The Greek word atrophy passed into Latin as atrophy, which later came to Spanish as atrophy. The concept alludes to absence of development of a body part or structure.
In the field of biology, atrophy is called a decrease in the number and / or size of tissues that make up an organ, which happens to have functionality problems and a lower weight and volume than usual.
Atrophy is linked to a decrease in the size of the cells by the detriment of cell mass. These atrophic cells are still alive, although their function is limited. Therefore, when they form tissues and organs, these structures are deficient.
There are different types of atrophy. It is called senile atrophy to the disorder that the organs and the tissues of a subject when he reaches an advanced age.
The degenerative atrophy It has the peculiarity of accompanying a process that causes the destruction of cells. This is due to changes in the core of the cell and in its cytoplasm, causing necrosis.
The simple atrophy, on the other hand, it is the most common and consists of a decrease in the volume of the muscular elements, which results in the shrinkage of the tissues. This atrophy appears, for example, when a person he maintains a very long fast.
The muscular atrophy, which causes paralysis, can arise from malnutrition, Cancer, a heart problem and other disorders and inconveniences. Its treatment requires inhibiting the causes that cause it and promoting the development of muscle mass.
Delving further into the concept of muscular atrophy, two well-defined types are distinguished: neurogenic and that arising from disuse. The first is the more serious of the two, and can appear as a consequence of a disease or a injury in the nerves that are connected to the muscles. Another difference from the other type of atrophy is that it usually appears more suddenly.
Among the diseases that attack the nerves responsible for controlling the muscles: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as disease by Lou Gehrig); damage to a single nerve, something that occurs, for example, with carpal tunnel syndrome; Guillian-Barre syndrome; nerve damaged due to diabetes, alcoholism, or injury, among other reasons; poliomyelitis; injured spinal cord.
With regard to disuse atrophy, its cause is the lack of use of the muscles or the extreme decrease of activity. One way to reverse this situation is improve your diet and start a routine of exercise physical. Among the factors that usually lead to this type of atrophy are the following:
* being bedridden due to certain health problems that limit or impede movement;
* jobs that require you to stay in a seat for long hours;
* a brain disease, such as a stroke, that prevents the movement of the extremities.
While some individuals can adapt to muscle atrophy, we should not underestimate the loss of strength and mobility that even the mildest cases can cause. When the condition lasts indefinitely and there does not seem to be a logical explanation for its presence, then it is time to contact a doctor. Generally a good method of detecting an abnormality in the functioning of the muscles consists of comparing the members of one side with those of the other.
In the office, doctors often ask their patients when the case of muscle atrophy started, if it has worsened since then and if it has detected other symptom. To determine the nerves that have been involved, you will examine the extremities and take measurements of the muscles.