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More on rhabdomyolysis

So now that rhabdomyolysis has forever become a part of the Redskins' lexicon, it's probably worth asking: What in the world is rhabdomyolysis?

We've been talking to experts, and let's distill it all into a few bullet points.

-- It's not common.

-- It's not rare, either.

-- It is unusual for well-conditioned athletes to fall victim to it.

-- It's usually associated with trauma, side effects from medications and existing diseases.

-- Though he's likely recovered from last week's bout, Haynesworth isn't any more likely than his teammates to become stricken with rhabdomyolysis again.

"It's probably more common than we think, but we don't test for it," said Dr. Bryan Becker, president of the National Kidney Foundation. "There's a lot of causes, a lot of things associated with it. Obviously, excess exercise in the heat is one and that was documented many years ago in the military.

"There are all kinds of infections and drugs that can be associated with it. For an athlete, in summer time weather who goes out and does a lot of things, some individuals for whatever reason may have a change in their muscle metabolism and it sets into motion the muscle destruction. Those individuals just need a lot of rehydration. This tends to resolve on its own, as long as you don't go back immediately to the same activity, if you give it a day or two."

Haynesworth first cut short a practice last Tuesday and Coach Mike Shanahan said it was due to an illness. When Haynesworth missed practice Wednesday, Shanahan said it might have been related to the heat. On Thursday, Shanahan said Haynesworth was bothered by headaches, a characterization that prompted Haynesworth's colorful post-game comments on Saturday night. Haynesworth revealed at that time he'd also experienced dizziness and vomiting.

While many sports fans might be learning of rhabdomyolysis for the first time, Becker suggested it might be under-diagnosed in athletes. Because of the physical contact and hot practices in some sports, athletes can be susceptible to the condition. But because sports teams' doctors often specialize in orthopedics and not internal medicine, the diagnosis can be a difficult one.

"This is probably a more common condition among players in the NFL than people would recognize," Becker said, "but it's just not tested for. ...Athletes are susceptible if they have repeated trauma in the context of their athletic pursuit, but unless they have other symptoms, we probably don't necessarily look for it as much."

Citing a 2005 study, Dr. Lynne P. Yao, chairman-elect of the National Kidney Foundation's board of directors, said there are as many as 26,000 cases of rhabdomyolysis a year, and that it has historically linked with new military recruits reporting to boot camp.

"Training camp, I would imagine would be similar to Army recruits going out and exercising for the first time in the summer," Yao said. "That's a very analogous situation."
While rhabdomyolysis can be fatal in some instances, both Becker and Yao agree that early treatment can usually resolve the problems quickly. The best treatment, they say, is aggressive hydration, which cleanses the kidneys.

"When muscle is damaged, a protein pigment called myoglobin is released into the bloodstream and filtered out of the body by the kidneys," Yao explained. "Myoglobin breaks down into potentially harmful compounds.

"Exertion and hot conditions exacerbate the problem, but in most mild cases people recover in a week or two," Yao said. "It is treated with aggressive hydration to dilute the urine and flush the myoglobin from the kidneys."

By Rick Maese  |  August 22, 2010; 3:41 PM ET
Categories:  Albert Haynesworth  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rhabdomyolysis sidelined Haynesworth in practice
Next: Fullback Carey Davis added to roster


Rhabdomyolysis makes me fart, alot.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Fatsworth suffers from torn pussy fibers and ratardation, not rhabdomyolysis.

Posted by: Rahtard | August 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

beeps again

Posted by: TWISI | August 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I think beep-beep suffered from that.

Oh wait, he just suffers from d0uchebag-syndrome.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 22, 2010 3:14 PM |

Co-sign on this one Poopy !

Posted by: hessone | August 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

yet more beeps

Posted by: RomoLongballs | August 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

There is a deep rooted hatred of Haynesworth by Mike Shanahan. How dare Shanahan demote Haynesworth, a nine year pro to a third stringer? I bet all these power show ends week one, unless Shanahan wants to loose his first game to prove a point, and what a stupid point is that?

Posted by: abxinc | August 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

i had some experience with this in my training as a physician. my thoughts are included in a game recap on my blog:

Posted by: bcarothers | August 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I think it's really pronounced RABID-O-MAYOITIS and is characterized by excessive shooting off of the mouth and those little creamy white spittle thingy's in the corner of your mouth. Considering he's always got a gripe of some sort it's quite common in fat insolent individuals who have nothing better to do than complain. Tell him to take two aspirin and call Shanny in the morning.

