Uric acid is a component normally found in the blood at low levels. Under certain circumstances, the level of uric acid in the blood can rise and stay at high levels. This causes several health problems, including joint pain. Through proper diet and performing the correct exercises, you can weight train with high uric acid.
Uric acid is formed when your body breaks down compounds called purines. Purines are found commonly in the body and are one of the major components of DNA. Some uric acid in the blood is normal; however large amounts can lead to several health problems, including gout. Over time, excess uric acid can build up in the blood and crystallize, commonly depositing on the joints and causing joint pain.
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Causes of High Uric Acid
Several possible causes of high uric acid, or hyperuricemia, exist. Genetics can predispose you to produce higher amounts of uric acid than normal. Certain foods and medications, such as diuretics, epinephrine and aspirin, can also increase the amount of uric acid in your blood. Uric acid can also be high in the blood if your kidneys are not passing it through to the urine efficiently and high uric acid in the blood can be a sign of kidney failure.
It is still possible to weight train if you have high uric acid; however, it is important to abstain from exercise of any kind if you are having a gout attack or any pain in your joints. Low-impact exercises are best, to avoid damage to the joints. Isotonic exercises are very beneficial, because they strengthen the muscle, without putting too much strain on the joints. During isotonic exercise, the muscle remains under fairly constant tension, while the muscle changes in length, such as during bench pressing. Excessive exercise should be avoided if you have high uric acid, as this can cause an increase in uric acid in your blood. Talk to your doctor before you start weight training to make sure you are healthy enough and to discuss the types of exercises you should do.
You can help control you uric acid level through proper diet. Certain foods, such as organ meat, legumes, game, mushrooms, and foods high in niacin and ascorbic acid, are high in purines and should be avoided. Alcohol, especially beer, has been shown to raise uric acid levels in the blood and should be strictly avoided, as should caffeine. Talk to your doctor about your diet, as well as any medications you are taking which could affect your uric acid levels.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.