Sarcopenia & Emsculpt for Muscle Growth
You might never have heard of sarcopenia, or age related muscle loss, but it’s possible you or someone you love has been diagnosed with it. Adults can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. An estimated 5-13% of 60-70 year olds suffer from sarcopenia each year. Even more 80 year olds, 11-50% specifically, also suffer. This equates to over 50 million people in the United States alone. Muscle loss, whether age related or not, is more consequential to our overall health than many people assume. The good news is that it is completely treatable with the right nutrition and muscle building treatments.
Excessive immobility or bed rest can have a significant impact on bodily function. In adults, this loss of lean body mass is also associated with increased risk of infection, decreased immunity, and poor wound healing. The weakness that accompanies muscle atrophy leads to decreased balance and mobility/higher risk of falls, and sprains or injury.
In the elderly, this increased vulnerability to stressors is known as Frailty Syndrome. The consequences are even more severe, including fractures, physical disability, need for institutional care, reduced quality of life, increased mortality, and increased healthcare costs. This represents a significant personal burden that often requires the intervention of family members, and is even a growing public health concern.
Checking for Sarcopenia
The signs of sarcopenia are the result of diminished muscle strength. Early signs of sarcopenia include feeling physically weaker over time. Questions physicians typically ask in diagnosing sarcopenia:
- Do you have more difficulty than usual lifting familiar objects?
- Have you noticed your pace of walking has slowed?
- Do you become exhausted more easily?
- Are you less interested in being active than before?
- Have you lost weight without trying recently?
Physicians also use a hand-grip-strength test to help diagnose sarcopenia in some clinics.
Four Factors Affecting Muscle Growth or Loss
Although aging is the most common cause of sarcopenia, other factors can also trigger an imbalance between muscle anabolism (growth) and catabolism (break down).
1. Immobility, Including a Sedentary Lifestyle
Disuse of muscle is one of the strongest triggers of sarcopenia, leading to faster muscle loss and increasing weakness. Bed rest or immobilization after an injury or illness leads to rapid loss of muscle. Even two to three weeks of decreased walking and other regular activity is also enough to decrease muscle mass and strength.
The worst part is, periods of decreased activity can become a vicious cycle. Ever notice how hard it is to get back into the groove of working out after a long break? Most likely it is because muscle strength decreases, which results in greater fatigue, which makes it even more difficult to return to normal activity.
After injury or illness, inflammation sends signals to the body to tear down and then rebuild the damaged groups of cells. Chronic or long-term diseases can also result in inflammation that disrupts the normal balance of teardown and healing, resulting in muscle loss.
4. Severe Stress
Sarcopenia is also a common effect of a number of other health conditions that increase stress on the body. For example, people with chronic liver disease, and up to 20% of people with chronic heart failure, experience sarcopenia. In chronic kidney disease, that stress on the body and decreased activity also leads to muscle loss. Finally, cancer and cancer treatments also place great stress on the body, resulting in sarcopenia.
Treatment for Sarcopenia
There are currently no approved medications for the treatment of sarcopenia.
Intake of calories and protein can stimulate muscle growth. Older adults may not utilize protein as efficiently as their younger counterparts, so may require higher amounts to prevent muscle atrophy. A number of expert groups have proposed an increase in dietary protein recommendations for older age groups to 1.0-1.2g per kilogram of body weight per day. Proper nutrition is a simple, low-cost treatment for sarcopenia without major side effects, and is only one part of a comprehensive plan for rebuilding muscle.
One aspect of sarcopenia is the lowered response of aging skeletal muscles to anabolic stimuli like amino acids, especially at lower concentrations. These aging muscles however do respond to protein or amino acids at larger doses. The following supplements are great additions to increasing lean protein intake.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is related to sarcopenia, although the reasons why are not entirely understood. Taking vitamin D supplements can help with retaining muscle strength.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
At any age, consuming omega-3 fatty acids via seafood or supplements will increase your muscle growth. Omega-3s are well known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Research suggests that omega-3s might also signal muscle growth directly.
Creatine is a small protein normally made in the liver. Although your body makes enough to prevent you from becoming deficient, creatine in the diet from meat or as a supplement may enhance muscle growth.
Exercise remains the intervention of choice for sarcopenia. Lack of exercise is a huge risk factor for sarcopenia. Exercising can dramatically slow the rate of muscle loss and is the most effective way to reverse sarcopenia. Resistance training is best to increase muscle mass and strength. However, combination exercise programs and walking also fight sarcopenia.
Emsculpt for Sarcopenia
EMSCULPT is non-invasive targeted muscle development based on high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy. A single EMSCULPT session causes thousands of powerful muscle contractions which are extremely important in improving the tone and strength of your muscles.
These powerful induced muscle contractions are not achievable through voluntary contractions. The muscle tissue is forced to adapt to the extreme condition of muscle stimulation, and responds with a deep remodeling of its inner structure. The result is larger, denser, leaner muscle development.
Dr. Anita believe the Emsculpt is more than just a body sculpting device. Clothes will fit better, and patients often see amazing results with Emsculpt and have more confidence, but consider the other following clinical benefits:
- A stronger core decreases injury, supports a strong back, may reduce back pain, amd improve athletic performance.
- Increased muscle mass increases metabolism, which helps with weight control.
- More muscle improves endurance.
- Less fat increases energy levels.
- A strong core is key to improving stability and balance, which reduces falls.
- Additional skeletal muscle pads and strengthens bones.
- Greater muscle mass has a positive effect on mood.
- Like exercise, muscle stimulation helps with regulating sleep.
- Stronger buttocks and quadriceps may decrease knee pain, and prevent wear and tear on the joints.
- A higher metabolism from greater muscle mass increases rehabilitation time.
- Developing supporting muscles can improve rehabilitation post surgery on joints.
A Personal Testimonial
My mom says she is so lucky, and her friends are a bit envious, because her daughter is now her own personal doctor, nutritionist and physical therapist. She will be turning 90 years old next year, and her goals are to improve her golf game. In one day, she got up, swept her deck and cleaned her apartment, played 9 holes of golf, practiced tapping dancing, got on Zoom for her Zumba class, did her eccentric exercises, and went for her 8,000 step daily walk. She also worked on her brain by reading and doing some Sudoku. She keeps her core to floor muscles strong with the Emsella and Emsculpt, which has helped with her energy, mood, and sleep. She no longer gets up every 2 hours like before and sleeps through the entire night.
Friends my own age take a year to do some of these activities. She did them all in one day! To top it all off, she is taking personalized supplements I prescribe her to keep her micronutrients/gut/hormones balanced. She feels she has more energy and a greater well being than ever before.Dr. Anita, talking about her best patient, her mom
Contact Dr. Anita for more information about sarcopenia and how Emsculpt can help you lead a fuller, more vibrant life.
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