Pretty much every gym, workout program, diet, and bit of exercise gear warn us to make sure we are healthy enough for exercise and to pace ourselves. We hear the warnings so often that our minds tend to filter them out.
Jared Shamburger learned the hard way that those warnings are there for a reason. The 17-year-old Texas teen recently got a gym membership. He did a 90-minute weight lifting session, purposefully pushing his limits. Jared told one media outlet that his thought process behind pushing so hard was to catch up to his dad and brother, who have both been weight lifters for years.
I gotta catch up to them and get as big as them. I have to go hard fast.
After that session, his muscles were sore in a way he knew wasn't right. Just touching him hurt, his body was swollen and hard. When the symptoms didn't go away, his mother did some research and then phoned his doctors. She was convinced he had something called rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal condition where damaged muscles begin to decay and release toxins into your system. Those toxins can overwhelm and shut down your system in a long and painful process. Mama was right.
Jared was in the hospital for five days while medical teams worked to clear his system of the toxins his muscles released.
Athletes may know about the risks of rhabdo, but the average person probably doesn't. Working out isn't the only way to get it; any damage to muscle can cause it — a hard impact from a fall or accident, for example.
Those who have suffered it never forget, though.
I developed rhabdo after a marathon a few years ago and ended up in the hospital for almost 8 days. I had to go through 6 rounds of dialysis before my kidneys began functioning properly. I hope he makes a full recovery! Rhabdo is no joke. Hydrate!— CNeel (@cneel19) June 2, 2018
Have seen several cases of rhabdo, none statin related (crush, post seizure, post fall and on ground).— Sorcha Ni Loingsigh (@Abhainngarbh) June 2, 2018
"Because exertion in a hot environment is such a fundamental part of the job, fire fighters need to know the signs and symptoms of rhabdo to be able to quickly recognize the potential danger and get medical attention right away if they are not feeling well." https://t.co/EgxNTuEmzt— FIREWELL (@FirewellHealth) June 1, 2018
My cousin's had this happen twice. Hospitalized both times, but I never knew it was life-threatening. He owes his rhabdo to Crossfit.— Beefer Sutherland (@ElectrikOne) June 1, 2018
"Rhabdo" is something we see not that uncommonly in the ED - especially now in the CrossFit era. Well known phenomena in the military; elderly/alcoholics who fall & are not found for 24-36 hours; overdoses of Meth, Synthetic Marijuana, & Excited Delirium.— MDfor911 (@mdfor911) May 31, 2018