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L-Glutamine joint cracking pain, upper back pain
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L-Glutamine joint cracking pain, upper back pain

I have been taking L-Glutamine for GERD, slow gastric emptying and it has certainly improved my condition to the point where I can eat and digest nearly as normally as when I was an adolescent and could eat and usually did eat practically everything. Although now I am much more careful as to what I eat, how and when.

I lift weights quite regularly and could see some interesting positive effects of glutamine supplementation on my recovery and sustained muscle belly volume also. HOWEVER, I began noticing major spontaneous cracking of the joints in my hands, wrists, feet, ankles to a lesser degree in my hips and a nagging pain in the left side of my upper back. At that point I began seriously suspecting L-Glutamine as the culprit.  Eventually I began experiencing slight pain in my right hand and right wrist associated with the cracking and weight bearing (such as pressing a weight –which surprisingly seemed to subside as I increased the poundage or pressure on the wrist!) and a nagging pain in my upper back. I stopped supplementing L-Glutamine at that point and reasoned that it would take some time for the effects to subside. Suddenly, only days after stopping the L-Glutamine my right sided upper back pain increased to severe pain after I performed a relatively simple light weight exercise with which I have never had a problem in the past (shoulder lateral raises).

I found, after painful trial and error and a couple sleepless nights, that inverting (hanging upside down) to decompress, (and I would actually hear and feel my back cracking back into alignment) getting massage to the area and applying a cold compress or ice pack to it causes the back pain to subside substantially. Interestingly, with the pain diminished as a result of those remedies when I then roll my shoulders forwards or backwards I can hear my back cracking painlessly (thank God) in the area where the pain was.

I am convinced that the L-Glutamine caused these joint cracking back pain problems given that they started a few days after I began supplementation, increased as I continued supplementing and the cracking in my right hand, right wrist, feet and ankles subsided after I stopped taking it. By the way the gastric benefits still persist despite that I am no longer taking L-Glutamine for about 2 weeks now.

Given my experience I believe that L-Glutamine in abundance when it is already at an optimum level in the body can produce the adverse effects that I am endureing. It may be that my personal physiological makeup (I have G6PD deficiency for example and am currently dealing with a moderate non-hereditary Iron overload) or that my high protein moderate carbohydrate diet or a combination of both predisposes me to such adverse effects I don’t know but I would like to be assured that L-Glutamine does in fact cause such adverse effects when in excess and be advised of further anecdotal accounts of this occurring and if possible studies that confirm it. I would appreciate anyone’s input and opinion on the topic and would certainly appreciate the scientifically driven reasoning of a physician or naturopath about this.

Thanks and sorry for the long post.
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489725 tn?1280056153
i am not sure of any big studies on l glutamine but i am sure if surf around the web u may find some .anything in life even water taken in excess will cause problems but lglutamine is an amino acid and has the power to heal the digestive tract and some say two grams 3 times a day is ok and is a very safe thing to take  some might be advised to start at a lower dose and gradually work up to that ,it has being proven to assist in the healing of peptic ulcers ,gastritis,ibs coilitis, is the main nutrient for cells lining the digestive tract and it helps this part of the tract to heal if damaged by the above .i have taken it to good effect but it is not something i would take everyday ,or in large amounts .
i am not sure of the joint cracking it may be another vitamin deficiency ,,,,,,

read this and see if it helps

Alternative Medicine Encyclopedia: Glutamine

In healthy individuals, glutamine is a neutral, nonessential amino acid. Amino acids are critical to humans, since they form the proteins that are the building blocks for many body tissues, including muscles. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in our bodies. It performs several important functions in the body, particularly in those that are stressed because of certain diseases or conditions. Glutamine can be added to the body medically by physicians or through dietary supplements that people purchase without prescriptions.

General Use

Researchers continue to study glutamine's properties and effects. It is the most plentiful amino acid in the bloodstream and the body continues to produce it unless some sort of stress occurs. Cancer, burns or trauma, excessive exercise, and certain other stressful situations to the body may cause glutamine levels to drop.

