Muscles are like building blocks of our body. They support the bone structure and other organs present in the body. However this muscle mass does not remain same throughout our lives. You must have notices people becoming weak as they get over 60 years of age. This is because of gradual muscle loss in the body. But sarcopenia is severe loss of muscles that affects their health and lifestyle at a rapid rate. Sarcopenia is caused because of loss in muscle mass. It can especially affect people that are older in age as muscle loss in maximum at that age. Let us know more about this condition in detail.
Why Sarcopenia Affects Adults?
Well, sarcopenia is an age related condition; we spoke to Dr. Zeeshan Alam, Consultant and Orthopedic Surgeon at Vozart Healthcare Hospital, Bangalore to know about it. He explained that sarcopenia is severe loss of muscle mass from the body because of some underlying health condition or autoimmune condition that results to deterioration of muscles.
It usually affects gait, balance and overall ability of perform general function in their daily lifestyle. A person suffering from sarcopenia may have to take help of physical aids such as walking sticks, walkers, etc if the muscles loss is rapid. But fortunately treatments are now available that can prevent or slow down sarcopenia effect.
Symptoms of Sarcopenia
People experience few major symptoms in this condition. The severity of symptoms may vary according to every individual. This can affect their abilities to carry out physical activities as well. Here are some symptoms which you should be aware off-
- Weakness in body
- Lose of stamina
- Problem in walking long distances
- Pain in joints and muscles
- Thinning of muscles mass
Causes for Sarcopenia
A common cause of sarcopenia is related to decrease in physical activity because of which the muscle mass decreases. As per doctor, muscle mass can become less or weak at any stage of life. This affects those who have sedentary lifestyle and less physical work. Muscles also react according to the requirements of body, if you do not indulge in physical workout, then it is more likely that your muscle mass will reduce. However some people with active lifestyle also get this disorder. Let us check the reasons for this condition-
1. Reduction in nerve cells that are responsible to send signals from the brain to muscle can be a cause of sarcopenia. This is a neurological condition which affects quite a few people, especially in their old age.
2. Decline in hormone levels can also be a probable cause of having sarcopenia in adults. This is because some hormones are connected to tissue growth and maintain muscle cells. If those hormones levels reduce in body, then sarcopenia can occur.
3. It could also be due to decline in capacity of the body to convert protein into energy. As a result of this, the muscles are unable to get adequate strength to remain in a healthy state.
4. Sarcopenia can also be caused due to malnutrition or not consuming enough calories in a day. You body needs a particular amount of calories to function smoothly; this is also applicable to the muscles as they are part of it. Hence not taking required amount of calories in your diet according to your age and physical work can cause sarcopenia in adults.
How can Sarcopenia be treated?
There are majorly 2 methods in which sarcopenia can be treated. One is through exercise and the other is through hormone replacement therapy. Let us know how these methods can be beneficial in condition of sarcopenia.
This has been a long used treatment for treating sarcopenia. According to researchers, body is able to develop resistance in muscle when the person does not work out which leads to muscle loss. Resistance training has been proved an effective way to measure and treat people with sarcopenia. This type of training method improves the muscle strength and designed in a way that it can increase stamina as well.
Resistance training is done with the help of a muscle band or weight. In this method, the hormone levels are also regulated and the ability to turn protein in energy also increases in older people. However this is a specialized technique and wrong posture or method during the exercise can cause harmful effects on your muscles. Hence it is recommended to do it in under a qualified physical trainer.
2. Hormone Replacement Therapy
This therapy has been widely used in a number of treatments. Hormone replacement therapy helps to raise the lean body mass and decrease abdominal fat. As a result it prevents bone deterioration in elderly women whose hormone levels deplete because of menopause. HRT is an effective method to treat this condition, but there could be some side-effects as well. If the person is able to do resistance training, then some hormone supplements can aid in treating condition of sarcopenia.
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