Causes of Sarcopenia

Causes of Sarcopenia

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By Dr. Yogesh Sharma, Internal Medicine

From the time of your birth till the time you turn 30, your muscles grow and develop. As you reach your 30s your muscle tend to lose mass and function. Such a condition is known as sarcopenia or age-related sarcopenia. If you are inactive, you are likely to lose 3% to 5% mass of your muscles every 10 years from the age of 30. And even if you are active enough, you are still likely to lose muscle mass.

Causes of sarcopenia :

1.Reduction in response of nerve cells due to age, that are responsible for sending signals to initiate movement, from the brain to the muscles.
2.Decrease in the levels of certain hormones because of age, such as the growth hormones,
testosterone, etc.
3.Reduction of protein synthesis in the body
4.Insufficient intake of protein or calories that are required to sustain muscle mass.

Symptoms of sarcopenia :

Sarcopenia usually accelerates after the age of 75, though it may even occur in people between the ages of 65 and 75. It contributes to conditions of frailty and increases risks of falls and fractures in aged people. The common symptoms of sarcopenia include:

1.Musculoskeletal weakness
2.Loss of stamina
3.Loss of energy
4.Lethargy
5.Reduced physical activities

Treatments for sarcopenia :

The most common treatment for sarcopenia, suggested by most of the doctors, is regular exercise. Strength training or resistance training is a helpful exercise plan that helps prevent and treat conditions of sarcopenia. A well-balanced diet, rich in macro-nutrients is important to maintain muscle strength.

For severe cases or complications of sarcopenia, medications or hormone supplementation methods may be availed. However, these are only administered under the supervision of a doctor.