Muscle loss: Prevention and Treatments

muscle loss

What do you understand by Muscle Loss?

Muscle loss occurs when your muscle partially or completely wastes away and its mass decreases. Most cases of this loss are usually results of other pre-existing medical conditions. It is characterized by fatigue, extreme muscle weakness and shrinkage of your physical body.

You may experience a decrease in quality of life when you are suffering from muscle wasting. For example, to pick something up from the floor will be a difficult task for you.

While you lose some muscle mass as you are ageing. It’s possible to slow or even reverse that muscle loss with regular exercise and many other easy, natural treatments. Here are some ways to do it;

1. Exercise and Workouts

Don’t doubt it; exercise or workouts is the most powerful intervention to address muscle loss. It increases your strength, muscle protein synthesis, aerobic capacity and muscle mitochondrial enzyme activity in both young and older people.

Resistance exercise helps to decrease frailty and improve muscle strength in elderly adults. Exercise is recommended on most days of the week, but a minimum of three times per week is recommended to slow muscle loss which is one of the biggest benefits of exercise as you age.

2. Start early

You can’t control or stop ageing but a recent study found that if you consistently worked out four to five times each week. There’s a possibility to “freeze” levels of muscle mass as you age— thereby avoiding the brunt of the effects of sarcopenia.

3. Increase your overall dietary protein

Protein is the most valuable food for repairing and building muscle fibres. You should get the recommended dietary allowance for protein which is 50 grams of protein per day or 0.8 gram per kilogram (g/kg) of body weight a day for men and women of 19 years of age and older.

But higher levels of dietary protein are needed for adults 65 years and older.

4. Choose protein wisely

You don’t just eat anyhow protein, the type of protein you consume also matters. Not all protein is created equal, and the type of protein you eat also seems to play a role in preventing muscle loss.

Your body can make some amino acids on its own. But the rest must be obtained from protein-rich foods. Leucine is an essential amino acid.

Your body cannot produce it, you must get it from dietary sources like grass-fed beef, whey protein (raw goat milk), wild-caught fish (salmon), Organic chicken etc.

5. Increase your Omega-3s intake

Omega-3 fatty acids influence muscle protein metabolism and mitochondrial physiology as you are ageing.

It increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis and slows down normal declination in physiological condition muscle mass in older adults.

You can consider supplementing with fish oil or flaxseed oil to increase your omega-3 acid intake.

6. Balancing of your hormone

Hormonal factors can significantly affect muscle mass if you’re 40 years of age or older. It is necessary you track down your hormone, especially the growth hormone, DHEA and testosterone.

You can take a natural supplement under a doctor’s supervision. There are also many ways you can balance your hormones naturally, which is very important to prevent muscle loss.

7. Increase your Vitamin D level

Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with lower muscle strength, increased body instability, falls and disability in older subjects.

Vitamin D deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency for older adults regardless of race or ethnicity. You can supplement with vitamin D to improve muscle function and muscle mass.

8. Increase your anti-Inflammatory foods

Chronic inflammation contributes a lot to muscle wasting. You should move away from the abundance of overly processed, unbalanced diets, adopt the ancient eating patterns.

For the sake of improving muscle mass as well as your overall health, you should increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, blueberries, pineapple, walnuts and salmon.

9. Decrease your pro-Inflammatory Foods

With lots of anti-inflammatory foods filling your diet, you should also eliminate pro-inflammatory foods and substances.

Two pro-inflammatory suspects you should definitely avoid are high fructose corn syrup and trans-fats. Found in processed foods, these bad guys cause inflammation that contributes to muscle loss.

10. Watch your alcohol intake

Drinking too much alcohol over time can weaken your muscles, which is a good reason for all adults to consider their alcohol consumption.

It affects your skeletal muscle severely, promoting its damage and wasting. Most alcoholic beverages aren’t just empty calories, but they can also remove critical nutrients from your body.

11. Quit Smoking

If you smoke, you must quit it, cigarette smoking is associated with poor lifestyle habits, such as low levels of physical activity and impaired nutrition.

It’s also been reported that smokers have lower relative appendicular skeletal muscle mass than non-smokers.

Closing thought

If you don’t have access to a gym facility, you can practice resistance training at home. Resistance training (RT) can be accomplished with the use of therapy bands, dumbbells, therapy balls and using your body weight as resistance.

It is a wonderful tool for preventing and partially reversing muscle loss. It is important to consult your doctor if you observe any symptoms of muscle wasting, to diagnose and treat its root cause to increase the quality of your life.

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