Muscle Loss As A Side Effect Of 3 Underdiagnosed Health Problems

2012-10-05 | |
Last updated: 2012-10-05

How Does Muscle Loss Occur?

Muscle loss can happen as a result of many factors because our muscles are dependent on and controlled by many of the systems within the body. This means that there is no simple cause of muscle loss. The action of muscle breakdown, on the other hand, is common in many cases of muscle wasting.

While muscle breakdown was once thought to be a rather disordered process that evolved to provide protein resources in times of low food availability, it is actually well organized. According to 2009 Research from Rochefeller University, the process of muscle breakdown is a structured activity that targets specific types of muscle tissue at a time. The self-digestion does not simply involve killing the cells of the muscle tissue and eating their contents. instead specific cells are disassembled to allow the muscle to continue functioning.

Which Common Conditions Can Cause Muscle Loss As A Side Effect?

Though many conditions can have muscle loss as a side effect, the following are some fairly common disorders that may result in loss of muscle mass.

Loss Of Muscle Mass In Those With Kidney Disease

One of the conditions that can lead to loss of muscle is kidney disease. Researchers from Inha University College of Medicine and Vanderbilt University who independently studied individuals with end stage kidney disease and those on dialysis found that patients who had the greatest muscle loss also had the highest levels of insulin in their blood. This seems to indicate that those with kidney disease develop insulin resistance even though they are not diabetic. The researchers of both studies believe that this insulin resistance is one of the causes of muscle loss.

This loss of muscle weakens the heart as mentioned earlier and contributes to the fact that those with kidney disease have a very high risk of heart disease. According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), this risk is 10 to 30 times higher than for the rest of the population. With 1 in 10 people having some form of kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this means that many are at increased risk due to muscle loss. With the disease also described as under-diagnosed by the National Kidney Foundation, many more people are unaware that they are even at risk.

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Category: Disease Information, Disease Prevention, Health Risks, Symptom Information

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