Cachexia defined

Cachexia has been defined as a loss of lean tissue mass, involving a weight loss greater than 5% of body weight in 12 months or less in the presence of chronic illness or as a body mass index (BMI) lower than 20 kg/m2. In addition, usually three of the following five criteria are required: decreased muscle strength, fatigue, anorexia, low fat-free mass index and increase of inflammation markers such as C – reactive protein or interleukin (IL)-6 as well as anaemia or low serum albumin. Cachexia can occur in most major diseases including infections, cancer, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke.

Cachexia is a complex syndrome associated with an underlying illness causing ongoing muscle loss that is not entirely reversed with nutritional supplementation.

Sarcopenia and Cachexia

Muscle wasting and weakness are common in many disease states and conditions including aging and cancer. Muscle wasting in advanced cancer is related to age, sex, tumor type, and inflammation. It can be caused by inflammation and malnutrition in patients with cancer. Patients with cancer have problems including anorexia, weight loss, negative nitrogen balance, and skeletal muscle wasting. The loss of muscle and fat tissue due to chronic illness is referred to as cachexia, and the general loss of muscle mass with advancing age is referred to as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia diagnosis requires documentation of low muscle mass along with either low muscle strength or low physical performance.

Cachexia and sarcopenia share some pathological muscle wasting mechanisms characterized by inflammation and oxidative stress. In both cachexia and sarcopenia, muscle loss can lead to frailty and adversely affect various clinical outcomes.

Many oncologists and rehabilitation staffs confuse cancer cachexia with simple starvation or physiological processes such as sarcopenia. Since cancer cachexia and sarcopenia can both involve muscle wasting, we speculate that the two conditions can be confused in patients with cancer. However, sarcopenia and cachexia should not be confused in patients with cancer (Figure 1). Instead, it should be understood that the loss of skeletal muscle mass occurs in patients with cancer (cachexia) as well as during aging (sarcopenia).

Cachexia involves muscle wasting and weakness as a result of cancer-related inflammation, while sarcopenia involves muscle wasting and weakness as a result of age-related inflammation. Thus, the underlying pathological processes leading to muscle wasting and weakness differ between the two conditions.

Muscle wasting due to cancer cachexia and sarcopenia.

What can cause cachexia?

Cachexia can be caused by diverse medical conditions, but is most often associated with end-stage cancer, known as cancer cachexia. About 50% of all cancer patients suffer from cachexia. Those with upper gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancers have the highest frequency of developing a cachexic symptom. Prevalence of cachexia rises in more advanced stages and is estimated to affect 80% of terminal cancer patients. Congestive heart failureAIDSchronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic kidney disease are other conditions that often cause cachexia. Cachexia can also be the result of advanced stages of cystic fibrosismultiple sclerosismotor neuron diseaseParkinson’s diseasedementiatuberculosismultiple system atrophymercury poisoningCrohn’s diseaserheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease as well as other systemic diseases.

Can you survive cachexia?

Many patients with advanced cancer anorexia and cachexia, however, do not survive long enough to suffer from these toxicities. Refractory Cachexia – refers to patients with cachexia whose cancer treatments are no longer working and have a life expectancy of less than 3 months. Cachexia: Weight loss greater than 5 percent or other symptoms and conditions consistent with the diagnostic criteria for cachexia. Refractory cachexia: Patients experiencing cachexia who are no longer responsive to cancer treatment, have a low performance score, and have a life expectancy of less than 3 months.

Is cachexia a cancer?

Cachexia, also called cancer cachexia or cancer anorexia cachexia, is a wasting syndrome. It is the loss of fat and muscle due to a chronic disease, such as cancer, and not eating enough nutrients (malnourishment). Cachexia causes weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness and fatigue.

How does cachexia kill you?

The association is consistent with known biological or pathological processes. PRO: Cachexia may lead to thromboembolic events, arrhythmia, sudden cardiac death, immune system disarrays and higher rates of cardiovascular and infectious disease events and death. Cachexia is an often irreversible side effect of diseases including cancer and HIV. It causes severe weight loss and muscle wastage. It is responsible for one-fifth of deaths from cancer. The best way to prevent cachexia is taking action to reduce the risk of underlying conditions, such as cancer and kidney failure.

