I was wondering while growing old at altitude why I seemed to be getting a bit weaker, wanted to sleep more, and had some shortness of breath at altitude.
Being up over 9000 feet in altitude can be tricky for the body to adapt to. In fact rising to altitude too quickly (starting at over 8200 feet or about 2500 meters) one's tissues can start to release fluid.
It's called EDEMA - it can happen in the hands, feet/legs, the lungs and brain and other internal tissues - it can happen in the muscles of the face, the ear and eyes..
If the rise to altitude is too fast, the swelling, the tissue flooding can make breathing hard, can cause pressure on the brain, the eyes and the organs - and one can be severely injured or die.
This effect of altitude sickness happens time and time again, where a person not accustomed to living over 8200 feet is introduced to that altitude from sea level..
Every now and then even though I have lived at altitude, about 7800 feet for about 30 years and over 9000 feet for over 15 years, when allergies strike the immune system goes into hyperdrive, and tissue flooding can happen..
I was curious - is there a way to get over this issue of muscle weakness?
I researched a bit in depth and found a wonderful substance - it is called ORNITHINE.
It is an amino acid, needed for the muscles to repair. Ornithine is used for improving athletic performance, reducing glutamine poisoning in the treatment of a brain condition due to liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy), and for wound healing.
I've been using it now for over a month and I am finding that my muscles are starting to regain strength.
I am finding stamina is improving, and I find myself hardly now being out of breath when exerting myself at these altitudes.
Athletic performance: Early research suggests that taking ornithine by mouth might reduce fatigue and improve measures of athletic performance such as speed, strength, and power in some people. Also, taking ornithine in combination with arginine seems to improve strength and power in male weight-lifters.
Wound healing: This use is quite amazing.. I have had age spots literally fall off my arms face chest and legs. The skin appears to rejuvenate.
I have not had nose bleeds which during the winter and dry season nose bleeds have been frequent. It is as if the tissue itself is more resilient.
I have had some muscle damage in my lower legs due to an extreme attack of field mites. These things in Texas are called "chiggers", microscopic creatures which come out after the rain and live on animals (and humans if they have the misfortune of coming across them). I counted over 900 bites on my legs, concentrated just above the boot line.. The damage was so bad that the underlying blood-vessels and muscles and nerves were damaged. BTW, no deep-woods "off" bug spray did any good..
It was over 3 years ago that such happened and the scaring and damage I was concerned would never repair as I am getting up there in age..
After the first week of taking 500 milligrams of ornithine by mouth per day at breakfast, I started to note that the leg damage started to HEAL !! The scars were disappearing and I was getting my damaged leg muscles back.. The 24/7 legpain also was disappearing..
To me that was miraculous.. !!
When used for body building the dose level is high.
Ornithine supplementation (as hydrochloride) is taken in the range of 2-6g daily. Most studies use a dose in this range, but despite serum levels being somewhat dose dependent there is a chance of intestinal distress at doses above 10g.
For me if I am feeling exceptionally weak, I will take 1 gram a day divided up 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 at night. That's fine for me, I am not doing any body building exercises.
But living at altitude, harvesting downed trees for my fireplace for heating and cooking, I do enough exercise at altitude to need to be in good muscle health.
It doesn't hit you hard like a drug. At this dose level it is gentle and after about 3 days of use the muscle response gets noticeably better.
Muscles are everywhere in the body, from the large muscles that we all recognize in our neck, arms, hands, legs... Muscles also surround all of our arteries and blood vessels.
One of our most important muscle is our HEART..
So helping one's muscles to heal is an important thing in life prolongation and quality of life.
How far can it rebuild?? I don't know yet.
I wanted to share this with the members of THIS FORUM and the general public reading this thread. I am pleased with the results to date.
Here is one reference for sourcing it:
I am using the NOW brand: