Lactic acid 'rushes' in muscles

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I suffer from what feels like floods of lactic acid in my legs, arms, and now my pelvis whenever I walk more than a few steps and immediately I start trying to walk up any kind of incline or hill. Does anyone else have experience of this? My doctor, generally good, just scratches his head and says he doesn't know why I'm getting it,or how to help with it. I am very disabled by it, and I have to stop every few steps as it makes me feel very sore and nauseous. Any tips for this? Much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Hi Elliebee,

    You are the first person I have heard discuss this lactic acid rush though I am sure lots of people get it.  I get it all the time - though it worsens as my overall illness worsens.  I have no confirmed knowledge on this though my guess is that it is to do with malfunction in our cells at the mitochondrial level.  The mitochondria are our cell powerhouses which provide the energy we need for our bodies to work properly.  In CFS/ME our energy supply malfunctions/is depleted so when we exercise our muscles walking or climbing stairs, unlike healthy people, it takes very little to deplete the mitochondria and produce lactic acid. Basically we climb a few stairs and reach "the burn" very quickly. I don't know if this is actually correct but it makes complete sense to me.  The only thing I can suggest is to try and improve the energy output - what little energy we actually have -  and one way to do this is using Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10).  This is supposed to help at the mitochondrial level to release the energy we have.  There are some poor souls who are born with the rare mitochondrial disease where the mitochondria die off and organs gradually malfunction.  For us, I think the problem is the release of energy at the mitochondrial level and the ability to replenish our energy supply at that level too.  It is a fascinating subject but that doesn't help with the lactic acid rushes we get.  Like any athlete who gets the burn we have to just rest and allow our muscles to replenish so yes, you need to stop for a few seconds when it happens.  I have tried pushing through for example to keep up with people if I am out but I have suffered for it with really bad post exertion malaise which has taken longer to subside than if I don't push through.  There is so much unknown about our illness so we just have to do what we can to live with it, unfortunately.  If I get the rushes I just take short rest when walking or whatever it is I am doing.  I also know if I am particularly bothered by this I have reached my limit for that day and try to wind down and do very little if I can.  Like now - I have been prattling on a lot on this site today!  If anyone else has any advice or information about this particular symptom I would be very glad to hear it.  I hope you feel better.

    Linda

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda

      Thank you so much for that! That would make sense - I haven't read much about the mitochondrial dysfunction theory but what I have seen makes proper sense to me. If I'm very tired walking anywhere causes these floods, but hills are always difficult. Like you, I tried to push through a few times but was nearly weeping by the time I got tot the top and my legs were like rubber. The other place I get this badly is across my breastbone and collarbones. On bad days, it hurts to breath and each breath causes nausea as I feel my muscles burning. Brushing my teeth was one of the fist things I noticed when I got ill - had to stop three or four times and close my eyes and breath through the pain of it. What frightens me is that this is getting progressively worse - my pelvis only started doing this a few weeks ago, and now I get it every time I go up a hill.

      It sounds like I am am mountaineer, so to explain my work is at the top of a short but fairly steep hill! The bus takes me part way but I have what used to be a three or four minute walk to the office, uphill almost all the way. So I notice it a lot. That walk takes me ten minutes now.

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    • Posted

      I just wrote a reply that's gone for modding (no idea why) but I also hit post too soon without finishing! I'll try CoQ10, thank you. The leg burn is bad enough, but at least I can stop walking - the chest pain is trickier, as I really can't stop breathing... (On bad days all I can do is lie or sit up in bed and breathe shallow breaths, trying not to pant in case I hyperventilate, it's awful).

      ellie

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    • Posted

      That's awful for you Elliebee.  It is really frightening having chest pain like that.  We all sound like we are falling to bits! - no wonder people who don't suffer CFS can't get their heads round the myriad symptoms we have. I find that shallow breathing, gently helps.  Also heat is good.  I now have an electric pad like a mini electric blanket which a friend bought me but a hot water bottle or one of those heat in the microwave pads are good.  You are right to avoid hyperventilating - this just makes you feel worse because you are breathing harder.  The name for this is costochondritis, which is inflammation in the joints at the chest wall - this site has a really good explanation and some suggestions to manage the pain.  It is common for people with fibromyalgia to suffer this and those with CFS often have fibromyalgia.  I used to get very sharp, severe pain and have been carted off to hospital in an ambulance a few times because it looked as though I was having a heart attack!  I haven't had that for a long time though - maybe I am managing it better or the medication I take prevents it.  Anyway, look up costochondritis on this site where you might find something helpful.

      Linda

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    • Posted

      I cannot thank you enough! Because the doc scratched his head I just thought it was an unfortunate, weird symptom that only I got... Also a rheumatologist told me I didn't have fibromyalgia as I didn't have pain at common spots, or tender points - it's generally only my right arm, shoulder and collarbone that hurt all the time, and touching doesn't make it worse, though moving does (which is consistent with your explanation of individual cells being over-taxed by normal movement prompting a surge of lactic acid). A neurologist said clearly there was nerve inflammation or damage in my upper left quadrant, therefore referred for nerve conduction tests on my left side but also said she expected the tests to be normal. Helpful, eh? 

      I'm off to look up costochondritis!

      Ellie

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    • Posted

      You do know that I am only telling you what I have read and my own opinions on things?  I am no expert, not medically trained - just a long time sufferer who needs to research what is happening to me!  If you come across anything which contradicts me or gives more or better information or advice I would be very grateful if you would share with me!

