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Cachexia is a he alth disorder that causes extreme weight loss accompanied by muscle wasting. This condition usually occurs in patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, and HIV and AIDS
In addition to being marked by a body that looks thin, people with chronic diseases accompanied by cachexia will look very weak and limp. This condition is also prone to making a person infected, so it needs to get the right treatment.
Cachexia Triggering Factor
Cachexia is characterized by an excessive increase in the body's metabolism and is not accompanied by proper calorie or protein intake. This condition is often experienced by people with chronic diseases, especially in advanced stages. Some of the chronic diseases in question include:
- Cancer, such as lung cancer, colon cancer, or liver cancer
- Heart failure
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD)
- Kidney failure
- cystic fibrosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- HIV and AIDS
During increasing metabolism, the body will also experience inflammation. Both of these affect a decrease in appetite and make the body burn calories faster than usual.
In addition, due to a metabolic process that is too fast, the body will also break down too much protein in the muscles, causing muscle mass loss.
Various Symptoms of Cachexia
The main symptoms of cachexia are weight loss and muscle mass loss. A person suffering from a chronic disease is suspected of having cachexia if their weight has decreased by 5% in a 12 month period.
Not only weight loss, cachexia is also characterized by symptoms, such as:
- Easy to get tired
- Weak body
- No appetite
- Muscle pain
- Dry skin
- Sleep disorders
- Anxiety disorder
- Decreased sense of taste
In addition to the various symptoms above, someone who has cachexia can look paler because it is often accompanied by anemia.In addition, a lack of protein and calories will make the immune system decrease so that people with cachexia are susceptible to infections and one of them is pneumonia.
Pneumonia can be characterized by symptoms of high fever, cough with phlegm, and shortness of breath. If not treated properly, this condition can be life threatening. Therefore, people with chronic disease with cachexia need special treatment to avoid infection and its dangerous complications.
How to Overcome Cachexia
In cachexia conditions, a number of treatments or treatments will be carried out to reduce symptoms and improve the sufferer's quality of life. Treatment or treatment that the doctor can do include:
- Change the diet by providing nutritious food according to the body's needs, especially those containing high calories and protein
- Giving certain drugs that aim to increase appetite, such as megestrol or corticosteroids
- Providing supplements to help fulfill daily nutrition
- Doing sports according to body condition
In addition to the above treatment, family or close people must also provide emotional support to the cachexia sufferer, so that he/she is willing to share what he/she is feeling and become motivated to undergo treatment.
In addition, there are several ways to prevent cachexia from occurring, especially if you or your family suffer from chronic diseases. You can do this by fulfilling your daily nutritional intake to avoid cachexia.
You can ask the doctor who treats you about the provisions of calories and protein that the body needs. In addition, you also have to measure your body weight regularly. That way, cachexia can be prevented or even detected and treated early.
Therefore, if you are diagnosed with a chronic disease, do regular he alth check-ups to monitor your he alth condition.If cachexia symptoms appear as mentioned above, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.