Sarcopenic Obesity May Increase Your Risk of Dementia — Best Life

With a diverse and sometimes subtle set of symptoms, dementia, an umbrella term for diseases that cause cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s and dementia with Lewy bodies, is a global health crisis. “Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias may be emotionally and financially ruinous for people living with the disease, their carers and families, and society at large,” warns UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2).”[These diseases] they have catastrophic health care, economic and social impacts, and these impacts are growing rapidly.”

With no cure for dementia, early diagnosis is currently the only way we can hope to address this devastating and ultimately deadly condition. However, recognizing symptoms can be tricky, as some signs and risk factors manifest in unexpected ways. Read on to discover a warning sign you may not have known about.

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Sad elderly woman looking out the window.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a new case of dementia it is diagnosed every four seconds. In 2015, more than 47 million people worldwide suffered from dementia, and that number is projected to double every 20 years and reach 145 million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia damage the brainexplains the Alzheimer’s Association. “Alzheimer’s disease causes nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain,” the site says. “Over time, the brain shrinks drastically, affecting almost all of its functions.” This damage leads to memory loss, confusion, personality changes, difficulty recognizing familiar people such as friends and family, and the ability to care for themselves and communicate. Ultimately, the disease is fatal. “Although dementia itself may not cause death, the result of progressive brain disorders eventually cause death,” reports Healthline.

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Doctor with a digital tablet showing the results of a brain scan.
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Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have many known risk factors, and certain lifestyle choices can potentially lower your chances of developing the disease. Researchers continue to uncover other contributing factors, some of which are not commonly thought to be related to brain health. A condition called sarcopenic obesity (SO) It has been shown in a new study as one of those risk factors.

If you find yourself unable to perform normal routine activities that require hand strength, characterized by Verywell Health as carrying food, opening jars, or turning doorknobs, this could indicate poor grip strength, and later a possible diagnosis of OS. A grip strength test, using a tool called dynamometerIt can help measure your grip strength.

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In a consensus statement for the journal sterileresearchers described SO as a unique clinical condition which combines obesity and sarcopenia, but is “different from obesity or sarcopenia alone”.

“[It] is characterized by the combination of obesity, defined by a high percentage of body fat, and sarcopenia, defined as low skeletal muscle mass accompanied by low muscle function,” according to the statement.

Although there is no specific test for OS, the identification of markers for both sarcopenia and obesity can help with the diagnosis. In addition to assessing grip strength, other symptoms may include “involuntary weight loss, loss of muscle strength and endurance, and difficulty performing tasks,” he explains. emma laingdoctorate, RDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Obesity can be measured by calculating the body mass index (BMI).

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Senior couple walking in the park.
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You can reduce your risk of sarcopenic obesity by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

“The key to achieve and keep a healthy weight they are not short-term dietary changes; it’s about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity,” advises the CDC. In an article on SO prevention for sterilethe researchers emphasize that “exercise training or physical therapy have has proven its effectiveness to improve function and muscle mass, and appropriate and safe levels of exercise relative to the level of comorbidities and disabilities should be routinely recommended in obese patients.”

“People who maintain a physically active lifestyle and avoid sedentary behavior generally have a lower risk of developing sarcopenia,” says Laing, adding that when it comes to healthy eating, “individual nutritional needs are specific and vary by age, health conditions, and medication use.

Your doctor can help you determine what physical activity would be effective for you, and Laing suggests consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to help you develop eating patterns that support a healthy weight and are consistent with your own preferences, cultural traditions, and budget.