Can cachexia be stopped?

Although by definition cachexia cannot be fully reversed by nutritional support, serial studies of CT imaging in cancer patients have identified a window of anabolic potential early in the disease trajectory where there may be an opportunity for nutritional intervention to stop or reverse cachexia.

Cachexinol is a patent-pending based formula that has two mouse studies showing mice with cancer tumor-induced cachexia live for the full length of time and regain weight. Using a proprietary liposome technology, Cachexinol was developed by an award-winning chemist and is clinically proven to increase nutrient absorption. It bypasses digestion, and therefore can often circumvent nutritional impact symptoms, like poor appetite and nausea. When something new—that hasn’t been tried before—like Cachexinol comes along, that packages the therapeutic benefits of a natural spice in a custom developed delivery package (liposome) and is guaranteed to get it into the bloodstream … it’s important that patients, caregivers, and their care team are made aware and discuss it as an option moving forward. As an advocate for your loved one, you have the right to advocate for new options. Just like you have the right, along with our doctors and researchers and to not accept that cachexia has to be a terminal disease.

How long can you survive with cachexia?

Many patients with advanced cancer anorexia and cachexia, however, do not survive long enough to suffer from these toxicities. Refractory Cachexia – refers to patients with cachexia whose cancer treatments are no longer working and have a life expectancy of less than 3 months.

What does cachexia look like?

Muscle wasting: This is the characteristic symptom of cachexia. However, despite the ongoing loss of muscle, not all people with cachexia appear malnourished. A person who was overweight before developing cachexia may appear to be of average size despite having lost a significant amount of weight. Cachectic: Having cachexia, physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass due to disease. Patients with advanced cancer, AIDS, severe heart failure and some other major chronic progressive diseases may appear cachectic.

Can you gain weight with cachexia?

Cachexia is defined as ongoing weight loss, often with muscle wasting, associated with a long-standing disease. In cachexia, refeeding often does not induce weight gain. evidence exists that any diet can reverse muscle wasting and prolong life in a person with cachexia as a result of advanced cancer. However, some researchers believe that eating a high-calorie diet may slow the muscle wasting.

Top 5 ways to Define Cardiac Cachexia

Cachexia defined

Cachexia (pronounced kuh-KEK-see-uh) is a “wasting” disorder that causes extreme weight loss and muscle wasting, and can include loss of body fat. This syndrome affects people who are in the late stages of serious diseases like cancer, HIV or AIDS, COPD, kidney disease, and congestive heart failure (CHF). The term “cachexia” comes from the Greek words “kakos” and “hexis,” which mean “bad condition.”

What is Sarcopenia?

From the time you are born to around the time you turn 30, your muscles grow larger and stronger. But at some point in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age  related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss.

There’s no test or specific level of muscle mass that will diagnose sarcopenia. Any loss of muscle matters because it lessens strength and mobility. Sarcopenia typically happens faster around age 75. But it may also speed up as early as 65 or as late as 80. It’s a factor in frailty and the likelihood of falls and fractures in older adults.

Cardiac cachexia

Cardiac cachexia is unintentional severe weight loss caused by heart disease. The weight loss might be life-threatening. It can happen to people who have severe heart failure. Even with a very good appetite and high calorie intake, some people lose muscle mass.

What is Cancer cachexia?

Cancer cachexia is a wasting syndrome characterized by weight loss, anorexia, asthenia and anemia. The pathogenicity of this syndrome is multifactorial, due to a complex interaction of tumor and host factors. The signs and symptoms of cachexia are considered as the prognostic parameters in cancer patients.


Another Chance, LLC located in Colorado recently announced that it’s Cachexia Treatment called Cachexinol, gives hope to Cancer patients wasting away from Cachexia. Cachexia otherwise known as the Wasting Syndrome, or more accurately described as the Wasting Away Syndrome plagues up to 50% of all cancer patients.

what does cachectic mean?

Cachectic: Having cachexia, physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass due to disease. Patients with advanced cancer, AIDS, severe heart failure and some other major chronic progressive diseases may appear cachectic.

what is cachectic?

A general state of ill health involving marked weight loss and muscle loss. Wasting syndrome is often a sign of disease, such as cancer, AIDS, heart failure or advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symptoms include weight loss, muscle loss, a lack of appetite, fatigue and decreased strength.  

what is cachectic appearance?

