Cachexia - extreme exhaustion
 Cachexia is a condition of extreme exhaustion. Pathology is characterized by general weakness, sharp progressive weight loss and slowing of physiological processes. These violations are accompanied by fatigue, depression and other mental changes. Cachexia may be a self-defeat, and complication of various diseases, and requires immediate treatment to the doctor.

The symptoms of cachexia

Cachexia is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Rapid weight loss up to 50% of body weight or more;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Dehydration;
  • Sleep disturbance;
  • Lowering blood pressure;
  • Susceptibility to infections;
  • The loss of capacity.

With the depletion of the skin loses its elasticity, it becomes flabby and pale, or gets an earthy color. This is due to dehydration, vitamin deficiency and the disappearance of subcutaneous fat. There trophic changes of hair and nails, develops stomatitis.

For cachexia characterized by a variety of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and urogenital system. Women have amenorrhea due to a decrease in blood volume. Avitaminosis expressed mainly in hypoproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, iron deficiency, and vitamin B12.

In addition to these losses, exhaustion accompanied by various mental disorders. When fatigue appear irritability, tearfulness and subdepressive state that with the development of pathology replaced lethargy, apathy and lack of physical strength. In the case of aggravation of the underlying disease that caused cachexia may occur in the form of stupefaction amential syndrome, as well as rudimentary or severe delirium. Often accompanied by anxiety and exhaustion melancholy state, apathetic stupor, psevdoparalitichesky syndrome or other forms of mental disorders. Even if the cause of the depletion persists, fatigue continues to be present for a long period.

The reasons for cachexia

The totality of the reasons contributing to the development of cachexia can be divided into five groups:

  • Nutritional deficiencies in the body due to starvation, disease of the esophagus, teeth or oral cavity;
  • Inadequate intake of useful elements for diseases of the stomach and intestines, as well as operations on these organs;
  • The increased need for protein, fat and carbohydrates during rehabilitation after severe injuries or in the postoperative period;
  • Rapid loss of vitamins and minerals in the kidney lesions or burn massive tissue damage;
  • Acceleration due to metabolic disruption of the endocrine system, heart failure, infection.

Exhaustion is the primary and secondary. The main reasons for the primary, or pituitary cachexia, are the following violations:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury;
  • The lingering psychogenic stress;
  • Anorexia;
  • Tumor or systemic failure of the pituitary gland;
  • Autoimmune hypophysitis;
  • Chronic infection is specific;
  • Hemorrhage;
  • Embolism.

Secondary or symptomatic type of depletion due to the factors listed below:

  • Malabsorption;
  • Gipoinsulinizm;
  • Deficiency of glucocorticoids;
  • Increased synthesis of glucagon;
  • Excessive production of somatostatin;
  • The growth of tumors.


Pituitary cachexia, or syndrome Simmonds - a pathology caused by lesions of the base of the brain that lead to the development of a functional hypothalamic-pituitary failure. The main clinical manifestation of severe malnutrition acts in conjunction with senile involution of organs and tissues. The etiology of the disease, except for the area of ​​the pituitary gland infections, including tuberculosis, syphilis, necrosis after hemorrhage or embolism, multiple sclerosis, tumor.

Normally, the pituitary cachexia slow and may remain undiagnosed for many years. But in some cases, depending on the nature of the pituitary lesion, symptoms progressed rapidly and without cachexia treatment leads to coma and death.

According to statistics, the disease occurs predominantly in women 30-40 years of age. The first sign is a violation of the menstrual cycle, until the complete disappearance of menstruation. Then, developing exhaustion disappear secondary sexual characteristics, internal organs atrophy and impaired mental health.

In the treatment of cachexia this type used hormone replacement therapy:

  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone;
  • Deoxycorticosterone;
  • Sex hormones;
  • Prednisone and other corticosteroids.

 Cachexia - treatment and complications
 Furthermore, administered with physiological saline, glucose, vitamins and provide high-calorie food and rest.

Cancer cachexia

Cancer cachexia - a depletion of the body on the background of the development of cancer. For the development of the pathology and localization of tumors volume irrelevant, although tumors gastrointestinal depletion is more pronounced. It is considered that cancerous cachexia caused by the following phenomena:

  • Atypical metabolism, which leads to a high demand of tumor tissue in substrates used for its growth;
  • Toxic effect on tumor structure and function of healthy organs and tissues.

As a result, the disease leads to irreversible abnormalities of homeostasis and death.

Treatment of cancer cachexia symptomatic. In particular, the use of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as an antiemetic agent, including chemotherapy, as healthcare cannabinoids significantly stimulate appetite and body weight gain. Using fish oil in some cases stopped the weight loss, but generally this area is not sufficiently studied oncology.