Can Sarcopenia Be Completely Prevented

Sarcopenia1 is a severe issue; one must be burning calories regularly to avoid the loss of muscle mass and strength. It is a condition characterized by weak bones, and they are more prone to bone fractures. But the question is, can sarcopenia be completely prevented? Well, resistance training can help you prevent osteoporosis. If you take enough calcium and vitamin D supplements2 and work out regularly, you can prevent conditions like osteoporosis 3and sarcopenia.

Muscles are an essential part of human life. The muscles in the human body let us stand, walk, lift, balance, and breathe. Moreover, strong muscles in the human body can reduce back pain and prevent sarcopenia.4 It also helps build and maintain your body physique for both men and women.

You have to burn calories, get dense bones, and increase energy to build your core. It would help if you worked on your muscle mass.

Moreover, working out from a young age can help you prevent sarcopenia and osteoporosis. Sarcopenia is a disease that can affect your muscles, and you will lose your muscle strength with aging.

Sarcopenia plays a vital role in losing strength, mobility issues, and disability. You can lose about 4 to 5% of your lean body mass every 10 years after 30. So, it is essential to stay physically active.

A slight drop in muscle mass and strength can be a severe problem for some people. So, if anyone has the condition of Sarcopenia, then the person is at greater risk of falls and will have trouble performing daily tasks. However, if you have this condition, you can reverse it with the help of strength, a healthy diet, and taking vitamin D supplements.

1. What Is Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia is a condition when people have low levels of muscle mass from the total amount of muscle mass found in their bodies. This condition is responsible for decreasing muscle strength or ability to do any work.

You can find it when you try to walk fast or do any work which requires handgrip strength. Due to aging, muscle mass and strength loss will be more prominent with time.

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Losing muscle starts at a very early age than you could ever think. When a person turns 30, more than 90% of people begin to lose 4-7% of their muscle strength every decade. It can even speed up if the person turns into their 60s. If a person is 80 years of age, they will lose half of their original muscle mass.

Sarcopenia is a prevalent condition, and it is found in one out of three people. You can see this condition usually in older people.

However, sometimes you can also see this in younger people. If someone has an inflammatory disease, they are more prone to develop sarcopenia5 condition, which can be far more dangerous.

2. Risk Factors of Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia can give rise to multiple other physical and mental health complications. People with Sarcopenia condition are more likely to get their bones broken. It can also cause them to stroll. Often this signifies that a person is now more prone to sickness and death. This condition can leave you at greater risk of disability.

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People with Sarcopenia condition can have several risk factors:

  • Trouble in standing

  • Balancing problems

  • Severe pains in muscles and joints

  • Afraid of getting injured

  • Insecure about their health

  • Will feel lonely and meet up with friends and family less often

Most people with this condition find it hard to fulfill their own needs. Since this condition does not allow them to complete daily tasks, including cleaning up the house, driving, and showering. It simply means that their lives will now be no longer independent.

In addition to all this, people with Sarcopenia have a shorter life expectancy. This is why focusing on the risk factor of Sarcopenia, if one maintains their lifestyle and works out regularly, they can live a longer and healthier life.

There are even some other risk factors that can lead to sarcopenia condition. Diseases like heart disease and cancer can boost the sarcopenia condition.

  • Hormonal changes

  • Nervous system failure

  • Inflammation

  • High levels of unhealthy fats in the liver

  • Improper intake of nutrients

All these health conditions can be diagnosed when regular health check-ups. In addition to this, you can keep your heart healthy by developing healthy habits. Eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and not drinking can keep your heart health in better condition.

3. How Can You Know if You Have Sarcopenia

If you doubt that you are losing muscle mass, and it triggers your doubt about sarcopenia, you should hurry up for an appointment with your care provider and physical therapist. Your doctor may prescribe you to get through some diagnosis to confirm your sarcopenia condition. You may be asked to do some tests.

