Sarcopenia – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Do you know human muscle goes through constant changes?
The muscle loss due to age-related factors is called Sarcopenia. People leading a sedentary life are more prone to pronounced Sarcopenia. This can make them vulnerable to falling, fractures, and exhaustion.
Hence, it is important to find the symptoms and treatment earliest. Keep scrolling to learn about this age-related muscle loss.
What Is Sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia is a loss of skeletal muscle strength, mass, and functionality. This is a natural factor caused by age.
Ideally, a person becomes inactive with growing age and stress. This can lead to a shift in body composition. A significant change in diet or poor nutritional choices can also lead to a decline in muscle mass.
These individuals become susceptible to chronic joint pain, injuries, and reduced tolerance to surgeries. In addition, as their gait is affected, performing regular activities like walking, climbing stairs, and lifting objects become tough.
Let’s look at who is more prone to this old age muscle loss.
Who Is at Risk of Sarcopenia?
Individuals leading a sedentary or inactive life can lose up to 3-8% muscle mass every 10 years after crossing 30. However, the effects of Sarcopenia are commonly seen in aged individuals.
Sarcopenia is commonly seen in individuals with –
- Type-II diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Poor dietary habits
Usually, older adults tend to eat less, which can lead to malnutrition. For example, it is seen that nearly 38% of men and 41% of women over the age of 50 consume less than the recommended amount of protein.
Individuals consuming acid-producing foods such as processed snacks or grains are also at higher risk of losing muscle mass.
Apart from food preferences and age, several factors contribute to Sarcopenia muscle loss.
Causes of Sarcopenia in the Human Body
Sarcopenia can be caused due to factors like -
- Low weight
- Chronic health problems
- Decreased hormone levels such as increased insulin resistance, testosterone, growth hormone, estrogen, and decreasing thyroid functions
- Heart, liver or kidney disorders
- Genetic factors
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor diet or malnutrition
- Drinking alcohol and smoking
These factors can significantly contribute to age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. Hence, it is vital to identify the symptoms and consult a doctor for treatment.
The Common Symptoms of Sarcopenia
It is imperative to know that the symptoms of Sarcopenia may vary from person to person. Ideally, it depends on how much muscle mass a person has lost.
The common symptoms are -
- Decrease in muscle size
- Lower endurance
- Poor balance
- Trouble climbing stairs
- Constant weakness
Sarcopenia symptoms also include a reduction of physical activities. Usually, individuals don’t find a decline in muscle mass concerning. However, it can increase the risk of falling and increase dependency.
Prescribed Treatments for Sarcopenia
Ideally, doctors diagnose Sarcopenia based on test reports. A patient needs to take a walking speed test and a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry test.
If the results indicate major issues, doctors may recommend -
- Vitamin D consumption
- Hormone growth therapy
- Testosterone therapy for men
- Increase in protein treatment.
It is imperative to know the effectiveness of testosterone and growth hormones in muscle mass development is still in research.
Hence, it is always advisable to take a second opinion before opting for Sarcopenia treatment.
Helpful Home Remedies to Treat Sarcopenia
You can focus on certain home remedies to treat Sarcopenia loss of muscle mass. This includes-
- Regular exercise- Working the muscle helps maintain its shape and strength. It can also tone down the bone, tendons and ligaments. Older individuals should always consult a doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Nutrition for sarcopenia treatment- Consuming a balanced diet rich in nutritional elements is beneficial for overall health. In addition, eating 1-2 grams of protein also helps in maintaining body mass. Intake of omega-3 fatty acids can also prevent muscle breakdown.
Sarcopenia is a natural factor that is caused by age. It is impossible to reverse age. However, you can slow this process by following an exercise regime and eating healthy.