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Sarcopenia: Ayurveda Understanding


Sarcopenia is a situation whereby there may be quantitative lack of muscle tissues. It’s outlined as ‘lack of flesh’. It’s normally an age-related degeneration which is frequent in individuals over 50 years of age.

On this situation there may be gradual lack of

–        muscle mass,
–        muscle power and
–        muscle functioning

Because the illness progresses, the particular person will discover it tough to manage up with on a regular basis actions. She or he shall meet challenges together with problem in strolling, climbing stairs or carrying heavy objects. There will even be a threat of falls and fractures.

Compared to these having wholesome and dealing muscle tissues by way of high quality and amount, these having sarcopenia are stated to have decreased life expectancy.

Ayurveda Understanding of Sarcopenia

Mamsa Kshaya –

Since there may be ‘muscle loss’ in sarcopenia, we are able to correlate it with ‘mamsa kshaya’ which additionally means muscle loss.

Sama dhatu i.e. equilibrium of tissues is likely one of the indicators of ‘swastha’ – full and balanced well being. So, in sarcopenia vis-à-vis mamsa kshaya there may be lack of muscle tissues and therefore is disproportional with different tissues of the physique. The lower might be particular person or relative to different tissues.

‘Sama mamsa pramana’ – a state of equilibrium or stability of muscle tissue by way of its high quality and amount has been talked about amongst the options of a wholesome particular person. All our actions and actions rely upon the well being of our muscle tissues.

The signs of mamsa kshaya are –

–        aksha glani – tiredness of eyes – in all probability signifies the weak point of ocular muscle tissues i.e. the muscle tissues in and across the eyes
–        ganda shushkata – dryness and emaciation of muscle tissues across the cheek / facial muscle tissues
–        spik shushkata – dryness and emaciation of muscle tissues of the buttocks
–        sandhi Vedana – ache within the joints of the physique (since muscle tissues are the principle assist for the functioning and actions of the joints)

All these signs would possibly mirror the scientific image of sarcopenia. They point out all of the parts, i.e. lack of muscle mass, power and functioning.

The causes and mechanism could also be on account of a number of of –

–        Vardhakya – Pure getting older – with getting older vata will increase naturally within the physique. This vata is antagonistic to the tissues that are predominantly made up of kapha, muscle being one among them. Elevated vata will scale back muscle mass, power and functioning.
–        Karshya – It’s a function of vata aggravation. Karshya means emaciation or losing which displays depletion of tissues, muscle tissue on this context. Karshya whereas inflicting destruction of muscle tissues and discount of their mass could cause sarcopenia.
–        Vatala Ahara Vihara – Meals and actions and practices which enhance vata and reduce kapha
–        Pittala Ahara Vihara – Meals and actions which enhance pitta
–        Ati vyayama – indulgence in an excessive amount of train, actions and adventures will harm the muscle tissues and produce about discount of their mass. Based on Ayurveda, extreme train will trigger dhatu kshaya – primarily the pathological lower of mamsa and meda (fats) tissues. This may enhance vata. Subsequently there might be manifestation of sarcopenia and painful signs related to the identical.
–        Mandagni, ajirna and ama – Sluggish digestive fireplace which can not digest even small and easy types of meals, indigestion and formation and accumulation of extreme ama within the physique – all these occasions result in insufficient formation of rasa and therefore dietary deprivation of all tissues together with muscle tissue. This may result in sarcopenia.
–        Mamsavaha sroto dushti – Contamination or block of channels transporting the constructing blocks of the muscle tissues or harm to the identical will trigger mamsa kshaya. Snayu and Twak are the roots of those channels. Snayu is a time period which encompasses many constructions which additionally consists of the tendons with the assistance of which the muscle tissues connect to the bones. When these channels are contaminated, the tendons can turn out to be weak, which additionally signifies that the muscle tissues will turn out to be weak and will lose mass later within the course of. Harm to the foundation i.e. tendon can weaken the tree i.e. muscle tissues and result in lack of mass. That is additional substantiated by Grasp Sushruta whereby he mentions ‘mamsa shosha’ i.e. lack of muscle tissues as one of many signs of harm to the mamsavaha srotas and its roots. Collectively we are able to inform that when the mamsavaha srotas are injured or contaminated, they might result in lack of muscle tissue, weakening of tendons and therefore result in sarcopenia. One other symptom on this context talked about by Grasp Charaka – ‘puti mamsa’ i.e. putrefaction or decaying of muscle tissues point out contamination, an infection or inflammatory course of and inflammatory ailments affecting the muscle tissues resulting in their suppuration, lack of mass and therefore sarcopenia. Raktavahi dhamanis i.e. arteries are additionally the roots of mamsavaha srotas in response to Sushruta. This suggests that when blood vessels / arteries supplying the muscle tissues are injured, the muscle tissues might be depleted of vitamins and oxygen. This may result in lack of muscle mass and subsequent manifestation of sarcopenia.
–        Rasa Kshaya – Raukshya – dryness, shrama – weak point, shosha – loss or depletion or emaciation, glani – fatigue – have been talked about amongst the signs of rasa kshaya i.e. pathological lower of rasa tissue. Since it’s the tissue from which the opposite tissues are fashioned, its qualitative and quantitative stability and well being will mirror the well being of different tissues. Rasa Kshaya signs undoubtedly apply to the reason of lack of muscle tissue and subsequent signs and manifestation of sarcopenia in later stage.
–        Rakta Kshaya – Depletion of or pathological lower of blood tissue may result in mamsa kshaya – sarcopenia since muscle is the subsequent tissue fashioned within the chronology, after blood, as per Ayurveda. This may also be inferred as sarcopenia brought on on account of decreased blood and vitamin provide to the muscle tissues.
–        Medo Kshaya – Krishangata i.e. emaciation or lack of muscle mass has been talked about amongst the signs of depletion of or pathological lower of fats tissue.
–        Avyayama – Not exercising the muscle tissues in any respect will put them in a state of disuse atrophy. The muscle tissues will get weak and will progress in direction of sarcopenia. Fashionable medication additionally opines that this can be a threat issue for sarcopenia.
–        Anashana – Fasting past one’s capability, frequent therapeutic hunger and never getting the vitamin as a lot as one wants, i.e. malnutrition could cause depletion of muscle tissue resulting in sarcopenia.

