Leukemia Symptoms; 11 Common Leukemia Signs & Symptoms

9. Weight loss

There are several reasons contributing to weight loss in leukemia. One of them is what we have already mentioned about early satiety and reduced appetite. These patients are likely to have a lower energy intake compared to the average population, and they usually have various nutrient deficiencies that should be addressed as a part of the therapy.

Additional to low appetite levels, we have described how cancer cells become aggressive and change the entire metabolism, increasing the level of energy consumption. Thus, patients undergo metabolic stress that further reduces the available nutrients and oxygen from the blood.

Unplanned weight loss is a common trait of most types of cancer, and it is usually associated with the outcomes of the patient. It is a part of cachexia, which is the clinical name of the wasting syndrome consisting of chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, reduction of appetite and unplanned weight loss. It is imperative to ask your doctor if you have these symptoms, especially if you have lost 5% of your body mass or more without any change to your diet, medications or physical activity.