Loss of muscle mass

Muscle mass loss, also called muscle atrophy, occurs when muscle fibers shrink and muscle strength declines. This common condition has several potential causes:
As we get older, muscle strength and mass naturally diminish in a process called sarcopenia. After age 30, adults may lose up to 3-5% of muscle mass per decade. Proper nutrition and strength training can help offset age-related muscle loss.

Muscles need regular physical activity to maintain size and performance. Prolonged bed rest, cast immobilization, or low physical activity levels can spur rapid muscle wasting within days or weeks.

Poor nutrition
Consuming adequate protein helps muscles repair, rebuild, and grow after exercise. Older adults, in particular, require extra protein intake to maintain nitrogen balance and offset sarcopenia.

Hormonal changes
Declining hormone levels contributes to age-related muscle loss. Testosterone and growth hormone support muscle growth. Vitality Hormone Clinic offers comprehensive hormone testing and bioidentical hormone therapies to help restore optimal balances.

Disease states
Certain illnesses like cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, and neuromuscular disorders can increase catabolism - the breakdown of muscle proteins. Inflammation also accelerates muscle degradation. Managing these diseases can slow further mass and strength losses.

Injuries, especially involving immobilization, may spur localized muscle atrophy. Once the injury heals, physical therapy helps regain mobility and rebuild affected musculature.

Disuse atrophy
If certain muscles remain unused due to limited mobility or decreased activity, they'll weaken and shrink over time. However, appropriate exercise can effectively slow, stop, or reverse disuse atrophy.

Starvation and malnutrition
With very low calorie or protein intake, the body breaks down muscle to provide amino acids to vital tissues and organs. Ensuring adequate nutrition intake preserves lean body mass. Supplemental protein shakes may help malnourished or starving individuals.

This complex metabolic disorder causes extreme weight and muscle loss in chronic or end-stage diseases. While cachexia has no standard treatment yet, addressing the underlying illness and providing symptom management and nutrition support can improve quality of life.

With proper screening, treatment, nutrition, exercise, and hormone balance support from clinics like Vitality Hormone Clinic, many causes of muscle loss can be reduced, managed or reversed. Maintaining strength and independence remains critical for health as we age. Let's discuss your muscle health and needs!

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