Rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo for short) is a sometimes fatal condition caused by overexertion that results in overtaxed muscle cells bursting and dying, releasing toxins into the body. Experts worry many people returning to the gym after a COVID-19 pandemic hiatus might push themselves too hard and wind up diagnosed with rhabdo, reports the Washington Post.
The primary diagnostic tool for rhabdomyolysis is a blood test for creatine kinase. Urban’s results showed of more than 100,000 units per liter, an amount that risked causing kidney failure and either death or lifelong dialysis (normal levels of the enzyme range from 22 to 198 units per liter). His urine was not tested, but the discoloration was likely the result of the excess myoglobin. He was put on intravenous saline to wash out the toxins.
“It was just kind of a shocking thing,” he said. “Forty pull-ups put me in the hospital for a week.”
Read more in the Washington Post.