Living With a Urea Cycle DisorderHealthy Fun for UCD Families

Healthy Fun for UCD Families

Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, learn about activities that are full of fun and help keep you moving.

Staying Safe While Having Fun

Yes, calculating protein intake is at the top of the list of things to watch out for when managing ammonia levels while living with a urea cycle disorder (UCD). But did you know that some exercises and activities could cause ammonia levels to become dangerously high? Take a look at these exercise tips and advice for staying healthy.

Take it Easy When Exercising

Whether jogging through the park or playing tag on the playground, intense physical exercise causes the body to use lots of energy. Protein is needed to create this energy, and when too much protein is produced, ammonia levels may begin to rise to unsafe levels. Amy, an adult patient living with a UCD, listens to her body and her doctor so she doesn’t push herself too far when exercising. “I worked with my doctor and we came up with a light running program that still keeps my ammonia levels where they should be,” she says.

School-aged children who can’t join in gym activities or race around during recess can feel left out. One mother worked with her daughter’s school and came up with an easy solution. “During those times when it’s too hot to run around on the playground, she gets to pick a classmate who can play games with her indoors,” she explains. “The kids think it’s cool to be picked to hang out with her.”

You can have fun with these low-intensity activities. Remember to always talk with your doctor before starting any activity.

  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Golf
  • Table tennis
  • Canoeing
  • Bike riding
  • Walking
  • Bowling
  • Yoga

Ammonia levels are different for every person living with a UCD. It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any activity or exercise program.

Do you know the risks of high ammonia levels?

How well are you managing your ammonia levels?