Different circumstances

Many power ailments and syndromes might trigger lack of muscle mass and turn out to be accountable for sarcopenia. Fashionable medication too has defined a wide selection of ailments which could trigger sarcopenia.

a. Rajayakshama

It’s a syndrome of many signs, every of which is a illness by itself. The causes of Rajayakshma embrace –

–        Vegarodha – forcibly withholding of pure physique urges – which is the principle reason behind vata aggravation and its irregular upward motion which might trigger big range of ailments together with lack of muscle loss and sarcopenia
–        Kshaya – irregular deterioration of tissues which causes pathological enhance of vata. Kshaya additionally consists of lower or lack of muscle mass.
–        Sahasa – extreme train, as already mentioned, causes aggravation of vata which afflicts the muscle tissues to trigger sarcopenia
–        Vishamashana – irregular and erratic meals selections which might trigger aggravation of vata and tridoshas which additional could cause destruction of tissues, together with muscle tissues, resulting in sarcopenia

The pathogenesis of Rajayakshma explains – The doshas, predominantly kapha, would trigger a block of channels of rasa and would trigger depletion of the next tissues resulting in extreme grade of dhatu destruction. The opposite pathway is – in those that are indulged excessively in sexual actions, there might be extreme depletion of semen and retrograde depletion and destruction of all of the dhatus. Each these pathways would trigger extreme grade of dhatu destruction and trigger Rajayakshma.

Rajayakshma is a syndrome which encompasses many ailments defined in fashionable medication together with tuberculosis, AIDS, COPD, Most cancers, and many others all of which can trigger extreme grades of tissue destruction resulting in circumstances like sarcopenia.

Rajayakshma can be in comparison with one other situation referred to as cachexia which suggests losing. Fashionable medication additionally opines that cachexia is a threat issue for sarcopenia. Most cancers, whose signs additionally resemble rajayakshma, can be a threat issue for sarcopenia and so does HIV and COPD.

b. Shosha

It’s a comparable situation of the traces of Rajayakshma. It manifests with destruction of tissues and subsequent emaciation and dryness of the physique. There are a lot of varieties of Shosha and all of them could cause sarcopenia. Shosha is brought on on account of extreme train, grief, ageing, sexual indulgence, strolling, accidents and wounds and chest accidents. That is additionally a syndrome and contains a wide selection of ailments which might have an effect on the muscle tissues in the long term.

c. Mamsa Dhatvagni Vriddhi

Extreme enhance of mamsa dhatu agni – tissue fireplace of muscle tissue will result in muscle burnouts and muscle destruction in the long term which can result in sarcopenia.

d. Mamsagata Vata – When the aggravated vata will get localized within the muscle tissues, it’s going to begin damaging and destroying the muscle tissues. This may result in many painful circumstances of the muscle tissues and circumstances like sarcopenia.

e. Vata Vyadhi – Generally, any vata vyadhi might accompany and current with muscle loss resulting in sarcopenia.

