Cachexia is the wasting away of the body as evidenced by weight loss and breakdown of muscles. This condition is experienced by individuals with chronic illnesses such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and AIDS. Specifically, the symptoms of cachexia include involuntary weight loss despite eating adequately, muscle wasting, loss of appetite, fatigue, and swelling. People with this condition are prescribed appetite stimulants and are encouraged to eat small constant meals and engage in light exercise.

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