Rhabdomyolysis is the term used for muscle fibers that break down and lead to a release of muscle fiber contents into the bloodstream. These muscle fiber contents are known as myoglobin and can be very harmful to the kidney and nearby organs. It is also one of the most common causes of kidney damaged. If you need more information about rhabdomyolysis including the cause, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment, you will find that info below.

Causes of Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is caused by any type of medical condition that damages the skeletal muscle, especially when an injury is concerned. Injuries can cause an influx of myoglobin entering the bloodstream which is the main cause of rhabdomyolysis. Some risk factors of rhabdomyolysis include alcoholic with muscle tremors, crushing injuries, drugs like heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, or PCP, genetic muscle diseases, heatstroke, low phosphate levels, seizures, trauma, shaking chills, severe exertion, ischemia or necrosis of the muscles. The most effective way to prevent rhabdomyolysis is by drinking plenty of water and other fluids at all times to flush toxins from your kidneys.

Symptoms of Rhabdomyolysis

There are a number of signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect you might have rhabdomyolysis. They include having an abnormal color of urine, decreased urine production, general weakness, stiffness or aching in your muscles, muscle tenderness, weakness of the affected muscles, joint pain, fatigue, seizures, or weight gain.

Diagnosing Rhabdomyolysis

The first step to diagnosing someone with rhabdomyolysis is a physical examination. Your doctor will look for damaged or tender skeletal muscles first of all. Next come a range of tests including the creatinine kinase level test, serum calcium test, urine myoglobin, urinalysis, serum potassium, serum myoglobin, CK isoenzymes, serum creatinine, or a urine creatinine.

Treating Rhabdomyolysis

There are a variety of different ways to treat rhabdomyolysis including using fluids with bicarbonate to flush the myoglobin out of your kidneys. This helps as a first treatment step to avoid and prevent further kidney damage. You may also be given fluids through a vein by IV and if more damage has been done to your kidneys, you might need kidney dialysis. Medications include diuretics and bicarbonate. There is a fairly good prognosis for treating rhabdomyolysis and preventing damage to your kidneys if it is caught quickly. This makes it especially important to pay attention to your symptoms and get tests done and a physical examination as soon as possible.

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