In medical terms, sarcopenia is a condition in which muscle strength, mass, and function gradually decrease. Often affecting the elderly population, the condition is believed to be caused by aging. A person suffering from sarcopenia may be unable to perform the basic tasks of daily life. This affects their quality of life greatly. Consequently, you might have to seek long-term care if you lose your independence.

In addition to impairing your musculoskeletal system, sarcopenia increases your risk of falls and fractures. As a result of these conditions, patients can be hospitalized and undergo surgery, increasing the risk of complications.

Sarcopenic obesity is a condition on which people with a high body mass index (BMI) suffer from sarcopenia. There is a greater risk of complications for people with sarcopenic obesity than for those with either condition alone.

Who does sarcopenia affect?

The most common age group affected by sarcopenia is 60 and over. A higher rate of mortality is associated with aging. There is no difference in severity between the sexes when it comes to this disease but people with chronic diseases are more likely to suffer from the condition.

How does sarcopenia affect my body?

The loss of both muscle fibers and their size causes your muscles to thin (muscle atrophy).

A number of factors contribute to the development of sarcopenia as you age. As an example, your body doesn’t produce the same amount of protein that your muscles require to grow. As a result, your muscle cells become smaller.

Additionally, certain hormones – such as testosterone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) – affect muscle fibers as you age which can lead to sarcopenia. 

Next week, we’ll go more in depth to the symptoms and causes of sarcopenia. 


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