Today, sarcopenia is not a disease, since such a diagnosis simply does not exist, and there is no such version in the International Classification of Diseases of the latest version either. And the problem itself, until recently, did not attract gerontologists and other doctors. And only in the last few years it became clear that this is one of the five risk factors for mortality in people whose age has passed for 65. However, not all people develop this condition, which means there are reasons for this.
The concept of sarcopenia itself means nothing more than an atrophic change that occurs in the muscles and which is associated with age. This eventually causes loss of muscle mass and strength.
Senile sarcopenia occurs when there is a lack of protein in the body. The fact is that for the normal functioning of the muscles and to maintain their mass, the human body constantly produces protein compounds. They are synthesized from amino acids that enter the body with food.
At the same time, a person does not lose the ability to absorb protein with age, but its production begins to decline markedly. This happens because some hormonal functions begin to fade. For example, this may include a decrease in endocrine function, or rather a complete cessation or significant reduction in the production of growth hormone and testosterone.
When this occurs, not only a decrease in protein production, but also other negative effects on the body, most often this decrease in muscle mass, impaired function of nerve fibers. Sarcopenia creates many problems for a person, as the risk of falling, injuries and fractures increases.
Today allocate primary and secondary sarcopenia. The primary form develops in the elderly, without the influence of secondary factors on the skeletal muscles. But the secondary form is a consequence of several factors, for example, unhealthy and unbalanced nutrition, lack of protein food, lack of exercise. Also, this condition can occur in the following cases:
- In patients with malignant neoplasms.
- In the presence of HIV infection.
- With AIDS.
- When diagnosed with cachexia.
- In the period of fasting.
- In renal failure.
- In the presence of chronic obstructive bronchitis with frequent exacerbations.
There are 3 stages of the development of this disease, but there is no such thing as nocturnal sarcopenia in medicine. The first stage is called prearcopia, with a decrease in muscle mass without disturbing its functions or strength.
The second stage is sarcopenia, in which there is a decrease in skeletal muscle mass, as well as its function and strength.
The third stage is the most severe form in which there is a critical decrease in all three parameters at once.
The so-called polymorbid sarcopenia occurs against the background of other numerous diagnoses of an elderly person. Most often it is high blood pressure, gastritis or gastric ulcer, the effects of stroke and many other pathologies.
In addition, there is a deficiency of vitamin D, so sarcopenia is a kind of sign that an elderly person has other serious diseases, and most often it is osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Before starting treatment, it is necessary to carry out a number of diagnostic activities. Among the most popular modern methods that help not only to identify the disease, but also its degree, are widespread:
- Compress dynamometer.
- Rise from the chair.
- Test walk the stairs.
Well helps to identify the disease and walking speed. This test can be used in people whose age has reached 65 years. For a certain time, a person must pass only 4 meters. If a person passes more than 0.8 meters per second, then it is diagnosed as complete health. If in one second a person cannot overcome this distance, then sarcopenia can be suspected.
Treatment of sarcopenia is better to start with the selection of adequate physical activity. This can be exercises performed at home, swimming, visiting gyms and fitness clubs, walking. The most important thing here is a movement that should be regular.
It is also necessary to adjust the diet, which should contain more protein foods and less fat and carbohydrates. Eat regularly, in small portions, up to 6 times a day. And in order to make a weekly menu correctly, you need to turn to a nutritionist, because treating a sarcopenia with a diet along with physical exercise gives good results.
All older people need to take multivitamin complexes that are appropriate for their age. As for medical treatment, it all depends on the reasons that caused this pathology. You need to take an adequate dose of vitamin D and hormone replacement therapy.
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