HOUSTON, Texas -- Summer is fast approaching, and many people are hitting the gym. But that soreness the next day could signal a bigger problem.
Seventeen-year-old Jared Shamburger, of Clear Lake, Texas, said he was "super duper sore" after a 90-minute weightlifting session last week.
"Everything hurt," he said. "It hurt to the touch. It was swollen."
Shamburger had a new gym membership with his family, and his dad and older brother have been lifting for years.
"I gotta catch up to them and get as big as them," Shamburger said. "I have to go hard fast."
But the soreness and swelling weren't going away. His mom Judy searched the symptoms online, saying she knows that can sometimes cause more harm than good. But this time, it paid off.
"The mama bear in me kind of took over, and I called the pediatrician and said, 'I really think my son has rhabdo,'" she said.
She was right. Jared was hospitalized for five days with rhabdomyolysis, which can be caused by injury, infection and hitting the gym too hard.
The potentially life-threatening condition causes a breakdown of muscle tissue, releasing a damaging protein into the blood that can damage the kidneys.
"In extreme cases, it can also cause death," Judy said.
Jared is expected to make a full recovery, and he says he plans to get back in the gym soon. Still, his family hopes his story will serve as a warning to others.
Muscle pain, weakness and severe swelling after intense exercise may warrant a trip to the doctor.
"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," Judy said. "And I don't want to, about what could have happened."
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