Directly associated with loss of appetite, patients with leukemia often experience undernourishment and nutrient deficiencies. Moreover, cancer cells require extra energy and rob oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Additionally, cancer cells increase the oxidative stress and systemic inflammation, causing continuous metabolic stress that releases cortisol and other hormones to the bloodstream. The resulting hormonal and metabolic abnormalities lead to an entity commonly found in cancer called cachexia, which is a wasting syndrome characterized of muscle mass reduction, loss of appetite, weight loss, and low energy levels.
Patients with cancer have an accelerated and unplanned weight loss that becomes noticeable in a short period of time, and it is difficult to treat with nutritional therapy and supplements. This type of weight loss should be an alarm sign as it may be associated with various diseases. Your doctor will guide you through the diagnostic process and help you find the solution to your individual case.