Symptoms. Symptoms of cachexia include: Involuntary weight loss: Weight loss occurs despite getting adequate nutrition or a high number of calories. … Loss of appetite, or anorexia: Not only does food become not appealing, but a person with cachexia will also lose their desire to eat any food at all.

what is a cachectic patient?

Cachectic: Having cachexia, physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass due to disease. Patients with advanced cancer, AIDS, severe heart failure and some other major chronic progressive diseases may appear cachectic.

Symptoms of cachexia

  • severe weight loss, including loss of fat and muscle mass.
  • loss of appetite.
  • anaemia (low red blood cells)
  • weakness and fatigue.

what is cachectic state?

Having cachexia, physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass due to disease. Patients with advanced cancer, AIDS, severe heart failure and some other major chronic progressive diseases may appear cachectic.

                                                         Can cardiac cachexia be reversed?

Cachexia is a complex syndrome associated with an underlying illness causing ongoing muscle loss that is not entirely reversed with nutritional supplementation.


Cardiac Cachexia Syndrome

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive, and incurable disease. Cardiac cachexia is a strong predictor of poor prognosis, regardless of other important variables. This review intends to gather evidence to enable recognition of cardiac cachexia, identification of early stages of muscle waste and sarcopenia, and improve identification of patients with terminal heart failure in need of palliative care, whose symptoms are no longer controlled by usual medical measures.

The pathophysiology is complex and multifactorial. There are many treatment options to prevent or revert muscle waste and sarcopenia; although, these strategies are less effective in advanced stages of cardiac cachexia. In these final stages, symptomatic palliation plays an important role, focussing on the patient’s comfort and avoiding the ‘acute model’ treatment of aggressive, disproportionate, and inefficient care. Heart failure (HF) is a progressive organ failure disorder, characterised by dyspnoea, fatigue, depression, and fluid retention, and affects ≤2% of the Western population.

It is a dynamic situation that, in the later stages, has high mortality rates. It is associated with several hospital readmissions due to its chronic and progressive disease evolution. There is a gradual loss of functional capacity and self-sufficiency of the patient, which is portrayed by a pattern of sudden worsening without complete recovery. In general, elderly patients with HF have other comorbidities, which cause different outcomes for these patients.


CardioSmart is the American College of Cardiology’s patient education and empowerment initiative. CardioSmart provides resources for health care providers, patients, and caregivers to support and extend the clinical/patient relationship. CardioSmart, the patient education and empowerment initiative of the American College of Cardiology, has unveiled a newly redesigned and enhanced website ( with thousands of pages created by members of the cardiac care team to meet the unique health needs of heart patients.

Through, individuals trying to manage their heart disease have access to a variety of tools to help in understanding their disease, complying with medication adherence, losing and maintaining weight, implementing a heart healthy diet and making other necessary lifestyle changes to improve and maintain heart health. Information and tips on preventing heart disease and caring for a heart disease patient are also available. “Prevention is key in the fight against heart disease, and has a variety of resources for people who want to change their lifestyle habits now to avoid heart disease in the future,” said CardioSmart Chief Medical Expert JoAnne Foody, MD, FACC. “ also has tools and resources for heart disease patients. The site has physician-created content to help patients manage their heart disease and establish heart healthy habits. We want every patient to succeed in battling this terrible disease.”

Some of the key features now available are:

  • Patients and their caregivers will have access to over 30 heart condition centers, which provide information on each stage of heart disease, including details on the disease, questions for patients to ask their doctors,  patient responsibilities, where to find support and more.
  • Registered users can create a personalized dashboard and select topic areas of interest, save pages of the site for easier access, set health goals (weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and activity) and track their progress.
  • Users can participate in CardioSmart Challenges and earn points through activities such as exercise and weight loss. Points can be used toward items in the CardioSmart store.
  • Patients can find a community-based peer to peer support program or connect virtually via online support groups.
  • The medication manager allows users to enter in the name, dose and frequency of each of their medications to help patients comply with their doctor’s orders.
  • Mi Corazon section offers CardioSmart content translated into Spanish, where available.

The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 43,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications.