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KASETSINSOI1 SparkPoints: (9,886)
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8/1/18 1:08 A

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Thanks so much for the reply.

I have temporarily reduced slightly my exercise until I see my neurologist, and it has definitely helped. As I mentioned, cardiologist and orthopedic doctors both said to continue, but cut back a little. I was originally doing around 4,000 steps a day, and quickly increased to 12,000-13,000 in a very, very hilly neighborhood, and 10 flights of stairs a day. By cutting back to 8,000 steps/5 flights, I find I am able to walk much further at a stretch, and the sensation of weakness is about 10% of what it had been. I've even begun walking the hills, but much shorter distances. One thing you mentioned was hydration. I had not realized how dehydrated I was getting -- the sweat soaked shirt should have been a clue!. The Thai heat, sun and humidity was really impacting me more than I realized.

So I'm glad to be able to increase my exercise but lessen impact on my legs while I continue to lose weight. I will see what the neurologist thinks, but for now am happy to get back out there and walk again...just not as aggressively as I had been. Thanks again!

SP_COACH_DEAN's Photo SP_COACH_DEAN Posts: 15,299
7/26/18 11:37 A

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I can't say what's causing the weakness around your knee, but I do think it's a good idea to cut back on your time and distance until you have a better idea of what's going on, just to make sure you don't do any permanent damage or get injured.

It would also be a good idea to rule out common problems like dehydration, mineral (electrolyte) deficiencies, or low blood sugar levels. All of those can cause muscle weakness and reduced performance. Since the muscles around your knee are doing a lot of the work when you're walking up and down hills, they could be the ones affected most noticeably if you do get dehydrated. You might want to try using "enhanced" water, with electrolytes added (or a sportsdrink like gatorade). Have a glass a little while before your walk, and carry a bottle with you so you can have some if you start feeling weak during your walk. And make sure you're not going too long without eating anything before you set out on your walks.

Overtraining can also lead to declining performance, either though insufficient recovery time between workouts, or through overdoing things on a regular basis. Here's a link to an article with more info on overtraining and its symptoms:

https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1793

There are some fairly common medical conditions like "intermittent claudication" that can cause symptoms of weakness (often, but not always, accompanied by pain) in leg muscles. I didn't discover I had that problem until I started hiking up in our local mountains as part of my regular exercise plan.

Maybe one good thing to do before you see your neurologist would be to start keeping a short journal every day where you make some notes about what you did that day, what you drank and ate and when you ate it, and whether you had the problem with muscle weakness. If you did, try to describe the symptoms in as much detail as you can.

That should help the neurologist zero in on the cause of the problem.

Hope this helps.

"All your life, you have just been waiting for this moment to arise."
(Lennon & McCartney, "Blackbird")






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KASETSINSOI1 SparkPoints: (9,886)
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7/26/18 5:18 A

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I began dieting/walking 20 months ago. I'm down 77 pounds so far, and have gone from a 200-300 yard maximum walk to 2-3 miles. I am retired in Thailand and live on a very steep hill, so almost no flat area for walking. When I first started walking at 362 pounds, I would have to stop every few minutes due to lower back pain and weakness in the muscles above the knee. Over the next 10-15 months the pain and weakness basically disappeared unless I really pushed myself. About 6 weeks ago I began using a Fitbit and immediately increased my walking to 6-8 miles a day, making sure I get a minimum of 10,000 steps, and 10 flights of stairs. Again, due to the terrain, I break this up into a few sessions a day.

I noticed within a few days my muscle weakness around the knee has returned and is worse. I have absolutely NO pain...just very weak after about a half mile...weak to the point it feels like I could fall if I don't stop. If I stop for a minute or less and rest I can begin again at full strength and go another half mile before the weakness returns.

I go to cardiologist twice a year, and since dieting/exercising my blood counts are perfectly normal. Saw him two weeks ago and he said if no pain, continue walking. Met with an orthopedics specialist and he tested knee and muscles and said all was strong. Took X-rays and found a slight disc compression in lower lumbar area. He said since I have no pain to continue walking and if pain develops we can consider MRIs/surgery in the future. I have an appointment with a neurologist in two weeks for an old wrist problem and will discuss whether the muscle weakness could be neurological due to impact of the disc compression.

My question (finally)...has anyone had a situation where they began exercising too strenuously in the early phase of weight loss, or increased too drastically later and found they were suffering from muscle weakness. I intend to continue my walks, but until speaking with the neurologist I will cut back on time and distance. Depending on what he says, maybe I need to get all three doctors in the same room.

Thanks for any feedback.

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