Rhabdomyolysis - Describe Your Experience

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What is rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis (RAB-DOE-MY-O-LIE-SIS) is the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle resulting in leakage into the urine of the muscle protein myoglobin.

There are three different types of muscle in the human body;

  1. smooth muscle,
  2. skeletal muscle, and
  3. heart muscle.

The skeletal muscle is the muscle of movement of the body (moving the skeleton at the joints). Skeletal muscle is affected by rhabdomyolysis.

Myoglobin is a protein component of the muscle cells that is released into the blood when the skeletal muscle is destroyed in rhabdomyolysis. Creatine kinase is an enzyme (a protein that facilitates chemical reactions in the body) also in the muscle cells. The level of each of these proteins can be measured in blood to monitor the degree of muscle injury from rhabdomyolysis. Myoglobin can also be measured in samples of urine.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Overtrainer, 19-24 (Patient) Published: December 30

During school I get increasingly stressed. In order to feel better and cope I tend to workout harder than I should. This caused my rhabdomyolysis. It felt like a balloon filling up my inner chest. Since it was something that I have never experienced I thought it was just gas in my upper stomach/esophagus. It was a very scary experience simply because the pain was so close to my heart so I was worried something was wrong. They told me that I should just work out a normal amount and most importantly, provide time for recovery. It was surprising because I have no medications or alcoholism. One reason I could see it happening is I recently broke my leg and had surgery to repair it. I think the degradation of the leg muscle attributed to the increase of muscle fibers breaking down and not repairing.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I am a 47 year old female. I began to have muscle spasms in my left leg about 2 times per week, suddenly they stopped. I noticed my legs were always tired and it was hard for me to climb stairs, along with this I had swelling in my legs, ankles, feet and then my knees on a daily basis and it became a bit painful. I"ve been experiencing joint pains in my right elbow which limits my reach mobility. I was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis in October 2013 and admitted to hospital, where my fluids were replenished. I continue to suffer from the swelling almost daily.

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