Whitney Delbridge, Reporter for ABC 13
Original Post: wset.com
This story is a first-hand account from ABC 13′s Whitney Delbridge. The writing in the story reflects her story in her own words.
Danville, VA – “We all know the saying “no pain, no gain”. Well, a lot of newer workouts are very intense, and I learned the hard way after 5 days in the hospital, overexertion can cause serious damage that can be hard to detect.
In an effort to step up my fitness regimen, I took part in a 30 day challenge at a local gym, but one workout left me with severe pain in my lower body.
When the pain grew more intense after a few days, I went to the hospital where I would stay for almost a week.
I had Rhabdomyolosis, which results from high levels of muscle protein in the blood after an injury.
This can lead to kidney failure as the organs work overtime to flush the protein out.
“Sometimes people have to go into ICU and the mortality rate is very high if you have this and then your kidneys fail, ” said Resident Physician Kathryn Sawey.
I didn’t feel sick or look sick, but some say the protein levels in my blood were the highest they had ever seen.
After aggressive IV treatment, more than 20 bags in all, I finally got to go home, but, how did I get there in the first place?
“It only takes one time and it’s that one time of over-exerting yourself. I think it’s important that everyone is educated on what could happen, ” said Averett University’s Head Athletic Trainer Dr. Carrie Hendrick.
Hendrick has learned how to identify the warning signs of rhabdo. This came in handy when a student athlete developed the condition last fall.
Hendrick says anyone starting a new fitness routine can develop the condition, but she says taking it slow and knowing when to call it quits can prevent this from happening to you.
“It’s important that people realize they need to listen to their body and they need to gradually progress. Start off small, then progress to those extertional activities, ” Hendrick said.
Very serious rhabdomyolysis is rare, but the symptoms should not be ignored.
If you experience extreme muscle pain, muscle weakness, dark-colored urine, or fatigue, you should seek medical attention immediately.