Sarcopenia is a multifactorial process. Many factors, including physical inactivity, decreased hormone levels, and decreased protein synthesis, may all contribute to sarcopenia. Fortunately, sarcopenia is partly reversible with appropriate exercise interventions. Another factor affecting sarcopenia is the rate of muscle protein synthesis. The quality and quantity of protein in the body is maintained by a continuous repair process, which involves both protein breakdown and synthesis.
Symptoms and Causes of Sarcopenia
Symptoms can include weakness and loss of stamina, which can interfere with physical activity. Reduced activity shrinks the mass of the muscle.
Researchers believe these include:
- Reduction in nerve cells responsible for sending signals from the brain to the muscles to start movement
- Lower concentrations of some hormones, including growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor
- There will be decrease in the ability to turn protein into energy
- Will not get enough calories or protein each day to sustain muscle mass
Treatments for Sarcopenia
The primary treatment for sarcopenia is exercise, specifically resistance training or strength training. These activities increase muscle strength and increase the stamina for using weights or resistance bands.
Resistance training can help your neuromuscular system, hormones. It also can improve an older adult’s ability to convert protein to energy in as little as two weeks.
The proper number, intensity, and frequency of resistance exercise is important for getting the most benefit with the least risk of injury. You should work with an experienced physical therapist or trainer to develop an exercise plan.
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