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a disorder characterized by weight loss and diminished muscle mass and body fat. Underlying causes include infection, injury, organ system failure, chemotherapy, and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, particularly type 1.
Associated clinical events Immunosuppression, muscle weakness, predisposition to pulmonary embolism, thrombophlebitis, altered stress response
Management Aggressive nutritional support in catabolic diseases may not prevent protein loss; specialised nutrition—e.g., glutamine, arginine, branched-chain amino acids, n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids, growth hormone, possibly IGF-I and EGF—may decrease protein loss, hospitalisation
Rapid weight loss with loss of body fat and muscle mass that frequently accompanies short-term, self-limiting conditions such as infection or injury. This condition may be associated with diabetic ketoacidosis, multiple organ system failure, and chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.
Inflammation should be reduced and appropriate nutrients provided.
See also: illness