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  • Imaging scans to check how much muscle there is in your body

  • Some exercise tests that can determine how firm your grip is, to check your muscle strength

  • A test that can examine your speed of walking or climbing stairs so that your doctor can find how well your muscles work

However, if the tests come positive, and your doctor concludes about your sarcopenia condition, they can develop a solution to help you from the sarcopenia condition. Thus, it will stop muscle loss, and you can even build new muscle.

Even if you doubt your muscle loss and you cannot do everyday tasks, you should immediately diagnose sarcopenia condition.

4. Can Sarcopenia Be Completely Prevented

Sarcopenia is linked to many risk factors. Sarcopenia condition is passed on from genes, and there is a 30% risk that it can be inherited. This condition becomes more dangerous with passing age. You neither can control your age nor your genes, but there are some risk factors for Sarcopenia that you can control.

Though you can control some of the risk factors of Sarcopenia6, you cannot wholly prevent sarcopenia. You can take some measures to decrease the rate of muscle loss and to make the Sarcopenia condition less effective. But, make sure to consult with your doctor without trying things yourself. Let us look at how you can slow down Sarcopenia’s condition.

4.1. Exercise

If you do not get enough physical activity, the chances of Sarcopenia condition can increase. However, if you do exercise training regularly, it can reduce the risk of Sarcopenia and give muscle strength.

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If healthy adults go for strength training, they can build muscle, by which they can perform their everyday tasks efficiently.

Different forms of physical activity can help you protect against sarcopenia.

  • Progressive Resistance Training

It is a type of workout known as strength training that helps build muscle mass. This exercise training uses weight machines, resistance bands, and body weight.

  • Functional Training

In this training, you will train on your movements to carry things better in everyday life activities. Functional training often gives muscular strength to different muscle groups and helps them to work better.

  • Aerobic Exercise

This category of exercise can boost your heart rate and help you breathe faster than usual. It is also known as cardio, and it includes exercises like running, walking, and swimming.

  • Balance Exercise

While you age, all you need is to balance your body correctly. Balance exercise stabilizes your muscle, decreases the risk of injury, and activates and strengthens your core. The exercise which focuses on your core is best to build up muscles, and it will also help you with chronic liver disease.

So, you should include some balance exercises in your daily routine to reduce sarcopenia condition and also to stay away from health complications.

  • Cardio Training

You can also opt for cardio training since these can keep up the flowing blood in your veins and thus burn calories. As a result, your body will develop muscles, and it will help reduce the sarcopenia condition.

  • Walking

Walking is always beneficial when trying to reduce this condition. Also, you can do this exercise anywhere.

Even in some studies, it was seen that 227 adults over 65 years of age gained muscle mass and were passing through healthy aging due to six months of walking.

If you continue the progressive resistance training, then you may improve in:

  • walking fast

  • quick sit-ups in a chair

  • climb steps more easily

  • increase muscle mass

  • improve the muscle weakness

  • reduce arthritis pain

  • better physical activity

  • complete daily activities with ease

Specifically, resistance training can help with increased muscle mass. However, with repeated sets, high-intensity resistance training can improve muscle building for older adults.

But, if you do too much resistance training, then again, you can get injured. So, it is essential that you start slow and then slowly increase your pace. Before starting with progressive resistance training, you should take professional medical advice from the experts.

4.2. Diet

A deficiency in calories, protein, or some minerals and vitamins can put you at a higher risk of losing your muscles.

But, if you are not deficient in protein intake with all other nutrients but still are facing a sarcopenia condition, then you are taking the nutrients in an imbalanced manner. Intake of crucial nutrient in the correct amount only boost muscle growth and increases the benefits of the exercise training session.

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  • Protein

High-quality protein intake can signal the muscle tissue to build more muscles and strengthen them. With time, the muscle responds less to the signal, so one should take more protein and do more exercise to keep the free flow of this signal.

If you take only 20 grams of meal in your meal, it will increase muscle mass.

Even the adequate amino acid leucine is essential in regulating muscle growth. Essential amino acid sources include whey protein, meat, eggs, fish, and soy protein isolate. These sources can increase the mass of your major muscle groups.

  • Vitamin D

If someone is Vitamin D deficient, then they can not only develop sarcopenia condition but can also develop other complicated conditions.

