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Sarcopenia – What makes you old

Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. Frailty, falls and disability in old adults is a common condition as they get older. The degradation between the age 40-50, leading to skeletal muscle mass & skeletal muscle strength decline in a linear fashion. Loss of mass by the age of 80 is upto 50%. Approximately the muscle mass accounts for up to 60% of body mass, changes to this important metabolically active tissue can have profound consequences on the older individual.

The causes of sarcopenia aren’t fully understood, a combination of factors including:

  1. Decline in hormones:- As we age, the production of hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone decreases, that can lead to a loss of muscle mass and strength.
  2. Sedentary Lifestyle:- As people age, they tend to be less physically active, which can lead to a decline in muscle mass and strength.
  3. Poor nutrition:- Sarcopenia can result due to a diet that is low in protein or other nutrients necessary for muscle health.
  4. Inflammation:- Chronic inflammation has been linked to the development of sarcopenia.
  5. Other health conditions:- Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, can also aid to the development of sarcopenia.

There are several ways to manage or even prevent sarcopenia:

  1. Exercise: Regular physical activity, especially strength training helps maintain or increase muscle mass & strength. Strength training can help even older adults.
  2. Nutrition: Enough protein & other nutrients necessary for muscle health can help prevent sarcopenia. With age protein requirements only increase.
  3. Hormone therapy:- Hormone therapy may be recommended to help increase muscle mass & strength in certain conditions.
  4. Medications: Protein synthesis inhibitors and selective androgen receptor modulators, have been shown to be effective in the treatment of sarcopenia.
  5. Other therapies: they have shown promise in the management of sarcopenia include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, electrical stimulation, & platelet-rich plasma injections.

It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of sarcopenia or are concerned about losing muscle mass and strength as you age. Together, you can develop a plan to help manage or prevent sarcopenia and maintain good muscle health.

A healthy lifestyle includes proper diet, right exercises, stress management & proper sleep. This will delay the onset or in some cases highly reduce the effects of Sarcopenia. Feel free to connect with me for your Diet planning needs.

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