What Hikers Need To Know About Rhabdomyolysis

What Hikers Need To Know About Rhabdomyolysis

Risks and Causes Of Exertional Rhabdomyolysis and Hiking

Risks of causing rhabdomyolysis are pretty easy to identify. They could be caused by just one or all of the things mentioned below:

Overexertion:
Hot Climates:
Cold Climates:
Alcohol and Drugs:
Alcohol and drugs are both known to increase the risks for developing rhabdomyolysis. Illicit drugs can also increase the metabolic and muscular demands of the body. These drugs specifically are stimulant type drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and PCP. Both alcohol and illicit drugs can cause metabolic stresses can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the body and lead to cellular malfunctioning. Without properly working cells, the muscle can break down. In general, stimulant based drugs are more well known for increasing the risk of rhabdo. Although, I once treated a patient in the ER attempting to do the Pacific Crest Trail. The person was only as far as the San Diego portion of the trail. He was admitted for rhabdomyolysis as he was going through the trail smoking marijuana and neglecting to take care of his body. Another known medication that increases the risk for rhabdomyolysis are statins. Statins can be toxic to muscle cells those with hypothyroidism can be particularly at risk.
Electrolyte Imbalances:
When it comes to hiking, especially if it’s a longer distance or more strenuous hike, nutrition can be more important than the actual hike itself. If the hike is intense enough, you’re going to lose precious salts like potassium and sodium through sweat. As muscles contract, they release potassium from cells. Potassium helps increase blood flow to the muscles as well as help muscles to contract. When potassium is lost, muscle contraction becomes impaired and blood flow is lost which can increase the risk of rhabdo due to a lack of energy supply. Low sodium is another electrolyte lost during intense workouts. Low sodium along with low potassium levels can alter the way cells work and increase the risk for rhabdomyolysis.
Genetics:
Some people are have genetic predispositions that put them at risk for developing rhabdomyolysis.

Symptoms Of Rhabdomyolysis

About The Author

The Simple Hiker

ER nurse. Exercise enthusiast. Outdoor lover. Photography taker. Surfer. Hiker.

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