Lactic Acid And How To Get Rid Of It

After a high-intensity exercise it’s good to keep moving to avoid lactic acid build-up, but what does that even mean? Find out how to live an active and healthy lifestyle while taking precautions to avoid injury. Dr. Wisniewski, a chiropractor in West Omaha, NE, is here to help educate, treat and prevent injuries. 

What is lactic acid?

Lactic acid is a condition when too much acid is produced in the body. This happens when lactate is either overproduced or underused. If the body is unable to adjust to either of these situations then lactic acid becomes an issue. Lactic acid specifically affects the pH balance in the body and causes an imbalance. If there isn’t enough oxygen present in the body it can cause muscles to break down and metabolize.

When doing a high-intensity workout your body needs to be fueled by the breakdown of glucose known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). During these workouts, the muscles need oxygen to perform and if it isn’t available then lactic acid is produced. When lifting weights or doing cardio, the need for ATP is high while oxygen levels are low.

How do you get lactic acid?

There can be many underlying causes of lactic acid, such as:

Heart disease

When experiencing cardiac arrest or heart failure, blood flow and oxygen are reduced throughout the body which can increase the level of lactate.


Sepsis is caused by any viral or bacterial infection. Due to lowered oxygen levels, those with sepsis may have higher lactate levels than others.


Medications given with HIV can cause an increase in lactate levels as well as liver damage. This makes it harder for the body to process lactate.


Cancer cells produce lactate in the body. During cancer treatment, it isn’t uncommon for a patient to lose weight which can increase the amount of lactate that is produced.


The treatment of lactic acid all depends on the cause of it. Some of the causes may call for immediate emergency treatment while others are milder. A good starting point would be to increase the oxygen levels in the tissues and give IV fluids to lower lactic acid levels.


More severe symptoms include:

  1. Fruity-smelling breath which can be a symptom of a diabetes complication.

  2. Confusion

  3. Jaundice, which is caused by liver impairment and is the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.

  4. Trouble breathing.

Other lactic acidosis symptoms include:

  1. Exhaustion or extreme fatigue

  2. Muscle cramps

  3. Weakness and physical discomfort

  4. Abdominal pain 

  5. Diarrhea

  6. Decrease in appetite

  7. Headache

  8. Rapid heart rate

Chiropractor West Omaha, NE

Live your healthy and active lifestyle to its fullest by preventing and treating your injuries. Schedule an appointment at Wisniewski Chiropractic in west Omaha, NE! Contact us today to book your appointment.