People suffering from heart failure can develop weight loss quickly. This condition is known as cardiac cachexia. It is an unplanned weight loss that is caused by heart failure. This weight loss is much different than general weight loss. Once it begins, it cannot be reversed by eating more. This is a complex condition that has to do with how the body absorbs and uses the nutrients and calories the person eats. Cachexia is accompanied by malnutrition, systemic nutritional deficiencies, high inflammatory cytokines, hyperactivity of the immune system, and neuro-hormonal changes. This causes a syndrome of weight loss, fatigue, dyspnea, tachycardia, dyspepsia, and loss of appetite. Even with a great appetite and high consumption of calories, some people lose muscle. Cardiac cachexia may need extra nutrition support.
The most common symptom of heart cachexia is weight loss. You may also feel:
- Extremely weak and fatigued
- Cannot exercise or be active
- Not feeling much hunger
- Changes to the taste of food
This health issue may create serious effects on many parts of the body, including the digestive tract, lungs, and heart, and the body’s capacity to produce blood cells.
- The gathering of fluids from congestive heart failure may sometimes make it harder to absorb nutrients from food
- Malnutrition prevents the liver from making a protein called albumin that helps the blood carry important chemicals around the body
- This condition makes the body use more energy to do basic things.
- The body decomposes muscle proteins
- can lead to muscle rupture.
There are no specific medications to treat cachexia. The doctor can guide you to deal with heart failure and try to improve the symptoms. Medications may help to get rid of the extra fluid that makes the sufferer bulge. Other treatments can be considered:
- Exercise to strengthen body muscle
- Learn how to eat properly
- Have nutritional supplements
- Medications to feel hungrier
- Seek guidance from an expert
Fortunately, there are many hospitals that specialize in providing comprehensive weight loss programs. These hospitals have experienced doctors and nutritionists who can help you create a personalized diet plan and provide support throughout your journey to a healthier lifestyle. They also offer medical treatments such as bariatric surgery, which can be an effective option for those struggling with severe obesity or other health conditions related to their excess weight.
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