What Are Some Symptoms of a Lactic Acid Buildup?

Symptoms of lactic acid buildup in the bloodstream, known as lactic acidosis, include a sensation of burning in the muscles, weakness, cramps and nausea, reports WebMD. Extreme lactic acidosis may also cause vomiting and coma, warns Drugs.com. Lactic acidosis produces the painful feeling during extreme workouts that warns against permanent damage, but it is not responsible for post workout soreness in the muscles, points out Scientific American.

The most common cause of lactic acidosis is strenuous exercise, explains WebMD. During an intense workout, the body cannot produce enough oxygen to process glucose for energy, so instead it makes lactate, which builds up in the blood more rapidly than the body can burn it. To avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of lactic acidosis, athletes should warm up before exercise, pace themselves and build up the amount of exercise they do slowly so their bodies develop a tolerance. They should also drink plenty of water to flush excess acid, get lots of rest, maintain a healthy diet and take time to recover after exercise.

Medical conditions that may cause lactic acidosis include cancer, AIDS, kidney disease, liver disease or lung disease, according to Drugs.com. Severe blood loss, sepsis, seizures, heart attacks or certain medications can also cause lactic acidosis. Diagnosis involves using a blood test to measure the blood’s lactate content, and treatment involves addressing the condition that causes the lactic acidosis.