Rhabdomyolysis is a condition that occurs when a muscle is damaged. This damage releases the myoglobin pigment from muscles into the blood. Kidneys in normal conditions usually filter out pigments from the blood. However substances from muscle damage can harm the kidneys because they block their filtering structure. Kidney failure occurs so the kidneys release toxic waste products into the blood.
How common is Rhabdomyolysis?
Rhabdomyolysis is more common in adults, although it can also threaten infants, toddlers, and teens who are born with enzymes that lack carbohydrates and fat metabolism, or who have genetic muscle diseases.
The most common symptom is reddish or purplish muscle and urine pain which will then continue with reduced urine and even completely disappearing urine production. This serious condition at the stage of being unable to urinate is a symptom of kidney failure, which means you need immediate medical attention. Other symptoms and complaints are fatigue, lethargy, muscle aches, extreme thirst, and too fast and irregular heartbeat.
When do you need to see doctor?
You should contact a doctor if you find any of the following symptoms:
- Feeling that one of the causes of rhabdomyolysis is primarily a muscle injury that is very painful or a heat stroke associated with sports or physical activities
- See changes in urine color and reduction in urine volume
Causes of Rhabdomyolysis include: muscle injury, convulsions, and heat stroke related to exercise or physical activities.
Other causes can also be severe frostbite, severe burns, drug overdose, cocaine use, and side effects of consuming drugs.
Sometimes, excessive physical activity by someone who is not trained can also cause severe muscle injury and rhabdomyolysis.
The doctor will make a diagnosis based on a medical track record, physical examination, and laboratory tests.
A blood test will show how badly your kidneys are working, high potassium levels, and other disorders of body fluids. In addition, the doctor will also check the levels of Cratine kinase, which is a waste product of muscle damage.
Urine tests will help your doctor find myoglobin, which is a hemoglobin-like cell that is also produced from damaged muscle to diagnose rhabdomyolysis.
The doctor will also carry out other examinations to explain other causes that have similar symptoms, identify the cause of rhabdomyolysis, or look for possible complications.
Treatment is carried out in a hospital. The intravenous fluid is the first time given to a patient to keep the urine flowing. The treatment also helps flush the pigment from the kidneys. Medications can be given to change the acidity of the urine and make the urine alkaline, also to increase urine volume.
If your kidney has failed, the doctor will ask you to do dialysis treatment (kidney machine) to remove fluids and residues as well as to rest the kidneys so that they can work properly again. This treatment can take several weeks or months depending on how severe your condition is.