From Causes and Threat issue perspective

Although the pure ageing course of is the first reason behind sarcopenia, many different threat components are stated to be contributory. Allow us to research a couple of threat components talked about in Fashionable medication from Ayurveda perspective.

Bodily exercise – good train is sweet for muscle well being. Extreme indulgence in train will trigger vata aggravation and subsequent lack of tissues on account of affliction of aggravated vata. The muscle tissue too will get into the harm line of extreme bodily exercise and there happens muscle loss resulting in sarcopenia. Alternatively extreme bodily exercise or workouts could cause harm and destruction (loss) of muscle tissue and different tissues which subsequently causes irregular enhance of vata. This vata additional damages the tissues and causes a wide selection of problems together with sarcopenia.

Weight problems – In a situation named ‘Medoroga’ which describes the ailments brought on on account of errors of fats metabolism, which incorporates weight problems, it has been stated ‘Medasavruta Margatvat Pushyanti Anye Na Dhatavaha’ which suggests ‘when the channels of the physique are occluded by the extreme fats deposits, no different tissue of the physique is nourished’. So, the muscle tissue can be nourished in case of weight problems and circumstances brought on on account of extreme fats. This may increasingly trigger sarcopenia.

Continual Ailments – Resulting from a number of components, muscle loss takes place in power ailments. These might embrace decreased digestive energy, much less manufacturing of nutritive juices and fewer nourishment of tissues together with muscle tissue, harm of dhatus – tissues brought on by aggravated doshas, blockage of channels of transportation and many others.

Malnutrition – Meals is the supply for upkeep of well being of all of the tissues, together with mamsa – muscle tissues. The ahara rasa – juicy extract of all meals correctly digested by the digestive fireplace within the abdomen – circulates all through the physique and nourishes all of the tissues, together with muscle tissue. When the particular person doesn’t take meals in correct high quality and amount in relation to what’s required of the physique, the essence of digestion can be fashioned inadequately. This won’t suffice to nourish all of the tissues. Within the course of, there may be insufficient nourishment and assist to the muscle tissue. This results in lack of muscle and discount of muscle bulk. All these occasions might result in sarcopenia.

Diabetes Mellitus – Sarcopenia is a complication of Diabetes Mellitus. Pishita or mamsa – muscle tissue is likely one of the dushyas i.e. contaminant – tissue which is concerned within the pathogenesis of prameha vis-à-vis diabetes mellitus. Prameha can be stated to be a illness which is predominantly brought on by vitiation of medovaha srotas – fats conveying channels. Weight problems and errors of fats metabolism are associated with diabetes and diabetes with sarcopenia. Fashionable medication has thought-about diabetes mellitus as one of many threat components in sarcopenia.

Coronary heart failure – Coronary heart failure is alleged to be one of many threat components for sarcopenia. Hridaya vis-à-vis coronary heart is the foundation of rasavaha srotas – channels conveying vitamin and pranavaha srotas – channels conveying oxygen and very important life power to each cell, together with mamsa i.e. muscle tissues. Hridaya can be a marma – very important organ. Any harm or dysfunction of the guts might deprive vitamin to the muscle tissues and might trigger muscle loss and therefore result in manifestation of sarcopenia.

From the signs perspective

Many of the signs of sarcopenia are on account of vata afflicting the muscle tissues and inflicting their destruction and depletion.

Sl No Signs of Sarcopenia Dhatu concerned Dosha concerned
1 Problem in doing each day actions Mamsa Vata
2 Strolling slowly Mamsa Vata
3 Bother climbing stairs Mamsa Vata
4 Poor stability Mamsa Vata
5 Frequent falls and fractures Mamsa, Asthi Vata
6 Lack of stamina Mamsa Vata
7 Lower in muscle measurement Mamsa Vata

Ayurveda Therapy Ideas for Sarcopenia

Basic Ideas of Administration

Nidana Parivarjana – Avoidance of causative components needs to be insisted upon as the primary line of administration in sarcopenia. Vata and pitta aggravating meals, actions and behaviours needs to be prevented. Extreme train, sexual indulgence, sedentary life and unplanned hunger or obsessive hunger needs to be prevented.

Ahara – One ought to eat correct high quality and amount of meals in accordance with their compatibility, time, season and place of residing.

