COVID-19: Learn more about testing and what to expect when you visit any LMH Health location.
COVID Vaccination: Frequently Asked Questions as well as what you need to know today. Learn more
View All Services
Find a New Primary Care Provider
Search by Specialty
View All Locations
Discover classes, events, tours, and groups that fit your interests.
Home > Be Healthy > Health Library > Rhabdomyolysis
Rhabdomyolysis (say "rab-doh-my-AH-luh-suss") is a rare but serious muscle problem. When you have it, your muscle cells break down, or dissolve. The contents of those cells leak into the blood. When it's in the blood, that material can travel to various parts of the body and cause problems.
If left untreated, this condition can be life-threatening. But when it's treated right away, most people make a full recovery.
Rhabdomyolysis can be caused by a variety of problems, such as:
Early symptoms are often hard to notice. Symptoms include:
Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and past health and do a physical exam. The diagnosis is confirmed with blood and urine tests.
Most people need to be treated in the hospital. If possible, the doctor will stop the cause of muscle cell death. The doctor will take steps to protect your organs. You may have to stop taking certain medicines if they are the cause of the problem.
You will also get treatment to help the kidneys remove the toxins from your blood. This includes getting plenty of fluids. You may get fluids through a vein (by IV). If your kidneys are badly damaged, you may also need dialysis.
If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
Current as of:
August 12, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: August 12, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.