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Rhabdomyolysis: symptoms, causes and treatment

Body worship is common today. A large part of the population does some kind of sport. And in many cases, in the gym.

However, sometimes we exercise excessively. And on such occasions can cause severe disorders such as rhabdomyolysis.

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What is rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is understood to be the syndrome caused by the degeneration and destruction of muscle fibers, a destruction that causes some of the components of these fibers to pass into the bloodstream. Specifically, he highlights myoglobin and various enzymes such as CPK, LDH and GOT, which in high concentrations are toxic to the kidney.

Although the symptoms presented by people with rhabdomyolysis can vary, they usually coincide symptoms such as general weakness and fatigue, muscle pain, decreased number of urinations and the presence of red or brown urine.

In general, this condition is usually seen in very demanding professions at a physical level, such as those belonging to the military, firefighters, policemen or athletes. Although there are more and more cases derived from excessive physical training.

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Rhabdomyolysis It is a very rare disorder, but it can occur for various reasons. The three most common reasons that lead to rhabdomyolysis are the consumption of alcohol, the presence of trauma derived from accidents and, finally, physical exercise intense.

Other causes of rhabdomyolysis are genetic muscle diseases, seizures, and things like excess body temperature, phosphorus deficiency, or dehydration.

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Table complications

The effects and severity may depend on factors such as the amount of muscle destroyed. May become non-symptomatic or it can cause severe kidney failure and even death.

The most frequent that usually occurs as a complication of the picture is usually the acute kidney failure, generated by the excessive presence of myoglobinuria. It can be detected by the presence of urine of dark tones, generally brownish and with the appearance of cola. This affectation is generally produced when more than one hundred grams of muscle are destroyed, which releases so much myoglobinuria that the kidney is not able to filter and becomes obstructed. Interestingly, in this case it has been reflected that the greater the muscle mass of the subject, the greater the possibility of this complication occurring.

Other possible complications are the presence of arrhythmias derived from the changes and the shedding of cells in the blood. It can also be caused by excesses and deficits of other components, such as potassium, phosphate, and uric acid, which can generate chemical imbalances that can endanger the life of the subject by having the potential to cause heart failure.

How is it treated?

Treatment of rhabdomyolysis can allow full recovery of the table, but it is essential that you start as quickly as possible. Continued hydration of the patient is prioritized to prevent kidney problems, injecting serum. Also, restore diuresis or normal urination.

Glucose is also injected to avoid dangerous elevations in potassium that can lead to heart problems. If the serum does not respond or the patient manifests renal failure, hemodialysis is applied.

The prognosis with early treatment is very positive, recovering the vast majority of those affected and restoring the normal functioning of the system and the kidneys. However, if not treated in time, it can cause the death of the subject.

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Recommendations at the sport level

As mentioned throughout the article, one of the most common causes of this disorder is excessive physical exercise.

In this last aspect we can highlight that it can appear in those people who do excessive exercise for their physical condition. Especially noteworthy cases of people who start sports by making excessive efforts for a very long period. In general, excessive muscle breakdown occurs because the muscles are not allowed enough time to adjust to the exercise.

But also occurs in subjects accustomed to exercise, after periods in which they have not exercised or when the demands to which they are subjected exceed what their muscles can support.

This does not imply that you should not do high intensity exercise, but it does mean that you should Note that it is advisable to adjust the exercise to your own physical form and recognize your own limits. You should start small and progress gradually. Warm up the muscles beforehand Simple and not overly demanding exercises can be essential to avoid this problem.

Bibliographic references:

  • Clarkson, P.M. (1993). Worst case scenarios: exertional rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure. Sports Science Exchange 4 (42).
  • Henares, P. (2011). Rhabdomyolysis secondary to physical exercise in a gym. SEMERGEN, 38 (1).
  • Khan, F.Y. (2009). Rhabdomyolysis: a review of the literature. Neth J Med, 67, pp. 272 - 283.

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