loss of appetite, asthenia, and anaemia, and response to standard treatment is usually poor. Cachexia may be treated by steroids such as corticosteroids or drugs that mimic progesterone, which increase appetite.