[toc]A serious disorder, caused due to injury of muscles, resulting in breakdown of muscle fibers and release of its constituents like myoglobin (a protein pigment) into the bloodstream, is called as rhabdomyolysis. Myoglobin gets disintegrated into certain by products that are harmful to kidneys, which may lead to complete renal (kidney) failure.
Though, under rare events, rhabdomyolysis may lead to death, still undergoing an early treatment for such life threatening disease may improve the condition and lower downs risk of temporary or permanent complications. Prompt treatments have often given good results.
Rhabdomyolysis Risk Factors, Symptoms And Complications
Risk Factors Of Rhabdomyolysis
People who are at higher risks of rhabdomyolysis usually show low phosphate levels, heat intolerance, frequent heat strokes, seizures and shaking chills. Many of those, whose muscles are overexerted, have undergone crushing injuries and traumas to the muscles are at high risk for the disease.
Other risk factors that give rise to rhabdomyolysis include reduced flow of blood to muscles and damaged tissue muscles, caused by deep vein thrombosis or arterial occlusion. Several medications putting one at risk are amphetamines, LSD, heroin, corticosteroids, PCR, erythromycin, sandimmune, colchicines, sporanox, ecstasy, cocaine, alcohol, statins and retrovir.
Major Symptoms Of Rhabdomyolysis
Various signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis are generally hard to be recognized, as symptoms usually vary depending on the cause of it. Symptoms can occur in one location or entire body, and complications may occur early in few cases and much later in the rest.
Few common signs and symptoms include swollen, painful, tender or bruised areas in the body, muscle weakness or stiffness or aches with movement of legs or arms, nausea, vomiting, delirium, confusion, lack of consciousness, fever, reduced or no urination or dark colored urine.
There is a general feeling of being unwell with fatigue, joint pain, seizures and sudden weight gain. Those who experience majority of these symptoms should seek medical attention to get properly diagnosed and treated for the disease, at the earliest. Urine and blood tests are performed to diagnose rhabdomyolysis, and other tests may also be done to rule out any other ailment and complications.
Possible Complications Of Rhabdomyolysis
Early complications include high amounts of potassium and reduced calcium levels in the blood, liver inflammation, irregular heartbeats or cardiac arrest. Complications may occur after 12 to 24 hours of initial rhabdomyolysis and include acute tubular necrosis, chemical imbalances in the blood, fluid and wastes accumulation in the body, disseminated intravascular coagulation (a clotting disorder that causes serious internal bleeds) or sudden kidney failure. A kidney failure usually occurs in 15% of the patients of rhabdomyolysis.
One of the complicated form that may also occur either early or later with disease progression is compartment syndrome. This involves a serious compression of blood vessels, nerves or muscles, with permanent damage or death of muscular tissues and obstruction of the regular blood flow. The hindered blood flow may cause low blood pressure that can even lead to a state of shock.
Easy Prevention To Avoid Complications
Include plenty of liquids after vigorous exercises to flush out all myoglobin and dilute out the urine. Drink large amount of fluids, after experiencing any injury or damage to the skeletal muscle.
Photo Credit: http://keithchittenden.com/2011/07/exertional-rhabdomyolysis/