Research suggests that when glutamine levels fall and are not replaced, several body functions are affected, particularly within the digestive tract. Glutamine also is considered important to overall immunity, or ability to fight off diseases and infections. In the past few decades, interest has grown for use of glutamine in helping cancer patients. Research continues on using glutamine therapy to help patients with sepsis, burns, trauma, inflammatory bowel disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), bone marrow transplants, and other potential diseases and conditions.

Some clinical research has reported glutamine aided patients with multiple trauma and burns by helping them fight off infections. It may help AIDS patients put on weight at a much lower cost, and with fewer complications, than human growth hormone. Athletes who overtrain have higher rates of infectious diseases and allergies; it is thought a diet high in glutamine can help improve these athletes' immune functions.

As more people have begun looking for ways to enhance fitness, they have turned to protein supplements.

In 2003, it was reported that more than 1.2 million athletes used some type of performance-boosting supplement. Glutamine is used in the fitness industry as a supplement for bodybuilders who want to reduce muscle breakdown, or for recreational athletes on vigorous training schedules who feel the supplement fuels their immune systems.


As a protein, glutamine occurs naturally in some foods, including meat, fish, legumes, peanuts, eggs, tofu, and dairy products. It also is highly concentrated in raw cabbage and beets. Cooking can destroy glutamine, particularly in vegetables. Much of a person's glutamine needs, even when exercising hard, can come from food sources. A 3–oz serving of meat contains about 3–4 grams of glutamine.

Glutamine supplements come in several forms. Some manufacturers sell tablets that also contain antioxidants (vitamins). The most common forms of glutamine supplements are protein powders that can be added to liquids and prepared protein drinks and shakes. Another amino acid called alanine may be combined with glutamine. The combined protein supplement is called alanyl-glutamine. The powder form is probably the most convenient and least expensive form of the supplement. When glutamine is used for medical purposes in a hospital setting, it may be administered via an enteral route, or through a tube directly into the intestine.

In 2002, the powder cost about 10 cents a gram, while the capsules cost between 12 and 23 cents per gram. Capsules deliver fewer grams of glutamine than the powder and the glutamine in capsules does not absorb as quickly as that in powder. The powder reportedly tastes mild and is not noticeable when added to favorite drinks.

Recommended doses of glutamine for fitness uses such as bodybuilding vary, but generally are 8–20 grams (g) a day and average about 15 g a day. Cancer patients on glutamine therapy may take a higher dose, about 30 g a day. An average daily therapeutic dose for the general public is 1.5–6 g.


The powdered form of glutamine should be dissolved in a liquid and consumed quickly before it breaks down. Some literature recommends taking glutamine immediately before or after meals, or at the same time as eating protein, usually twice per day.

Glutamine is marketed as a dietary supplement, and therefore, the products are not regulated the same as prescription drugs. Those who take glutamine must be cautioned to carefully read labels; some supplements are not what they appear to be. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlined a new process to try to work toward better safety of the 29,000 dietary supplements on the American market. However, consumers still need to be cautious of contents and claims of dietary supplements. It also is important to follow dosage directions and/or to check with a physician or other certified medical or complementary medicine practitioner to ensure the correct dose is being taken. Finally, while many fitness promoters tout glutamine's effects, some researchers disagree with the science behind the claims. In time, more and larger clinical trails may be able to clear up the controversy over glutamine's ability to increase muscle size and strength in recreational athletes.

Side Effects

No noticeable negative side effects of glutamine at recommended dosage and preparations had been reported as of May 2004. However, long-term research is ongoing.


As of May 2004, glutamine has not been shown to interact with any particular drugs or with other supplements. However, research on glutamine supplements is limited and ongoing. Consumption of cabbage can worsen goiters and a condition called hypothyroidism. Since glutamine is not a regulated substance, it is best to consult a physician when adding the supplement to the diet and to mention regular glutamine supplementation to a health professional when he or she is treating a patient for a new disease or condition, or adding or changing drug therapy.

Avatar m tn
Have you ever found out what caused your joint pain? I have a similiar situation and take large doses of L-glutamine. Tks
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