Cachexia: Understanding the Symptoms and Treatment

Cachexia is a syndrome of generalised wasting and malnutrition which is seen in those with chronic conditions. It is most commonly found in cancer patients, people living with HIV/AIDS, and other chronics diseases. The symptoms of cachexia include anorexia, protein loss, fatigue, and weight loss. It can have a serious impact on quality of life and long-term health outcomes.

Symptoms of Cachexia

The following are some of the most common symptoms of cachexia:

  • Anorexia: loss of appetite, and lack of interest in food
  • Weight loss: unintentional loss of body weight
  • Fatigue: feeling overly tired
  • Weakness: reduced strength and reduced mobility
  • Muscle wasting: diminished muscle bulk and decreased muscle strength
  • Cognitive impairment: slowed thinking, difficulty making decisions

Treatment Options

Treatment for cachexia is aimed at alleviating its symptoms and restoring muscle mass and strength. Treatment options for cachexia include:

  • Dietary interventions: increasing calorie intake and eating a balanced diet to meet the body’s needs
  • Exercise: engaging in physical activity to maintain or increase muscle mass
  • Medications: using medications to increase appetite and reduce inflammation
  • Supplements: taking nutritional supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids and glutamine, to overcome deficiencies


Cachexia is a debilitating condition that can have serious implications on an individual’s life. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of cachexia and to seek help when necessary. With proper treatment, individuals can gain relief from the symptoms of cachexia and improve their quality of life.