I've always been healthy and strong. In the past few months my legs have been getting weak and hurting. Am getting so unsteady, I sometimes need a cane. Especially walking outdoors on uneven ground. After sitting, I need to stand a few moments before I can start walking. I am nearly 80, and suppose age is part of it. But why should it start so suddenly? Do not even want to go places where I might have to walk 100 ft or more. Also get very short of breath when I exert myself. I bowled last year, but afrAID TO TRY THIS YEAR.
Eighty is not old. I have a little girlfriend who is 104. You ask some excellent questions for which I have no easy answers. First thing you need to get what is called an hbca1c red blood cell test. This will measure your glucose levels for the previous three months. Diabetes is a significant cause of fatigue. You can get these without prescription now at many U.S. pharmacies, but they require taking a number of droplets of blood. Better to have the test performed by your physician. Poor circulation is another problem and 1000 mg a day of omega three fish oils should help considerably. You should also take a D3 supplement (not D alone). I would also suggest a magnesium glycinate supplement, which tends to improve cardiac contractility. If you use a cane, you should consider talking to a rehab specialist about how to walk with a cane. It may sound humiliating to have someone instruct you on "something so simple", but there are techniques that are not intuitive. Drink plenty of liquids to insure you are well hydrated. One of the big problems is that many physicians and hospitals pay little attention to someone who is eighty, even the "geriatric specialists", They all have the "mother Teresa" line, but they simply don't listen. They assume all eighty year olds are hypochondriacs. A dippler scan of your legs might be in order. Peripheral circulation is another system that degrades with age. I would also take pomegranite supplements, which, interestingly enough, have been shown to remove fatty deposits within the blood vessels. The juice alone has too much sugar. Muscles contract through a mechanism involving calcium, and if there are low blood calcium levels they fatigue easily. This is complicated because too much calcium produces aging, accoding to Dr. Hans Selye, but a glass or two of milk a day would not hurt. The fact you need to stand a moment or two before walking suggests that your peripheral vasculature is not contracting quickly enough. Neuropathy secondary to poor blood sugar control is one cause. Use of a rocking chair is helpful. When you push down with your legs it exercises the muscles to push the blood upwards. There are several types of canes, and you might try one with "four-points" of supplort.
I am a 69 yo male who experiences precisely the same symptoms and responses to the symptoms as you describe. I don't feel like I am ready to restrict myself to a chair and the TV quite yet. I still have a lot of living I want to do that will require signigficant mobility; ideally, pain free mobility. I'll be monitoring this discussion to see what responses you receive. Good luck.
I would also suggest that you get checked out for a herniated disc in the lumbar region of your back. This could compress the nerves that go to the legs resulting in pain and weakness. I also suggest you check out taking at least 1000 iu's of Vitamin D supplements daily.
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