Man Almost Goes Into Kidney Failure After P90X Workout

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A man who recently attempted to lose weight by using P90X is blaming the fitness regimen for almost causing his kidneys to fail.

Matt Lombardi said he started the workout on Monday, doing the upper body drills first. 

He said it was difficult to complete the first day, which consisted of a combination of push ups and pull ups. Despite waking up sore, he continued onto the second day which targeted a different group of muscles.

It was just a few days after that that he contracted rhabdomyolysis, an illness associated with kidney failure and strenuous exercise.

"If you've done P90X, then you know that the first day [chest and back] is really, really difficult. You're asked to do push-ups, then pull-ups, then push-ups, then pull-ups. I lost count of how many of each I did, but it was a lot. Eventually, my muscles just shut down," he said.

"All in all, I probably completed half of what I was supposed to do - so around 30 minutes of continuous, hard exercise."

On Wednesday, he could barely get out of bed because his muscles were so sore. He knew something was wrong when he went to the bathroom and his urine "looked like Coca-Cola."

The color was due to his muscles releasing too much toxins into the bloodstream after they had been worked out vigorously. It is mainly the protein myoglobin which causes the discoloration.

He made an appointment with a kidney specialist that day, who confirmed he had the condition. He told him to return if the discoloration got worse.

When it did, he went to the emergency room and found out the condition was serious.

He was hooked up to a 200 ml IV drip to flush out the toxins while doctors performed blood and urine tests. They found that his blood had CPK [creatine phosphokinase] levels of over 16,800. That number is the max they can test for, and normal levels usually range between 10-200 micrograms per liter.

They then put him on two bags of IV fluids and gave him a catheter. 

On Saturday, the protein in his blood and urine finally subsided, but his CPK levels were still unmeasurably high. It wasn't until Tuesday that his CPK levels dropped and he was released from the hospital.

Doctors told him not to exercise for a few weeks and that he needs to ease back into sports or exercising when he decides to start again. He is waiting to hear if he has any liver damage.

P90X consists of 90 days of cross-training, including weight training, martial arts, yoga and calisthenics. 

Rhabdomyoloysis isn't a rare condition, happening to many who work out vigorously. In 2011, 13 Iowa football players went to the ER for rhabdomyolysis after the first intense workout of the year.

Also in 2011, a teenager was sent to the hospital for the condition after he was forced to do push-ups as a punishment for bad behavior. 

Sources: Daily Mail, Miami News Day