Rhabdomyolysis Symptoms and Causes (cont.)

The most common symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:

The muscle damage causes inflammation leading to tenderness, swelling, and weakness of the affected muscles. The dark urine color is due to myoglobin being excreted in the urine by the kidney as it tries to rid the body of the muscle breakdown products.

Symptoms related to the expected complications of rhabdomyolysis include:

  • symptoms of kidney failure, which may include swelling of the hands and feet;
  • shortness of breath as excess fluid builds up in the lungs,
  • lethargy;
  • weakness;
  • symptoms of hyperkalemia (elevations in potassium in the blood) such as weakness, nausea, lightheadedness, and palpitations due to heart rhythm disturbances); and
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disruption of the normal blood clotting process, may occur as unexplained bleeding.

Contact your doctor or go to the nearest Emergency Department if more serious symptoms and signs of rhabdomyolysis occur such as:

So what's the take away message?

It is strange that 13 players would get sick at one time. There are always lessons to be learned about the body.

  1. A little pain never hurt anybody, but a person needs to know when "too much is too much."
  2. Water is vital for the body to function and thirst is the body's signal that we need to hydrate.
  3. Finally, let urine be your guide. Clear urine is a sign that the body is well hydrated and the kidneys are removing excess water. Concentrated urine is just the opposite; the kidneys sense dehydration and want to conserve as much water as possible. Brown urine is a sign that bad things may be about to happen.

Rhabdomyolysis Symptoms and Causes Resources

Read patient comments on Rhabdomyolysis - Symptoms

Doctor written main article on Rhabdomyolysis

REFERENCE: abcnews.go.com. Thirteen University of Iowa Football Players Hospitalized.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/29/2014