Rhabdomyolysis is a condition where skeletal muscle tissue is damaged by the death of muscle fibers and the discharge of fiber content into the bloodstream.
Muscle damage also releases myoglobin substances into the bloodstream. Mioglobin itself is a protein that serves to store oxygen in the muscle. Too much myoglobin in the blood can cause people with rhabdomyolysis at risk of serious complications, such as kidney failure, a condition when the kidneys lose the ability to dispose waste and urine concentrate.
The initial symptoms of this disease can be difficult to detect, because it almost resembles the symptoms of illness and other medical conditions. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis may only appear on one particular body part or even felt in all members of the patient's body.
Some of the symptoms commonly felt by people with rhabdomyolysis are:
- The urine liquid is dark.
- Pain and bruising.
- At least urine that comes out.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Body feels unhealthy.
- Muscles weaken.
- Frequency of irregular urination.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Consciousness diminishes.
- Abdominal pain.
Causes of Rhabdomyolysis
Several factors that are thought to cause rhabdomyolysis are:
- Severe injuries, such as traffic accidents or impact when exercising.
- Hot temperatures, such as due to hyperthermia, stage 3 burns, or lightning strikes.
- Drugs and toxin substances, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins), erythromycin, cyclosporin, colchicine, and narcotics.
- Infection and inflammation, such as viral infections, bacterial infections, polimiositis, dermatomyositis, or snake bites.
Genetic and metabolic disorders, such as fat metabolism disorders, carbohydrate metabolism disorders, hypothyroidism, diabetic ketoacidosis, electrolyte imbalance, carnitine deficiency, and McArdle's disease.
Diagnosis of Rhabdomyolysis
To diagnose patients suspected of being exposed to rhabdomyolysis, usually the doctor will undergo examination steps such as:
- Physical examination. The doctor will observe and feel the skeletal muscles in the patient's body, especially in the painful part.
- Urine and blood test. Doctors can advise patients to undergo urine and blood tests to strengthen the evidence that has been obtained on physical examination.
Treatment of Rhabdomyolysis
The success of the treatment of rhabdomyolysis patients depends on how quickly the disease is diagnosed and treated. Some treatment steps that can be done by doctors in patients with rhabdomyolysis are:
- Provision of intravenous fluids. Once diagnosed, rhabdomyolysis patients should get intravenous fluids as soon as possible, because intravenous fluids can help the myoglobin protein out of the kidneys.
- Drug delivery. Your doctor will prescribe medicines to help kidney function.
- Wash blood (hemodialysis). If the kidney is damaged, the patient should undergo a dialysis procedure.
- Surgery. The doctor can perform a facial fasciotomy to lower the pressure and overcome circulation obstacles if the patient turns out to have compartment syndrome at risk of damaging the nerves and muscles. Compartment syndrome itself is a condition due to the accumulation in the closed cavity within the muscle that causes stress, for example due to bleeding or swelling.
In cases of mild rhabdomyolysis, patients can be treated at home to help with the recovery process. Examples are by resting the body for muscles to recover, and drink plenty of fluids to prevent kidney damage.
Prevention of Rhabdomyolysis
The most important way we can do to prevent the emergence of rhabdomyolysis is to consume lots of fluids before and after doing heavy physical activity. The fluid will dilute the urine and help the kidneys discard the myoglobin that muscles release during exercise. Keep your body fluid at all times.