Cachexia?

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Cachexia?

by Shashahxco on Thu Nov 15, 2018 02:16 AM

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My brother in law is paralyzed and completely bed ridden for at least 25 years due to a spinal cord injury from a long time ago. We are his caretakers and he lives with us. He had colon cancer in 2014 and surgery was done (resection) and no cancer for a while. Recentl, he was evaluated and now weighs less than 98 lbs. Doc said he has Cachexia. He def has Multiple Myeloma and May have several other things happening we can’t be certain because he has declined further testing and treatment. We enrolled him in hospice last week. Here’s my question and confusion. He has a great appetite still. He has lost weight and doesn’t seem to be able to put any on whatever he eats but he eats great still. Everything I have read about Cachexia says he should not have an appetite. Does anyone have any experience with this and is it common to still have an appetite? I’m wondering if Cachexia is maybe not accurate?

RE: Cachexia?

by ABCgirlz on Thu Nov 15, 2018 04:08 PM

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Strictly speaking cachexia is excessive unintentional weight loss.  Any significant illness can cause that, not just cancer although we associate it more with cancer.  It is often that the illness causes the person to have a decreased appetite, but their intent is not to lose weight.  It can also be that the body is using those calories consumed and more to fight the disease process causing weight loss even though they are eating enough.   There is a diagnosis that often goes along with it called failure to thrive, which means the person or the body and often both is not flourishing.  I hope that explains things a little better.  

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