Fight muscle loss with exercise and diet

It’s a disease you’ve likely never heard the name of… but you may already know what it feels like.

Getting up out of your chair is more difficult than ever. Menial tasks are increasingly painful… and the way you walk is slower and more laboured.

Your muscles may feel so weak that one tiny misstep could land you in the hospital after a nasty fall.

If this sounds all-too familiar to you, you might be one of the millions of elderly patients who is struggling with sarcopenia.

The name loosely translates from Greek to mean “loss of flesh” – but, to you, that means the reduction in muscle mass that sends up making you feel frail and off-balance.

People used to think it was just a matter of getting old and that there was nothing you could do about it. But this downward trend of losing muscle mass begins in your 30s – which isn’t old at all!

We know now that sarcopenia affects inactive people more quickly, so staying active may help stave off the progression of sarcopenia – which, as a new study shows, is growing at a frightening rate.

Now, as I said, there IS something you can do about sarcopenia – and that’s stay active.

But diet is also a key piece of this puzzle. Sarcopenia appears to affect even physically active seniors who don’t eat enough protein… and whose bodies can’t synthesize protein as well as they used to.

So once again, here’s the Paleo Diet coming to the rescue – but in the case of sarcopenia, the type of protein you’re getting may make a world of difference.

Choose protein-rich foods that are high in an amino acid called “leucine,” which helps turn protein into muscle. Those include lots of Paleo-friendly foods like wild salmon, chicken eggs, chickpeas, lentils, almonds, and peanuts.

At the end of the day though, what your body can do on its own just might not be enough. A holistic doctor can create a custom plan for your particular needs, which could include supplements of leucine or creatine.

And whether you’re a man or a woman, I wouldn’t rule out some good testosterone therapy. Both sexes need testosterone for building muscle, and guys’ levels steadily decrease with age. Giving it a boost may make you feel stronger and get you back up on your feet.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
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Medical Matters: Sarcopenia – What is it and how can we prevent it?

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