Table of contents:
- The Link Between Lactic Acid and Exercise
- Symptoms and Causes of Excess Lactic Acid
- Lactic Acid Level Test
- Treatment for Excess Lactic Acid Due to Exercise
Excess lactic acid or lactic acidosis can occur due to several things, such as intensive exercise or due to infection. When experiencing this condition, the body can experience certain symptoms, ranging from mild to severe
Lactic acid is a by-product of the body's metabolism produced in muscle cells and red blood cells. The amount of lactic acid in the body will usually increase when the body is doing a lot of physical activity or exercising.
The Link Between Lactic Acid and Exercise
When exercising, the body will need more oxygen, but the amount of oxygen is not always sufficient. When this happens, the body will increase the metabolism to produce enough energy. One of the by-products formed from this process is lactic acid.
The increase in lactic acid due to exercise is generally not harmful to the body, but it can cause certain complaints, such as shortness of breath and faster breathing.
The increased amount of lactic acid is also more at risk for people who exercise excessively. Apart from exercise, lactic acid can also increase due to certain medical conditions.
Symptoms and Causes of Excess Lactic Acid
When the body is experiencing excess lactic acid due to exercise, you may feel the following symptoms:
- Cramping or muscle pain
- Too much sweat
- Heart beats fast
If it occurs due to exercise, these symptoms will generally subside on their own after the body rests and the metabolism returns to normal.
However, an increase in lactic acid can sometimes also be caused by certain medical conditions or diseases. This can cause symptoms of excess lactic acid, even if you're not exercising.
The following are some medical conditions that can cause excess lactic acid:
- Heart attack
- Breathing failure
- Fluid buildup or swelling in the lungs (pulmonary oedema)
- Heart disease
- severe dehydration
In addition to the above conditions, the body can also experience excess lactic acid due to alcohol poisoning or metabolic disorders.
When experiencing complaints or certain medical conditions that can cause the body to have excess lactic acid, you should immediately consult a doctor.
If the excess lactic acid is severe and not treated immediately, this can lead to several complications, such as heart rhythm disturbances and blood acid-base disorders.
Lactic Acid Level Test
To check the level of lactic acid in the body, the doctor will do a blood test. This test is done by taking a blood sample from a vein or artery using a needle. In addition to lactic acid levels, blood tests can also be done to determine oxygen levels in the blood.
The normal level of lactic acid is less than 2 mmol/L. However, this figure is only a reference because the normal level of lactic acid in a person can vary.
Before taking a blood test, you should avoid consuming alcoholic beverages or certain drugs, such as the tuberculosis drug isoniazid or the diabetes drug metformin. This is because these drugs can affect the accuracy of the lactic acid test results.
Treatment for Excess Lactic Acid Due to Exercise
Excess lactic acid due to exercise is usually temporary and harmless. To prevent and overcome the occurrence of excess lactic acid in the body, you can follow the following tips:
- Drink enough water or electrolyte drinks during and after exercise.
- Do moderate exercise, which is about 30 minutes every day or at least 3 times per week.
- Learn breathing techniques during exercise to help your muscles get more oxygen.
- Warm up and cool down after exercise.
- Sufficient rest after exercise.
Excess lactic acid due to exercise is not a dangerous thing. However, increasing the amount of lactic acid in the body can be dangerous if it is caused by certain diseases.
Therefore, if you do not do strenuous physical activity or sports but experience symptoms of excess lactic acid, such as weakness, chest palpitations, and muscle aches, immediately consult a doctor. That way, the doctor can determine the cause and provide the appropriate treatment.