Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss)

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Sarcopenia—the loss of muscle mass—occurs as testosterone drops.

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In episode 67 of the BioBalance Healthcast we cover Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) which leads to frailty and nursing home care after long-term testosterone deprivation. This discussion is based on a chapter in my book title Testosterone, The Secret Female Hormone, to be released in 2013. The following text is an except from the draft manuscript.

This is a tough concept for most of us who are currently healthy and independent, however we women, the caretakers of ourselves and most of society, will have to give this problem consideration when deciding whether testosterone replacement is for us, long before we have the signs of “sarcopenia” and “frailty”. I suggest you consider an investment in testosterone replacement, beginning after 40, as an investment much like “long-term-care-insurance”.

Here’s the order of failing health related to muscle loss that occurs as we age:

  1. Loss of Testosterone
  2. Loss of muscle mass and strength
  3. Frailty, Poor Posture
  4. Fatigue and Imbalance
  5. Falls, Fractures, Poor Healing
  6. Inability for women to live independently
  7. Nursing Home Admission

I was like most of my patients, the caretaker of my mother while her body deteriorated. Her experience followed the timeline above, and frailty was the final and last blow. Following her journey inspired me to investigate what I could do to avoid the same disintegration of muscles, bones, and mind, and to insure that I can live independently, for as long as I live. Frailty stole her independence. She never anticipated living as long as she did (92), and expected to die before her body withered away.

This perspective made me realize that life should be lived as if we will live for a long time, saving our bodies liveliness we save our money, to support us for the long run. The one way I have found that will protect us from the future of our mothers is the replacement of testosterone, at the least, and all of our missing hormones (estrogen, thyroid, and possibly Growth Hormone) at the most!