Muscle wasting, also known as muscle atrophy, is a condition that occurs when there is a loss of muscle mass and muscle strength. This condition can result from a variety of factors, including:
- Lack of physical activity: When a person is not physically active, the muscles are not being used and can begin to waste away.
- Aging: As people age, they may experience a natural decline in muscle mass and strength.
- Chronic illness: Certain chronic illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and kidney disease, can lead to muscle wasting.
- Injury or immobilization: When a person is injured or immobilized for an extended period, such as being bedridden, the muscles may begin to waste away.
- Malnutrition: Inadequate nutrition, especially a lack of protein in the diet, can cause muscle wasting.
The treatment for muscle wasting depends on the underlying cause. In cases where the muscle wasting is due to a lack of physical activity, increasing exercise and physical activity may help to slow or reverse the muscle loss. In cases where the muscle wasting is due to a chronic illness or malnutrition, treatment will focus on addressing the underlying condition and ensuring adequate nutrition.
In some cases, medications or supplements may be prescribed to help promote muscle growth and prevent further muscle wasting. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help build strength and improve mobility.