      Linda

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    • Posted

      Of course!  This is where the medical profession fails us, I think, and sharing experiences between one another is the only way to get information and any kind of practical advice (apart from 'rest more and here are some painkillers').  I've seen the CoQ10 mentioned in other forums, but my mind is so foggy that I forget what I've seen and where I've seen it.  So I'll give i a go.  It's at least unlikely to land me in A&E, which is where a couple of medics have put me recently... I'll let you know how I get on with it, for sure. 
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    • Posted

      I get this and i cant take it anymore does this mean i have ME i hope not i cant afford to not work,is there any way to stop this burning it rules my life
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  • Posted

    Hi Ellibee,

    Sorry to hear of your troubles. I too have the LActic acid problem and I started using MAgnesium spray after I have a shower, there is a recipe for making it and I have to admit that it has helped.  It's a great way of getting a large hit of magnesium as your skin is a large organ.....  Do remember that as with evverything ME/CFS start small and increase dose etc slowly and surely.   As for the Breathing, I was firstly told I have hyperventilation syndome!!!!  I use yoga, tummy breathing, long pacticed now, to calm my breathing and take it back down from my chest to my tummy, this really does help.  I understand that this all sounds like a lot to ahve to do, but it is worth it, they make coping a little easier. However  I always knew that I have this ghastly illness it jsut took the medical professiona  while to catch up....  I have learned many many coping strategies through the 23years of this nasty illness and the most important thing is to start and practice daily, relaxation ... I know this sounds impossible when you are overwhelmed with symptoms but I promise you it will work if you stick at it.  I see it as my treatment time, I downloaded a 20 min relxation mp3 player, from Andrew Johnson, it only cost a few pounds, and I chose his for his voice..  smile  I know have a OC who advocates using this 3 times a day.. and she also says that we must NOT over extend at any time....  The fallout is too great.  I am on 10 mins in every hour however I am still unable to have any energy in the afternoons, so I close my curtains get myself as comfy as is possible, not very, and listen to CD talking books that are from the library and if I am very lucky I might lose myself for a short time in a story, have a second or two without the constant pain and various others, that come with this illness.  I can only say to you that the very best thing you can do for yourself.  I have learned this from bitter experience and much misery.  I am currently house and mainly bedbound but I will not be beaten and in those short times I have energy I use it doing something that I love.  I have also found that any positive input, mainly mp3 cd's from Louise Hay etc, that in the beginning I would leave looping all night so the message would inbed quicker, I now have my audiobooks looping so that I don't end up in the middle of the night with just my own thoughts..!!  Not a good idea with this illness.  I am done for now, and I hope that this is legible..  Good luck... Lily

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily,

      I know it wasn't a message for me but I read your post with great interest.  First I am so sorry to hear that your have been suffering for 23 years.  I have 7 1/2 behind me and know how awful that has been.  I've been quite busy over the past couple of days so will keep this short because I am in danger of overdoing things - I can feel myself getting really tired.  (I've been pretty wound up with things very recently)  Can you tell me more specifically about the positive input cd's you have and where you got them?  I am a great believer in the power of suggestion and would love to get a hold of some.  Hope you are having a "good" day. lol

      Linda

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    • Posted

      Oh Lily, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write such a great reply! I get great relief from Epsom salts baths, which I believe are high in magnesium and allows absorption through the skin.  I've run out - I will get more in today.  I'm interested in the spray too.  

      I'm so sorry to hear you're so restricted by this horrible illness, but can I just say that your determination and resilience is really inspiring.  Hearing stories from people like you, those whose lives have been turned upside down and still they fight on daily, that's what makes this journey ahead so much less frightening.  I'm only a year in, and after a sudden onset of crippling fatigue, my symptoms have appeared in waves and I've become sicker and sicker.  

      I too invest in audiobooks, which I absolutely love, but I will have to start going to the library for cds because they are very expensive!  I've posted elsewhere that i'm finding mindful meditation twice a day very useful.  My daughters both suffer from acute anxiety disorder, and they cope very well and have a number of strategies that I've pinched - 7/11 breathing I've used a lot on buses when pain has suddenly hit and I panic that I can't walk well enough to get off.  Awful.  

      Thanks so much again.  I've written down your recommendations, and I'll give them a whirl to see if they work for me (I learned very quickly to always listen to a sample of an audiobook - there are some voices I cannot stand!)

      Best wishes, El x

       

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    • Posted

      Several times I have thought, right, Epsom Salts but somehow I have never gotten round to it.  I got a foot spa for Christmas though so I am definitely going to try them in that.  Just one thing, what is the difference between food grade and medical grade?  I have tried researching but my brain fog is coming on with a vengeance! (Time for a nap I think, or at least a rest)
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    • Posted

      If you go to the Epsom Salts Council website there is a direct quesion about that!  I never thought of ingesting them...I think I'd rather just take a magnesium supplement.  Boots sell small pots, which is what I've been using, but I see Amazon sell big 10kg bags which work out much, much cheaper.  I'm shattered too - off to do a bit of meditation and have a lie down.  Take it easy, and hope you get a peaceful rest.  El x
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    • Posted

      Wow, who would have thunk it as they say in the USA.  The Epsom Salts Council!  I will check it out, thanks.
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  • Posted

    Hi Elliebee

    Maybe look into Manual Lymphatic Drainage. It's a type of gentle massage. I don't know if this may help you. 

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