What is Sarcopenia?

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What is it?

Sarcopenia is a disorder that affects skeletal muscle mass leading to its reduction as well as decreased functionality. This pathology mainly affects the elderly population of both males and females, affecting their nutritional status and limiting the independence of these individuals.

How does sarcopenia work?

The process of sarcopenia can be acute, as well as in cases of long periods of hospitalization whose patient’s mobility is reduced, or it can be progressive when the amount of muscle mass is lost over the years and is associated with loss of muscle quality and function. However, it is necessary to note that the loss of muscle mass occurs in a natural and physiological way as the years pass, but only when this process is exacerbated can it be considered that it is a sarcopenic individual.

When do you need supplemental for sarcopenia?

The diagnosis of sarcopenia is complex and scarce, but symptoms such as weakness, fall, difficulty in performing daily activities should be warning signs for investigating the presence of the condition. Thus, when diagnosed, nutritional treatment plays a prominent role since, through improvement in nutritional status, it is possible to observe progression in the status of muscle mass of the individual, therefore, macronutrients such as carbohydrates, lipids and, mainly, proteins should be offered in adequate amounts. In addition, primordial nutrients for bone health such as calcium and vitamin D can be supplemented in order to meet the needs of this patient.

What are the consequences?

Sarcopenia limits the patient’s autonomy, making him/her need help performing routine activities such as climbing stairs, bathing, or walking. Moreover, low muscle strength favors domestic accidents such as falls, a fact responsible for the large number of hospitalizations of elderly patients who can develop other health problems and culminate in death as an outcome.


Reading suggestion:
What are the main characteristics that lead to sarcopenia?

Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., & Sayer, A. A. (2019). Sarcopenia

. Lancet (London, England)

, 393

(10191), 2636–2646.

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