Can high uric acid affect muscle repair?

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I know that my uric acid levels are currently very high (11.4mg/dL). I have a doctor's appointment booked to discuss.

However I'm really suffering at the moment. I over used my upper body a few days ago. I knew I'd be left aching for a day or so but now it has been three days and my arms don't feel any better. I can force them to work but it's quite painful. Resting seems to make them feel worse like everything seizes up.

I know that when I had my only full on attack of gout the uric acid crystals congregated in my ankle at the exact point of a recent injury (6 months old). So I'm basically asking if the current pain I'm suffering is due to crystals forming inbetween damaged muscle etc.?

As an aside, I run quite a lot and recently I've been fine with long runs off around 20km or so but I've struggled with recovery following any speed work. Could this again be related?


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9 Replies

  • Posted

    I don't know about that, but it might work in the other direction - heavy muscle work might contribute to raising uric acid levels?

    How's your diet, have you tried celery or celery seed, or prescription meds?

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  • Posted

    Diet is good, balanced minimal snacks and low sugar. I don't drink fizzy drinks or squash out fruit juice. Just water and a very occasional alcoholic drink. I drink 2 to 3 litres as a minimum every day.

    I've tried changes to diet with no effect positive or negative. Last and only attack was 18 months ago. I usually have half a lemon daily and have tried cherry extract. Not tried celery extract and never eat celery. One of the only foods that I find tastes disgusting!

    I exercise quite a lot which I know can be bad for gout due to the body becoming dehydrated during exercise. I do what I can to stay hydrated but even then it still causes an effect.

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  • Posted

    You do have a list of high-purine foods, from fresh fish, to red meat, even hummus, asparagus, mushrooms?

    Celery seed is available in capsules, or even "standardized" and concentrated as 3nb and it is very good at reducing uric acid.

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  • Posted

    i got rid of my gout attacks after I started using celery seed extract (not the whole seeds, the extract) 75 mg. 2X a day at 85 % 3Nb.  Google it and you will find the human studies.

    Good Luck!

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  • Posted

    Interesting question. I've only recently started researching and trying to understand my own hyperuricemia (high uric acid in blood). But from what I've read and understand so far - the condition of hyperuricemia is pretty common in the adult male population (like 25% or so). One of the potential symptoms of hyperuricemia is gout - when the uric acid crystallizes in the joint leading to inflammation and pain... this is much less common (at least in the numbers of people that seek treatment and get diagnosed with gout) at about 5%.

    But other complications from hyperuricemia are not nearly as well understood. Cardiovascular disease for instance seems to have a higher risk in people with chronic hyperuricemia. They don't really know why exactly but it's related to inflammation from oxidative stress caused by high uric acid levels. So basically it is my understanding that higher uric acid levels can lead to more inflammation issues -- your sore muscles are a result of inflammation -- whether the inflammation is worse and longer lasting because you are hyperuricemic I don't know, but I'd say it's possible.

    I've been looking at ways to reduce inflammation through diet and some supplements. Some sort of non-steroid anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen might be worth a try for the short term while your muscles recover. Also, a supplement like turmeric which is well established to reduce inflammation across the body might be worth a try. Definitely keep the fluids up. Maybe something to get the blood moving such as alternating hot and cold.

    My muscles get especially sore when I go too hard at something that I'm not used to. So if I haven't run in a long time, my legs get really sore - I try and ease myself back into something like that by ramping up slower. It's also got worse as I've got older -- whether this is just a normal part of age or whether it's the high uric acid I'm not sure. If I do something like rock climbing where there's not really a way to ease yourself into it if you are not doing rock climbing regularly then I basically can't move my arms for days afterwards. Figured that was somewhat normal although maybe I do have longer recoveries than I should as I've gotten older. I don't really know.

    Also if you are still really sore after several days you should see a doctor because there is an actual serious injury you can cause from working the muscles too hard and causing cell death. Hope you are feeling better.

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  • Posted


    Yes feeling better today. Not 100% yet but can do most things. It was a ninja warrior style place that I had visited, so lots of upper body, monkey bars etc. It has taken 4 days for the muscles to just stop aching, and they're still not right yet! Partly my own fault for carrying on but I've never known anything like it. As you say, you can't really ease yourself in! I do some rock climbing and bouldering and can get sore muscles for a day or so but nothing like this.

    It might just be coincidence, but as I say I've been finding I get muscle pain in my calves if I try and run fast. That never used to happen. My legs are used to running and I run over 100km per month at the moment.

    Maybe I'm just getting old!?

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    • Posted

      Oh man. Yeah that ninja warrior stuff looks crazy hard on the upper body. Not surprised you were so sore afterwards if you pushed yourself and you don't do it regularly.

      I'm no physiology expert but from my understanding there is a difference between the fast twitch muscle tissue and the slow twitch muscles. If you have been doing a lot of enduro sports then your slow twitch muscles are probably well established and used to the strain you put on them. But if you are throwing in more explosive type exercises like sprints and whatnot you are activating your fast twitch muscles and they might not be used to working as hard and therefore be getting sore.

      As to what proportion of the increase in pain you are experiencing is due to greater inflammation events from high uric acid and what proportion is just longer recovery times because you are getting a bit older... tough to say. Sleep also plays a huge role in recovery and diet can as well. If you are eating lower protein foods because you are trying to offset the purine intake then maybe that has an effect. I have little children and I never get enough sleep which can also equal much slower recovery!

      All the best!

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  • Posted

    Nope it definately as something do with the uric acid.

    I was a powerlifter for 26 years. I notice about 4 years, my muscles felt like they were going to snap at the knee while I was doing heavy squats (315 lbs). 2 years later the doctors found out that it was gout. I eventually tore my left triceps muscle at the tendon. I was doing heavy weighted dumbell incline presses. That still shouldn't have resulted in a tear. My triceps muscles hadn't recovered full in 1 month and I was still doing my workouts.

    So there are 2 issues here. Your muscles can't recover the way they used to. Lets say you normally did Bench Press on Mondays and Thursdays and were able to recover in 48-72 hrs. Well if your powerlifting and you have high uric acid crystalization in your joints (tolphi) then you won't recover in those 3 days. You might recover 80% from Mondays workout to Thursdays workout. Then in the following week lets say the Jan 24 on Monday your chest muscles might be at 70%. Your still able to workout with your micro/meso injuries (bc the muscles haven't fully recovered) but your taking a huge risk at tearing the muscle at the Tendon/Ligaments.


    My recommendation is to lower your uric acid thru allupurinol which causes your liver to produce less uric acid. Stay away from high uric acid foods. Exercise as long as you don't risk injuring yourself. Extend your recovery period. So as a Powerlifter, that would mean doing Bench Press once a week. I might not make any gains but at least I maintain or lose muscle mass slowly over time. This will also get rid of the Tolphi in your joints and muscles. My theory is that the uric acid in the muscles impairs or delays recovery (possibly blood flow issues). The Tolphi puts extra exponential pressure on your joints, and that can lead to serious injury. So try to be safe while working out but focus on getting rid of any extra uric acid.

    Despite what the doctors say, your body might heal over time if you eat the proper foods. Such as, organic greens, healthy fats, etc.

    Conjugate sequencing of sports or exercises is also recommended. So Volleyball once a week, then badminton the following week, then swimming the third week, then jogging in the fourth week. This way your muscles will be able to recover from the workouts. Your gains from week to week will be minimal but there is still a stacking effect. Its also better then living a sedentary lifestyle.

    I also have type 2 diabetes. So that also leads to inflammation if you have too much sugar.

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