What are the signs and symptoms of sarcopenia? How to do self assessment at home.

By Alpro Pharmacy

May 20, 2024

What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia, a reduction in skeletal muscle mass and function, is a health condition that commonly causes reduced or impaired mobility in older adults. This process may limit one’s ability to perform simple activities of daily living and contribute to disability, loss of independence and an increased risk of hospitalization and need for long – term care. Advancing age stands as the primary risk factor for sarcopenia, as individuals naturally undergo a decline in muscle mass and strength over time, heightening susceptibility to sarcopenia-related complications.

Additionally, sedentary lifestyles and insufficient physical activity significantly contribute to sarcopenia’s development and progression by hastening muscle loss and impairing muscle function. Poor nutrition, characterized by inadequate intake of protein and essential nutrients crucial for muscle health, further amplifies the risk of sarcopenia by depriving muscles of the necessary resources for growth, repair, and maintenance. These intertwined factors underscore the importance of addressing modifiable risk factors like physical inactivity and poor nutrition to mitigate the onset and progression of sarcopenia, thereby promoting healthier aging trajectories.

Sign and symptoms of sarcopenia

Frequent Falls: Individuals with sarcopenia are prone to falls due to muscle weakness and impaired balance, increasing the risk of fall-related injuries.

Muscle Weakness: Progressive muscle weakness is a hallmark symptom of sarcopenia, making it difficult for individuals to perform everyday tasks and activities.

Slow Walking Speed: Reduced walking speed is often observed in individuals with sarcopenia, reflecting compromised muscle function and mobility.

Muscle Wasting: Visible muscle wasting or loss of muscle mass is a common manifestation of sarcopenia, particularly in advanced stages of the condition.

Difficulty Performing Daily Activities: Sarcopenia limits one’s ability to perform simple activities of daily living, such as walking, climbing stairs, or lifting objects, leading to disability and loss of independence.

Sign and symptoms of sarcopenia

  • Besides older age, inactivity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition also increase an individual’s risk of sarcopenia. Symptoms of the condition include falling, muscle weakness, slow walking speed, muscle wasting and difficulty normal daily activities.

How to do self assessment at home?

  • Chair stand test

    Use this test to measure the leg muscle strength, especially the thigh muscle (quadriceps). The chair stand test measures the number of times you can stand and sit from a chair without the use of your arms in 30 seconds.

“Yubi – wakka” (finger – ring) test

A practical self-screening method for sarcopenia and predictor of disability and mortality.

From a finger ring thumb and index finger of both hands and gently circling the thickest part of the non-dominant calf.

  •  Cannot form the finger ring (Bigger) – Low risk of getting sarcopenia.

  • Finger ring formed (Just-fits) – Moderate risk of getting sarcopenia.

  •  Loose finger ring formed (Smaller) – Higher risk of getting sarcopenia.

Need More Information? Talk to Our Expert!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Alpro ePharmacy or visit the nearest Alpro Pharmacy. Our team, consisting of pharmacists, doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, audiologists and dietitians, is ready to assist and provide support.

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