Posted by: bullwinkle1 | August 22, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I've had it before. Was just gently riding my bicycle along and felt that way. Recovered fairly quickly (a few hours later) by getting in a very cool place and drowning myself through drinking lots and lots and lots of water and trips to the bathroom. Not fun stuff....

Posted by: charley42 | August 22, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"-- It's usually associated with trauma, side effects from medications and existing diseases."
Let's recap:

- Rapid weight loss in a short period of time (Medication).
- Muscle atrophy due to rapid weigh loss and extreme conditioning to get into shape (Trauma)
- A known out-of-shape malcontent prior to this year (Existing disease)

Yup, he definitely fits all three symptoms for "RobMyMoneyYosis"!

Posted by: JohnWWW | August 22, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"i had some experience with this in my training as a physician. my thoughts are included in a game recap on my blog:
http://BroodingBurgundy.comPosted by: bcarothers"

This is a pretty good description of the condition if anyone wants to check it out.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 22, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that given Albert's history of condition problems (reference Jeff Fisher about his term in Tennessee), and Mike Shanahan's commitment to team discipline, we'll see this forced marriage-in-hell produce such conflicts periodically throughout Haynesworth's tenure in Washington -- let it be short.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 22, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Rhabdomyolysis means you're out of shape.

last year AH got Rhabdomyolysis for about half the plays of every game. and then got better of course.

Posted by: capitolhill09 | August 22, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

i had some experience with this in my training as a physician. my thoughts are included in a game recap on my blog:

Posted by: bcarothers

Nice read. You make some points in your blog, though I still belive My Haney can serve us well this year. My training as a pimp tells me so.

Posted by: iubiquity | August 22, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Everyone claims I am a hypochondriac, but I swear I think I may be having this same thing.

Posted by: AaronDavistheLizardKing | August 22, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Before you fall for Haynesworth's story, I suggest you read this. It puts Shanny in a different light and shows how childish Fat Albert truly is.

Posted by: laserwizard | August 23, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

i had some experience with this in my training as a physician. my thoughts are included in a game recap on my blog

Posted by: bcarothers

Yes, I read it. I've had this rhabdomyolysis before and you left out a few of the most tragic symptoms.

1) The malady can affect judgment, leading one to impregnate strippers with whom we actually do NOT want to start a family.

2) The disease may often cause the victim to "lash out" at those who are in a position of authority. Sometimes, the victim believes that the authority figure is intentionally demanding that the victim perform the actual task for which he has already been very handsomely paid.

3) The disorder can sometimes lead to what I can only describe as a burning anger within. A "Rage," if you will. This will sometimes manifest itself against "America's Team" where the victim may start stomping the bare heads of the Dallas Cowboys.

If untreated, rhabdomyolysis can lead to being severely overpaid, to the point where staying in shape seems like climbing Mt. Everest. What for? I'm already rich! That junk is hard! Let's go to that new stip club! ... These are typical sentiments of acute rhabdomyolysis.

Sometimes it can make one poop their pants when they were expecting only a fart. So, learn to recognize the symptoms.


Posted by: Thinker_ | August 23, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

You forgot the most effective treatment for Rhabdomyolysis: a tampon. Shove it in Fat Albert's mouth and we'll all suddenly feel better.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | August 23, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

who cares Fat Albert is a Biznitch

Posted by: unknownsouljah | August 23, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

At least it's not Overtrained Athlete Syndrome.

Posted by: ingod | August 23, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I have seldom seen so many people display their ignorance so publicly.

If you watch television, you may have seen the ad for Crestor--the so-called cholesterol reducing statin drug. When Astra Zeneca, the manfacturer talks about the possibility of it causing muscle pain and aches, etc. and call it a serious side effect, about which one should consult their physician IMMEDIATELY, THEY ARE NOT KIDDING. They are referring to Rhabdomyolysis.

I almost lost my ability to walk because of of this so-called "serious side effect", and went through a large number of medical specialists screenings who were trying to find some other cause of my problem. They found no other cause. I have talked with many other victims in the past year. This is a serious drug-induced problem. I would suggest that before you accept the so-called explanations of your "panel of experts", that you investigate to discover if this person had been placed on a statin. Do a little research yourself. Google "Space Doc" and check what happened to one of NASA's top doctors as a result of being put on Lipitor.

The "cute" comments of your readers reveal more about them than the person they are commenting upon.

Posted by: johnshcarter | August 23, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

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