Vitamin D intake can increase muscle strength and reduce the risk of falling.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Consuming omega-3 fatty acids can increase your muscle growth. It would help if you considered taking omega-3 fatty acids from sources of seafood or other seafood supplements.

Even 2-gram fish oil supplements, when combined with resistance training, can improve muscle quality. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects, which help to send signals to the growth hormones.

  • Creatine

These are small proteins that are made in the liver. However, your body can make enough creatine proteins not to let you become deficient. But, you should include creatine in your meal as a supplement since this can help you with muscle growth and reduce the effectiveness of sarcopenia.

Creatine is very effective in resisting sarcopenia conditions. A study showed that creatine intake with progressive resistance training is more beneficial than resistance training with no creatine.

This is why you have to increase your body weight from a healthy diet to reduce the sarcopenia effectiveness and get to do your physical activity properly.

4.3. Supplements

It becomes tough to get all the correct nutrients that your body needs. However, supplements can fill that gap. It can provide you with those essential nutrients that your meal cannot provide you.

You can take high-protein supplements, and since they contain some essential amino acids, they will help you with muscle loss. The building blocks for protein are the amino acids provided by the protein supplements that your body cannot make. People over 65 years of age get more correct nutrients and thus have less muscle loss when taking protein supplements.

A routine diet and exercise can let you free weights, and you do not need to run to doctors for a health check-up.

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An adult who does not get enough vitamin D is at greater risk of a sarcopenia condition. Since vitamin D is an essential nutrient, old adults take supplements to fill the diet gap.

Protein supplements also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Such molecules are found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements. If someone cannot eat fish, they can opt for taking supplements.

It can help you in:

4.4. Hormones Treatment for Sarcopenia Condition

Hormones are the natural chemicals that are produced by the body itself. Hormones help different parts of the body to communicate with other parts.

However, the hormone level changes as we age, and it plays a significant role in reducing sarcopenia condition.

The testosterone hormone, which is a reproductive hormone, is necessary for developing male sex characteristics, and it also helps build sexual functions. Hormones are essential for increasing body weight. With age, both men and women experience a drop in testosterone levels, and their body fails to build muscle. As a result, they get occupied with sarcopenia due to muscle loss.

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Just like the testosterone hormone, people can reduce sarcopenia condition is the human growth hormone, also known as hGH or GH. The growth hormone decreases by one percent per year after 30. However, if anyone has a sarcopenia condition, it is for sure that they have low levels of HGH in their body.

Even if someone with a sarcopenia condition takes hormonal treatment, they have to take both the testosterone hormone and the human growth hormone together and resistance training to reduce the effects of the sarcopenia condition.

Side Effects

So, you can get testosterone to get some free weights, but there are also some side effects when you take this treatment. Definitely, on taking testosterone, your major muscle groups will develop. Still, you can also suffer from acne, joint pains, mood swings, and insomnia and will be at a greater risk of prostate cancer.

There are some other side effects too for taking the hormone treatment for sarcopenia:

  • Swelling

  • Pain in joints

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

You have to consult with your doctor before opting for hormone treatment since it does not work on everyone. Even the side effects of a hormone vary from person to person. So it is recommended to consult with your care provider and discuss the health benefits and side effects of taking testosterone and human growth hormone.

5. An Effective Method to Reverse Muscle Loss

Getting enough proteins and vitamin D are essential. But it is equally important to work out the nutrition intake and make it good use. A good diet and PRT (Progressive Resistance Training) can effectively lower your chances of developing sarcopenia. However, you have to be very careful when choosing your meal.

You cannot abruptly eat everything and do hardcore exercise training. You have to know about the limitations of both your body and your meal, and then you need to perform everything.

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Staying physically active, and doing balance training, can stop age-related loss of bones and muscles. It can also help you to build muscle and fight sarcopenia. Even it has been seen that people who get good nutrition and go through resistance exercise have better health and do not start with muscle loss at an early age.

