Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis
This is a condition in which the myoglobin(muscle protein) breaks down and enters the bloodstream. Myoglobin is toxic to the kidneys, so this can lead to serious complications of kidney failure, and sometimes even death.

Why am I talking about this? Because it can occur (though very rarely) after high-intensity exercise, such as CrossFit. This is why we as trainers make efforts to gradually introduce new trainees to increasing intensity, until they are acclimated to the intensity of CrossFit.
Here are a few things you can do to help avoid it as well:

  • Drink plenty of water before/after your workouts. This especially applies to the first few days of training.
  • Avoid heat after intense training sessions. Heat can exacerbate the release of myoglobin and make a case of rhabdo much worse. Again, this applies especially to the first few training days.
Here are a few things to look out for:
1. Pain out of proportion to the amount of soreness you would expect, often coming on much faster than you would expect after a workout, and often accompanied with weakness.

2. Swelling of the body part involved, either with or without pain.

3. Decreased urine output or dark urine. This is the scary one and the one that gets you admitted to the hospital. 



If you think you have rhabdo, get to a doctor and get checked out. It can get progressively worse for days before it gets better.


Here is a link that explains in in more detail: http://crossfitocmd.typepad.com/crossfit_ocmd/2007/11/rhabdomyolysis.html

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