Texas teenager catches life-threatening illness from working out too much

Jake Hall
Sunday 03 June 2018 13:45
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Photo: iSTOCK / takoburito

A Texas teen was recently diagnosed with a life-threatening illness reportedly linked to a lengthy weightlifting session at his local gym.

Speaking to KTRK, 17-year-old Jared Shamburger explained that he spent 90 minutes lifting weights in a session spent training with other family, after which he says he felt "super duper sore".

So far, so normal - right? Not in this case. The pain and swelling ceased to subside, leading his mother, Judy, online in a hunt for the problem.

After searching various websites, she called her paediatrician and claimed that she thought her son had 'rhabdo', otherwise known as rhabdomyolysis, which occurs when muscle in the body has been damaged and broken down.

There are numerous potential causes for the ailment, which range from lightning strikes to mere heatstroke, but one particular trigger is excessive exercise.

Judy claims that her hunt for the problem was triggered by the 'mama bear' inside her; luckily, her discovery led to Jared being hospitalised for five days. In a statement to KTRK, she described her relief:

If he hadn't caught it, if he hadn't told me, if we had just gone out of town about our way, I can't even imagine, and I don't want to, what could have happened.

In worst-case scenarios the illness can lead to death, but there are ways of reducing the risk of contracting it.

Earlier this year, VeryWellFit published a series of guidelines for exercising whilst also keeping risk of over-exertion low, some of which include monitoring fluid intake and avoiding gruelling exercise whilst on low-calorie diets.

Jared's family hope that his case will act as a cautionary tale for other enthusiastic gym-goers, but he is expected to make a full recovery and hopes to return to the gym soon.

h/t KTRK

More: Is there such a thing as too much exercise?

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