is a debilitating disease usually associated with cancer
, certain infectious diseases
, and other autoimmune disorders. The disease is also related to addiction
to drugs such as: amphetamines or cocaine. In general terms, Cachexia is described as the physical wasting due to massive weight loss
and muscle mass or atrophy caused by a preexisting disease. The disease causes severe weakness and a loss of weight, fat, and muscle. The condition called Anorexia
(lack of appetite) often occurs during the same time as Cachexia. The conditions associated with Cachexia occur to someone who is not actively trying to lose weight.
CACHEXIA SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Patients suffering from the end-stage cancer often exhibits signs of Cachexia. This stage is commonly called as “cancer cachexia”. Additionally, Cachexia was prevalent in AIDS
before the advent of therapies associated with Cachexia. A cachetic syndrome also occurs in those patients who have Congestive Heart Failure
. The cachexia co-morbidity is also present in patients that have any of the range of illnesses categorized as “COPD” (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Patients suffering from psychological disabilities, particularly severe cases of schizophrenia
, can develop a variation of the disease called vesanic cachexia. There is a probable relationship between the plasma
levels of a certain hormone
called ghrelin in people suffering from anorexia nervosa and cancer-induced cachexia.. This hormone is responsible for stimulating appetite. Cachexia targets the skeletal muscles
, which eventually results in muscle atrophy.
The exact means of the diseases associated with the development of Cachexia is inadequately understood. However, there is a probability that certain inflammatory cytokines, such as: the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (cachexin), Interferon gamma, and the Interleukin 6 are related to the development of the disease. There is also the possibility that the tumor secreted proteolysis inducing factor (PIF).
The general signs and symptoms of Cachexia include: fever
, and chronic pain. There is also the possibility of body malaise, fainting, seizure associated with the fever, shock. The lymph nodes
can also swell, as well as the extremities in the form of peripheral edema.
On the other hand
, cachexia can also be observed in the different systems of the body. In the circulatory and respiratory system
, there are abnormalities of heart
beat and breathing. The person having cachexia experiences palpitations, heart murmur, gangrene, epistaxis, hemoptysis, and cough
. There will also be difficulty in breathing, wheezing, hyperventilation and hypoventilation, mouth
breathing, hiccup and chest pain
. In severe cases, asphyxia or the completely loss of the ability to breath, and respiratory arrest will occur. Cachexia is also evident in the digestive system
and the abdomen. Patients suffering from cachexia experience abdominal pain, nausea
, halitosis, and flatulence
. There will also be fecal incontinence. Infections in the liver
will manifest in the form of hepatomegaly and will eventually lead to jaundice and fecal occult blood
Patients with cachexia will have visible rashes, pallor, or bluishness on their skin. There will also be urinary retention, urinary incontinence
, renal colic, dysuria when the disease affects the urinary system
. The cognition, perception, emotional state and behavior of someone suffering from cachexia will also be affected. The person will exhibit anxiety
, somnolence, retrograde or anterograde amnesia, dizziness
. The severity effects of the disease would eventually cause the total loss of the sense of smell. Additionally, most patients with cachexia would undergo coma. Diseases associated with speech disturbances, i.e. dyspashia, and symbolic dysfunctions are also symptoms of cachexia.
In the nervous system, cachexia will cause abnormal involuntary movements to patients. These movements can be in forms of tremors
or spasms. There is also an abnormality in the way people with cachexia walk. It is possible for patients to loose muscle coordination, movements associated with the undershoot or overshoot of the hand, arm
, or eye, and the ability to perform rapid, alternating movements.
There are several alternative treatments for Cachexia. They include: Hydrazine Sulfate and Cesium Chloride. Before testing any or the treatments for Cachexia, it is necessary to avoid ethanol, alcoholic beverages, brabituates and tranquilizers, sedatives in doses greater than 100mg per day, antihistamines, antiemetics, central nervous system
depressant, tyramine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C in doses above 250mg. The hydrazine sulfate should be taken in exact doses.
Hydrazine Sulfate interrupts the ability of the liver to convert lactic acid from tumors into glucose. The stopping of the production of lactic acid breaks the Cachexia cycle. The Cesium Chloride is an option to help hydrazine sulfate to stop the cycle more effectively. The Cesium Chloride limits that intake of glucose into the cell. It also neutralizes the lactic acid and makes it nontoxic.
The Hydrazine Sulfate is taken in a specific manner. One 60mg capsule of the medicine is taken everyday for the first three days. This can be done with or before breakfast. On the next 3 days, the capsule must be taken twice a day before breakfast or before dinner. After the first six days of taking the drug, one 60mg capsule must be taken three times a day approximately every 8 hours beginning with breakfast. This is applicable for patients weighing 55 kilograms and above. However, half dosages have been reported to be effective for patients weighing 50 kilograms below. The drug has been observed to be effective with frequent use for 45 days and followed by an interruption for 1 to 2 weeks. The interruption is necessary to avoid peripheral neuritic symptoms. It is important to take the medicine religiously for successful treatment.
It is necessary to understand that though cachexia is related to weight loss, it is in no way related to the voluntary refusal of food intake. In cases such as cachexia, the body literally eats itself including the muscles, fat and many other parts of the body. There is a medical breakthrough known as the QR-443 compound treatment produced by the Quigley Pharma. The compound was said to provide positive results for the prevention of Cachexia. It has been described to reduce the activity of inflammatory cytokines associated with Cachexia.
The person’s diet is also important. If the person starts an alternative cancer treatment
, there should be a change in their dietary habits. This kind of change in the diet will typically cause the person to lose weight. The patient or the nurse should distinguish the loss of weight properly. It is important to determine whether the weight loss started before the switch to alternative treatments. If this is the case, the patient might be experiencing from Cachexia.