Addressing Ama and Agni – If errors of metabolism and digestion as discovered with agni variations are evident, they shall be addressed promptly. Therapy for ama needs to be administered as and when presence of ama and its signs are famous. Indicators of srotodushti in relation to rasa, rakta, mamsa and medovaha srotas needs to be famous and if current shall be handled promptly.

Ideas of administration of Mamsa Kshaya

Beneath talked about are the important thing rules in successfully dealing with sarcopenia –

i. Combating Vata – Therapies, medicines and meals to stability vata are very a lot important in treating sarcopenia. When vata will get balanced, muscle mass, power and functioning – all the things will enhance. Care needs to be taken to diagnose the situation as early as attainable and handle it. Since this can be a illness of previous age and previous age is predominant with vata and vata actions it is very important handle vata aggravation in muscle tissues, when scientific signs of the identical are discovered, within the earliest levels of their manifestation. As soon as the illness is established, and the signs are extreme and the illness turns into power, it is vitally tough to treatment sarcopenia. Vata ailments turn out to be very robust to deal with when manifested in previous age and is of power nature and extra so, whether it is related to problems.
ii. Brimhana – The nourishment of muscle tissue is the important thing precept of treating sarcopenia vis-à-vis mamsa kshaya. Meals, medicines and therapies that are bulk selling and nourishing shall be administered.
iii. Balya – Medicines, meals and therapies to strengthen the muscle tissues and enhance their actions and actions.
iv. Rasayana – Medicines and meals which assist in enriching, supporting and strengthening the tissues, works on anti-ageing and rejuvenation precept and are immune modulators shall be administered. They not solely increase restoration but additionally stop additional muscle loss and recurrence of signs.

Exterior Therapies

Beneath talked about exterior therapies are extraordinarily useful in sarcopenia –

–        Abhyanga – natural oil therapeutic massage with oils ready with vata assuaging and muscle nourishing herbs, Ex – Ksheerabala Taila, Ashwagandha Bala Lakshadi Taila, Dhanvantara Taila, Mahamasha Taila, Mahanarayana Taila, Sahachara Taila, Prasarinyadi Taila
–        Dhara – showering in streams of medicated oils over the physique, the identical oils talked about in abhyanga shall be used for dhara additionally
–        Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda – Bolus sudation ready with paddy (rice) grown in sixty days processed in medicated decoctions and milk and tied in a bolus.

Panchakarma Therapies

Vasti – medicated natural enemas – oil and decoction and milk based mostly – to fight vata and strengthen muscle tissues. Additionally it is preventive and causes rejuvenation. Vatahara and Brimhana Vastis needs to be administered on this path. Erandamuladi Kashaya Vasti, Dashamula Kashaya Vasti, Dashamula Ksheera Vasti, Raja Yapana Vasti, Mustadi Yapana Vasti are the most effective selections. For unctuous enema – Ashwagandha Ghritam, Brihat Chagalyadi Ghrita, Ksheerabala Taila, Guggulutiktaka Ghritam, Mahamasha Taila, Sahacharadi Tailam, Bala Tailam, are the most effective selections.

Virechana – medicated purgation, needs to be administered to expel morbid pitta and management irritation.

Different Therapy Ideas

Remedies needs to be given in relation to the beneath talked about problems as and when they’re discovered to be causal for sarcopenia –

–        Karshya
–        Vata Vyadhi
–        Sthoulya and Medo Roga
–        Rajayakshma
–        Shosha
–        Prameha
–        Hrdroga
–        Shwasa
–        Mamsagata Vata
–        Vata Vyadhi
–        Amavata and Sandhigata Vata
–        Mamsa Dhatu Agni Vriddhi

Helpful herbs in Sarcopenia

–        Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera
–        Bala – Sida cordifolia
–        Atibala – Abutilon indicum
–        Shallaki – Boswellia serrata
–        Devadaru – Cedrus deodara
–        Punarnava – Boerhavia diffusa,
–        Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus
–        Eranda – Ricinus communis
–        Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
–        Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata
–        Dashamula

Helpful formulations

–        Maharasnadi Kashayam
–        Sahacharadi Kashayam
–        Prasarinyadi Kashayam
–        Rasonadi Kashayam
–        Balaguluchyadi Kashayam
–        Dashamula Kashayam
–        Drakshadi Kashayam
–        Ashwagandha Churnam
–        Ashwagandha Rasayanam
–        Ajamamsa Rasayanam
–        Ajashwagandha Rasayanam
–        Balarishtam
–        Ashwagandharishtam
–        Dashamularishtam 



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