Rhabdomyolysis is a medical condition that may arise when muscle tissue breaks down and the contents of
muscle cells are released into the bloodstream. One molecule in particular, myoglobin, is toxic to the kidneys and
can cause kidney failure and, in the most severe cases, death.
Symptoms of rhabdo include severe generalized muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramping, and, in significant cases, dark red “Coca-Cola” urine. The color of the urine is from the myoglobin, which is the same molecule that gives red meat its color.
Treatment consists of generous amounts of intravenous fluids to dilute and flush the myoglobin through the kidneys. In the worst cases, patients may need dialysis while the kidneys recover. Death, though rare, can result when the kidney failure causes imbalances in the usual electrolytes, which may cause cardiac arrhythmias. Most patients make a complete recovery after being rehydrated with IV fluids over anywhere from several hours to a week or so, depending on the severity.
The athletes at highest risk seem to be those with a reasonable baseline level of fitness they have obtained through some non-CrossFit training, or those who are returning to CrossFit after a layoff. These athletes have sufficient muscle mass and conditioning to go hard enough to hurt themselves but do not have the protection that develops with regular exposure to real intensity.
The severely deconditioned don’t seem to have enough muscle mass or the capacity to break down enough muscle to do damage. Established CrossFitters seem to be protected, though the mechanism remains unclear.
-CrossFit Journal: Truth About Rhabdo
It’s important to know what Rhado is, what to look for, and what to do if you have some of the symptoms. Like the article referenced above mentions, most Rhabod cases are seen by someone coming back to CrossFit after a lay off. They want to jump right back in with both feet and hate scaling, or from someone new to our level of intensity. If you’re a beginner and go through one of our beginner’s classes, then you are slowly introduced to increased levels of intensity and you body begins to adjust to the volume and intensity of training. For the majority of you, Rhabod will be unlikey, but remember if you take some time off from CrossFit, give yourself a couple of weeks to work back up to full intensity upon returning. If you think you may have Rhabdo, get to the hosiptal immediately and please let your coaches know.
Be Safe, Train Hard.
Workout of the Day
15 min AMRAP of
30 Double Unders