Sarcopenic Obesity: What is it?

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Your muscle structure will convert to fat unless you do something to enable your body to continue to make new muscle.

Dr. Maupin’s office is dedicated to following current research in order to stay on the cutting edge of changes in medical knowledge. Hormone replacement therapies are still controversial among doctors who have been out of medical school for many years. This is due to multiple factors, one the Women’s Health Initiative study which scared everyone about the potential for cancer, this study has been debunked but because of its original notoriety, many doctors still reactively think in terms of its erroneous conclusions. Another reason that HRT is not universally accepted as a medical practice is that many doctors have been a long time away from what they were taught at medical school and have not updated their knowledge base or their skill sets.

Dr. Maupin’s office has a training program for physicians which helps those who are interested and willing to become knowledgeable and proficient in the area of hormone replacement therapy. In order to meet the expectations of her client base and of the physicians she trains it is imperative that she stay on top of the most recent trends in research and the conclusions from those studies. Dr. Maupin spends a good deal of her time keeping current on the most recent research studies that impact her work.

This week we are talking about a term that is new to both of us, Sarcopenic Obesity, more commonly called “skinny fat”. As we age our bodies begin to reduce their production and maintenance of testosterone. This reality leads to the stages of deterioration that we used to call the aging process. The illnesses of aging are somewhat predictable and many of them, we now know are either avoidable or their impact can be minimized by the replacement of their natural hormones to levels they established in our youth. Those hormones happen to decline in a sequence that is typical. The first such loss is testosterone. We call it the first domino to fall. After it topples, other hormones in our bodies also begin to decline. By replacing testosterone, we can maintain the functions of our bodies that testosterone is supposed to regulate, and we can then focus on or impact the other hormones as they, too, begin to decline.

We have a new piece of equipment in our offices called the “In-Body” machine. This is a marvelous new scale that tells us your weight but also can identify where in the body your muscle structures are located and the amount of water weight you are carrying. These data can help us understand what kind of weight you are carrying and where you are carrying it. Information provided by this machine can help us to determine a diet and exercise program for you that will maximize your results from your HRT program.

Sarcopenic Obesity is a term to describe the reality that your muscle structure will convert to fat unless you do something to enable your body to continue to make new muscle as you age. Testosterone is required for your body to be able to manufacture muscles.  The result of this, when it is not treated, is that you can appear to be skinny when you are not. Your body needs to maintain a certain level of muscle mass. If your muscles convert to fat cells, even though you are not obese, you are what we call skinny fat.  We want to prevent this condition and to fight it you are already suffering from it. We can do this through a program of replacing your testosterone and then working on a diet and exercise program that is tailored for you and your body. You can regain your strength and you have lost by regaining your muscles and then you can build on that strength to help you stay healthy, and flexible. You can re-acquire the ability to walk with balance and to move with ease. These improvements require that you make effort on a regular basis and that you watch your food intake. But they are all built on a foundation of restoring your testosterone.


This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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