“Cachexia” is a medical condition that refers to a severe form of weight loss, muscle wasting, and weakness that cannot be reversed by simply increasing calorie intake. “Cachectic” is an adjective that describes a person who is experiencing cachexia.
Cachexia is often associated with chronic illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart failure. It can also occur in people with advanced stages of other conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
The exact cause of cachexia is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to a combination of factors including inflammation, metabolic changes, and hormone imbalances. These factors can cause the body to break down muscle and fat tissue, leading to weight loss and weakness.
Symptoms of cachexia include significant weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, and muscle wasting. Treatment of cachexia usually involves addressing the underlying cause of the condition, such as treating the cancer or other chronic illness. Nutritional support may also be provided to help prevent further weight loss and promote muscle mass. In some cases, medications such as anabolic steroids may be used to help stimulate appetite and build muscle.