The following is from the COPD community at healthcentral.com.
Your Question: What is pulmonary wasting?
My answer: I believe what you're referring to is the wasting of muscles due to inactivity as a disease like COPD progresses. A significant reason for inactivity may be progression of the disease, which may be indicitive of incresased shortness of breath, decreased energy, and depression. Muscles that may become wasted are those used for walking, standing, and eventually breathing. This is one of the reasons why the medical community encourages all people diagnosed with COPD to stay as active as possible, such as can be done at a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Another reason it may occurr is the loss of ability of your body to absorb necessary nutrients. For this a physician may refer a patient to a dietician, who may recommend eating smaller meals more often, and eating food high in nutrients (such as protein) that your body needs for muscle growth.