Suppose an old adult goes through aerobic exercise. In that case, their body is in a better position to absorb the nutrients, and these nutrients are directly delivered to the muscle, thus maintaining the body weight.

6. Can Running Help Prevent Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia muscle loss can be slowed down by checking your diet and doing aerobic exercise, strength training, specifically resistance training, free weights, resistance bands, walking, cycling, lifting weight machines, and hiking.

You can make a routine of dieting and running to combat sarcopenia. But running is a great option to stay away from complications like sarcopenia. Running increases your heartbeat and keeps your muscular system active.

Regular running can also help you with chronic heart failure and sarcopenia treatments. The best part of including running in your exercise is that older adults can start running to stay physically active and do their physical activity properly.

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The earlier you start burning your calories, the better results. But, it is not true that older adults cannot do strength training, resistance exercise, and resistance bands.

But, when you are above 50 years of age, you have to follow some rules.

  1. You have to give yourself proper rest. If you start running without giving your body rest, you may develop some critical conditions. So, to avoid that, you have to your body a recovery time.

  2. It would help if you improve your stamina levels bit by bit. Do not start with heavy weights or run for kilometers. You need to give time to your body to adapt to strenuous exercises.

  3. Eat proper diet plan foods to maintain your bones strong. Discuss with your doctor about the diet to maintain your muscles and manage sarcopenia.

  4. You can perform some pre-workout drills to maintain the stability of your body and flexibility. Such habits are best to avoid medical communities.

7. Conclusion

Sarcopenia is a severe condition. It is more dangerous because it affects as time passes, and it becomes tough for older adults to recover from this condition. Sarcopenia condition leads to many physical and mental problems.

When you feel like you are losing muscles and are not strong as you were, you must visit your doctor immediately. In addition to this, you should do exercise training sessions and take a protein-rich diet. Protein intake can help you build muscle mass and strength.

However, some people benefit from hormones like testosterone or human growth hormone. It is better to take a balanced diet since protein intake can slow down the rate of muscle loss. Also, you can take Omega-3 and creatine supplements to let your body fight Sarcopenia.

Your doctor will develop a treatment plan to work for your condition when you go to treat sarcopenia. Even you should do proper research on “can sarcopenia be completely prevented.”

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8. FAQs

8.1 Can Sarcopenia be Reversed?

Despite being a normal aspect of aging, sarcopenia can be prevented and its progression controlled. It is possible to preserve and even partially restore muscle mass and function by making lifestyle changes including consistent exercise, a healthy diet, and other preventive measures.

8.2 When Should I Consult a Doctor About Sarcopenia?

It is advised to speak with a healthcare provider if you have severe muscle weakness, loss of movement, or any other unsettling symptoms relating to your muscle mass or function. They can assess your illness, make a precise diagnosis, and recommend the best course of action.

8.3 Do Any Particular Workouts Work Well to Ward Against Sarcopenia?

Exercises that involve resistance are very good at preventing sarcopenia. Working against a force or resistance, such as lifting weights or utilizing resistance bands, is what these exercises entail. Resistance encourages muscular development and aids in maintaining muscle mass.

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  2. Bolland, M. J., Andrew Grey, and I. R. Reid. “Should we prescribe calcium or vitamin D supplements to treat or prevent osteoporosis?.” Climacteric 18.sup2 (2015): 22-31. ↩︎
  3. Rachner, Tilman D., Sundeep Khosla, and Lorenz C. Hofbauer. “Osteoporosis: now and the future.” The Lancet 377.9773 (2011): 1276-1287. ↩︎
  4. Rogeri, Patricia S., et al. “Strategies to prevent sarcopenia in the aging process: Role of protein intake and exercise.” Nutrients 14.1 (2021): 52. ↩︎
  5. Zhang, Feng-Min, et al. “Sarcopenia and malignancies: epidemiology, clinical classification and implications.” Ageing Research Reviews (2023): 102057. ↩︎
  6. Landi, Francesco, et al. “Prevalence and risk factors of sarcopenia among nursing home older residents.” Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences 67.1 (2012): 48-55. ↩︎

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Susanta Biswas

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