Under Weight / Cachexia

Under the weight of States in modern industry, there is a little known health issue that almost exclusively in the context of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia attention. However, there are a number of other causes that can lead to weight loss up to emaciation.

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Under weight is defined in the literature as a body weight 20 percent below the normal weight or the to weight. 50 percent of the weight loss is classified as dangerous; the poor nutritional status leads to weakness, loss of power and other symptoms. This extreme state of under-weight and wasting is known as cachexia.

Extreme weight weakens the entire organism. (Image: tunedin/fotolia.com)

To determine the normal weight is today, in General, the Body Mass Index (BMI), according to the formula BMI = body weight (in kg) : body height (in metres)2 is calculated, or tables to read. Then under weight with a BMI of 18.5 or less.

In the calculation of Normal-, Over – and under-weight, height, gender and fat mass are not taken into account, but the individual Constitution. There are quite a vital and powerful people, according to the Body Mass Index underweight. The genetic and biological conditions are very individual: people of the same size can differ in bone structure, muscles, movement urge and need for Quiet. In addition, age and fat distribution play an important role.

Whether the weight of a human in need of treatment, depends therefore on many other factors involved. In addition to accompanying symptoms, it is important to take into account the period of the weight loss, because a sudden and accidental Decrease suggesting could possibly happen to a serious disease. A weight loss of more than two kilograms within a period of four weeks occurs with the same eating habits or the presence of an unexplained lack of appetite, it should be clarified the cause by using a thorough diagnosis.


Weight balance is created by a negative energy, that is, the body consumes more energy than is supplied.

Reduced Food Intake

Decreased food intake or utilization of food: In the developed industrial Nations like ours, this is due less to a reduced intake of food as, for example, in developing countries. However, in Germany the gap between rich and Poor continues to widen, so that child poverty and Hunger go hand in hand, unfortunately, occur in this country. A neglect by the parents, for example due to diseases of addiction, or depression, can also lead to Under – or malnutrition in children.

The lack of appetite in children can have many different causes (image: Matthias Stolt/fotolia.com).

Extreme diets and anorexia occur mainly in adolescents and adults (not in children) and can result in under weight.

An ongoing lack of appetite is behind the unwanted weight loss, this can be a sign of a digestive disorder, but also of Stress, emotional imbalance, or an existing or impending Depression. Even in children, a Essunlust is observed more and more frequently. Behind it is either physical causes such as infections, inflammation or malignant disease, or psychological triggers such as, for example, hide the struggles, in spite of behavior, or other conflicts with the parents.

Furthermore, after surviving the disease are often underweight, even after the recovery persistent.

Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) are another possible cause, which affects all age groups equally and leads to a decrease in food consumption. Note: In children, sudden onset of difficulty in swallowing, note on an encryption can be swallowed foreign body; in adults in the worst case, can put a cancer in the larynx, or the oesophagus behind it. Even harmless disorders can cause such complaints, however, acute dysphagia, should be investigated in a timely manner by a specialist.

Also in the case of persistent vomiting or diarrhea the ingested food can not be utilized sufficiently by the body. Vomiting in babies is due, in rare cases, a congenital narrowing of the Stomach outlet, the so-called pyloric stenosis.

Even with sufficient dietary amount of an impaired food utilization in unsuccessful digestive disorders lack of digestive juices (dyspepsia) or impaired absorption of nutrients from the intestine (e.g., inflammatory bowel, lead to celiac disease, the small intestine shortening) under weight.

Constant fatigue can be a symptom of serious diseases. (Image: Aaron Amat/fotolia.com)

Under weight and organ diseases

Especially in the case of a rapid weight loss, General fatigue is a serious organ disease can not be excluded. Additional symptoms in the determination of the causes of the weight loss will help. Thus, the high susceptibility to infection and increased fungal such as infections, on AIDS, in the case of a Leberzhirrhose chronic fatigue syndrome), renal failure is characterized when the blood test identified by uremia, so residues of the urine, reduction in the blood and Bronchiectasis (abnormal widening of the lower respiratory tract, i.e. the bronchi) due to symptoms such as cough and sputum).

Cancers of all kinds, also lead often to early rapid weight loss with no other symptoms. Sometimes you will sweat, however, of General symptoms such as performance, kink, night and elevated body temperature (so-called subfebrile temperature, which is slightly higher than the normal temperature, but below a fever, so between a level of 37.1 to 37.9 degrees Celsius).

Metabolic disorders and endocrine system

Similarly, metabolic disorders, and hormonal disorders can cause a weight, such as in the case of a derailed Diabetes mellitus or an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Finally, it is also poisoning cause different kind of weight loss, under weight and wasting. This chronic poisoning can be caused by alcoholism and mass drug dependency, as well as toxic substances in the workplace, such as lead.

With various herbs and spices, you can counteract the lack of appetite. (Image: Dionisvera/fotolia.com)

Of Natural medicine to take with resources

Serious disorders and diseases are based on, must first be detected and its cause is treated. This includes conventional medical help may be necessary. For children, teenagers and adults, with a tendency of your physique to weight or for people who want to come in the recovery phase after an illness, the natural healing tonic and tissue-building agent.

Loss of appetite and indigestion in the foreground, the use of medicinal plants and spices. Cardamom and coriander to rain appetite and digestion. With artichoke leaves, the production of bile can boost. Of condurango bark (Condurango cortex), the conditions in the case of Weakness, to appetite stimulation, and to increase the production of digestive juices can be used.

Also by the selection of certain foods can promote weight gain. In the nutritional teachings of Ayurveda, all foods are associated with flavors and you will be awarded energy properties. For the removal of under weight, preferably sweet, heavy and oily food should be chosen to nourish the body. Rice, grain dishes, and legumes have such qualities and should be frequently eaten. Also figs, dates and almonds increase the weight, if per day three to five of which will be consumed by them over a longer period of time. As a food Supplement is recommended in addition to the winter cherry (Ashvagandha), the fabric of the building.

Most importantly, Stress, inner restlessness or the like for the under-weight, should be strengthened inner peace and balance with Exercises from Yoga, self-hypnosis or Autogenic Training. (jvs,kh)

Beer, Bach, Elvira (Hrsg.): Natural healing in practice today. Textbook and Atlas. Elsevier GmbH, Urban & Fischer Verlag, München, 4. Edition 2009.