ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Many of us made resolutions to exercise more in the New Year but, some have already hit the gym so hard they are in the hospital.
“All I was doing was trying to start the New Year off with a bang and I sure did,” said Tracy Mouser, an emergency room nurse from Barnes-Jewish Hospital who is now a patient at Barnes-Jewish, suffering from a painful condition called Rhabdomyolysis.
And it is caused by exercising way too hard.
“The muscle actually starts to break down and the proteins that are released in the bloodstream can build up in your kidneys and then your kidneys can`t continue to clear the waste in your body,” said Dr. Liza Halcomb, a Washington University School of Medicine Emergency Room Physician.
When Mouser hit the gym on New Year’s Day, her workout included 100 pull-ups and 100 push-ups. It hurt, but she decided to push through the pain.
“I didn`t think anything of it until I couldn`t straighten out my arms two days later,” Mouser said.
Her is the fourth case of Rhabdomyolysis treated by Washington University Physicians in just the past couple of months.
And with more people turning to high intensity workouts like Crossfit, it`s important to know when to say when.
“We want you to feel fatigue but there is a huge difference between fatigue and pain,’ said Bake McBride, a BJC exercise physiologist. “Fatigue is okay. If it is painful shut it down.”
Signs of Rhabdomyolysis include pain that gets worse after a workout, muscle swelling, and dark urine.
Doctors say if you are doing a high-intensity workout, it is critical to stay hydrated because fluids can help flush those damaged muscle fibers out of your body.