I came across this article on Medscape “Frailty Syndrome: An Emerging Clinical Problem in the Everyday Management of Clinical Arrhythmias” a survey put out by the European Heart Rhythm Association – part of the same organization that gave me an award in 2012 for my contribution to Rhythm Management using magnesium. Since I’m interested in the role of magnesium deficiency in arrhythmias and I’d never heard of frailty syndrome, I was intrigued. I looked for the definition of frailty syndrome and apparently it’s “A condition, seen particularly in older patients, characterized by low functional reserve, easy tiring, decrease of libido, mood disturbance, accelerated osteoporosis, decreased muscle strength, and high susceptibility to disease.”
I think this syndrome has been invented because telling a patient that their health decline is because of their age must no longer be politically correct. It’s also a way of continuing to blame the patient for being the problem, not medicine for their failure to help people with frailty syndrome and certainly letting medicine off the hook for potentially creating the frailty syndrome with a lifetime of medications and misdiagnosis of mineral and other nutrient deficiencies!
Of course, the definition of frailty syndrome states that they are mostly older patients. However, the study that’s reviewed in this article says that only 53% of the participants were over 70 leaving 47% with frailty syndrome below age 70. Since I’m pushing 70 and feel like I’m 40, I think it’s quite erroneous to think that someone over 70 is elderly and frail.
Here is how the study’s authors characterize the aging population.
The aging process of population and improvements in medical therapy have accounted for the progressive increase of elderly patients presenting with a clinically relevant arrhythmia. Aging is frequently characterized by the coexistence of several comorbid conditions, often reciprocally interacting to produce a greater than additive negative impact on health status. At the same time, sub-clinical malnutrition, inactivity, and low-grade inflammation may exert a hidden effect on several body systems. All these changes are associated with frailty development, an age-related phenomenon, characterized by an increased vulnerability to stressors and a decreased ability to maintain homeostasis.
A much more enlightened approach to aging is found in the 2014 paper co-authored by Drs. Burton and Bella Altura. It’s called “Short-term magnesium deficiency downregulates telomerase, upregulates neutral sphingomyelinase and induces oxidative DNA damage in cardiovascular tissues: relevance to atherogenesis, cardiovascular diseases and aging.” You can download it online; here is a brief overview:
Aging is now agreed to be critical in the etiology of metabolic decline in most subjects as they close-in on their 65th birthday. Many subjects at 65 years of age show signs of metabolic decline, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and often type 2 diabetes, which eventually contribute to congestive heart failure by their 75th-85th year. It is, thus, of considerable interest, here, to remind the reader that all of these attributes have been associated, both experimentally and clinically, with the presence of Mg-deficient states where they have been looked for and measured properly. The aging process is also associated with an increase in the levels of proinflammatory cytokines in tissues and cells all present in Mg-deficient animals, tissues, and different cell types.
With 47% of the study population below age 70, frailty syndrome is not a disease of the elderly. It is a disease of people who don’t have the proper nutrients to support the structure and function of their body.
Let me deconstruct frailty syndrome for you in terms of nutrient deficiencies using the exact words in the above definition.
a. Older patients are more magnesium deficient.
b. Low functional reserve means lack of nutrient building blocks to make perfect cells that function perfectly.
c. Easy tiring is a magnesium deficiency symptom because magnesium is require to make ATP energy; helps you achieve a deep sleep; relaxes your muscles and nerves.
d. Decrease of libido can be due to several mineral deficiencies that affect the sex hormones. Also low energy will decrease libido.
e. Mood disturbance is related to magnesium and mineral deficiency.
f. Accelerated osteoporosis can be a result of too much calcium and not enough magnesium in the diet and dietary supplements.
g. Decreased muscle strength is related to magnesium deficiency.
h. High susceptibility to disease occurs when the body is low in immune boosting minerals; digestible protein; methylated B vitamins; and precursors to glutathione.
The progression of frailty syndrome to include arrhythmias follows the trajectory of magnesium deficiency. Remember that the highest amount of magnesium in the body is in the heart, so the heart holds out the longest in the face of increasing magnesium deficiency. When you begin to have arrhythmias the electrolytes are no longer in balance and an electrical disturbance results. This paper is about the problem of increasing arrhythmias in frail individuals.
I have a much better name for frailty syndrome (which I don’t even bother to capitalize), I call if Total Body Meltdown (TBM) and it’s not dependent on age. I’ve been watching people develop TBM for decades. I find a lot of mothers after their 2nd or 3rd child are in that category. For many people it’s all the medications, the surgeries, as well as poor lifestyle that adds up to crippling nutrient deficiencies that cause disease. Frailty syndrome implies that a person is weak, but in reality the body has been beaten down by magnesium and other mineral deficiencies and never given a chance to replace those minerals and recover.
However, you can always turn things around – countless people have. The body’s genetic programming is geared toward survival and perfection. We just have to give it the right building blocks.
All the necessary nutrients and building blocks mentioned above are in my Completement Formulas: ReMag, ReMyte, ReAline, and ReStructure. RnA Drops provide that mystery factor from germinated barley seeds that help our RNA make cleaner copies of our DNA. I also advise two products that are sold on our website but come from other manufacturers – the best probiotic – Prescript Assist and the best fermented cod liver oil for your Vit A, D, K2 (Blue Ice Royal). All these products are extremely beneficial to help support the structure and function of the body to overcome frailty syndrome and Total Body Meltdown.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: email@example.com.