Muscle toxins exist, and they can be extremely dangerous depending on the severity of the illness.
When they leak into the bloodstream, they can cause cramps, pain, weakness, and complications such as kidney failure, hyperkalemia, and other dreadful health conditions.
However unpleasant it gets, the good news is it can always be treated.
Are Toxins Stored In The Muscle?
Myoglobin, excess lactic acids, and other products present in the skeletal muscles are regarded as toxins when released into the blood.
When you have too much myoglobin in your blood, it can lead to kidney damage and, eventually, failure of the kidneys.
The muscles store myoglobin, an oxygen-binding protein that primarily produces oxygen to the blood when needed.
This myoglobin is not toxic in the muscle cells but can become toxins when released into the bloodstream, either through damage or disintegration.
Although the kidney removes myoglobin from the blood, too much of it can damage the kidney or ultimately lead to kidney failure, hyperkalemia, or even death when released in large quantities.
The condition of toxins being released into the bloodstream is called rhabdomyolysis.
It is characterized by the breakdown of muscle tissues, with its content being spilled into general circulation.
Causes Of Muscle Toxins
The release of muscle toxins into the bloodstream often occurs when the muscles get broken down, causing the extracellular components, which are ordinarily not toxic, to get into general circulation and become toxic.
This condition is most common during injury, High-intensity exercises, increased muscle breakdown, trauma, some medications, and drugs.
Here are how these factors can lead to the release of these metabolic wastes into the bloodstream.
People who engage in high-intensity exercises like workouts, heavy weight lifting, and athletic activities are most susceptible to experiencing spilled toxins from the muscle.
When too much pressure gets exerted on the muscles, muscle cells get damaged because of repetitive and intense motion, releasing myoglobin and creatine kinase into the blood.
The mechanism here is the same as with muscle damage since it involves muscle injuries.
Usually, symptoms of muscle toxins occur after two or three days of muscle injury.
It is often accompanied by pain, discomfort, and muscle soreness.
Such injuries could occur as a result of physical overexertion, strenuous activities, or accidents.
Muscle compression due to prolonged immobilization is another thing that could induce the spillage of muscle toxins into the bloodstream.
Compression of the muscle cells could lead to damage which potentially results in the release of myoglobin and CK into the blood.
The wastes accumulate in the blood, causing a significant amount of damage to the kidneys.
There are many reasons drugs can be connected to this condition.
The constant usage of medicines and substances often causes depression in the central nervous system, leading to compression of muscles, prolonged immobilization, and ultimately, death or destruction of muscle cells.
Toxic substances commonly abused such as ethanol, cocaine, heroin, and tobacco are also connected to hyperpyrexia (high fever), muscular ischemia (deprivation of oxygen from muscle tissues), coma, seizure, and muscle compression.
Individuals who engage in drug and substance abuse also often suffer nutritional deficiencies, with a diminished ATP reserve and glycogen storage.
Various types of Infection could also cause muscle toxins to be released in the body.
Bacterial Infection of the muscles, viral infections, polymyositis, and other forms of inflammation are all reported to cause rhabdomyolysis.
According to studies, viruses cause rhabdomyolysis by directly attacking muscle cells, thereby causing the generation of some muscle-specific toxins.
Viral-induced pyrolysis is more famous in children and young adults, while bacterial-induced ones are often associated with adults.
Viral infections that might lead to rhabdomyolysis include:
- influenza type A and B
- Human immunodeficiency virus
- Herpes simplex virus
- Parainfluenza virus
How Dangerous Are Muscle Toxins?
The dangers induced by muscle toxins correlate well with the severity of the illness. It ranges from asymptomatic disease to life-threatening conditions.
Rhabdomyolysis is accompanied by a triad of symptoms, including muscle pain, muscle weakness, and dark urine.
These symptoms are seen in less than 10% of patients with the disease condition.
Other symptoms that may be present include fever, caused by the rapid breakdown of muscle cells, tachycardia.
Which may result from electrolyte abnormalities, hypotension when fluids move from the intravascular compartment and into the damaged muscle cells.
Also, there is reduced urine output due to low circulating volume, but it may worsen with acute kidney failure.
Individuals suffering from the spillage of muscle toxins into the blood will experience abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
The most severe complication of rhabdomyolysis is acute kidney failure which develops in about 33% of patients suffering from rhabdomyolysis.
Common electrolyte abnormalities that occur include hyperkalemia (elevated potassium level), hyperphosphatemia (elevated phosphate), and hypocalcemia (low calcium), which later develops into Hypercalcemia.
In severe cases, creatine kinase, the best marker for rhabdomyolysis, rises, going over 5000 units, showing muscle damage.
Serum and urine myoglobin might be present; urinary dipstick might be possible, urine and creatinine levels will be raised.
Serum and potassium levels might be increased; calcium levels might be below. Phosphate and urine levels may be extended, and also blood gas may show lactic acidosis.
Does Massage Help Relieve Muscle Toxins?
Massages do not remove toxins from the body. It only improves circulation in the body, assisting the body in performing its regular detoxifying purposes.
As circulation improves in the body, cells expand, and toxins build-up to get relieved as detoxification simultaneously occurs.
Many people believe that massages help eliminate toxin buildup in the body, which is false.
Massage can only help with proper circulation, which allows the body to perform its natural body functions.
Massage cannot cure severe cases of muscle toxins; it can only help with mild conditions showing symptoms like soreness or pain.
A massage session can not relieve severe cases of muscle toxins that might already be linked with more dreadful disease conditions.
Although, your massage therapist might tell you otherwise. If you experience severe cases of rhabdomyolysis, it is most advisable you visit the doctor and not a massage therapist.
How To Flush Toxins From Your Muscle
You can do some basic things to flush out toxins from the muscle, from easy hacks to staying hydrated and getting additional medical intervention in severe cases of damaged muscle.
The following are practical tips to flushing toxins from your muscle:
Although I mentioned earlier that massages could not flush toxins from your muscles, I also talked about improving fluid circulation.
Massage sessions help reduce tension in the muscles and also relieve stress.
This act plays a crucial role in removing toxins from the body’s tissues by improving circulation.
Besides enhanced circulation, massages help reduce pains, muscle soreness, muscle aches, headaches, and other related symptoms of muscle toxins.
Since the body is made up of fluid, staying hydrated has many notable effects on our overall health.
One of these effects includes reduced dehydration and better circulation.
Water is the essential component that the body uses to transport substances within the cells, aiding its ability to flush out wastes and toxic metabolic wastes.
Staying hydrated is vital to life, and it is equally necessary to maintain the body’s regular function.
If you have degenerative muscle conditions or have once experienced muscle damage, stay hydrated always, drinking as much as eight cups of water daily.
Some medications can help relieve toxin levels in the body, depending on your health care professional’s prescription.
These drugs help improve body functions by reducing the number of toxins released into the blood by the muscles.
In extreme cases, where many toxins have been released into the blood, and acute kidney failure arises, dialysis may be needed.
This is a medical procedure where toxins and waste products are cleaned and removed from the kidneys.
Other related preventive measures would be to engage in less heavy lifting or muscle training activities.
If you’re an athlete, work with your trainer to regulate your milestones and keep your muscles healthy.
Take a lot of rest and breaks at intervals, and keep staying hydrated.
Muscle toxins can be dangerous when it is released into the bloodstream.
Making gradual lifestyle changes can help keep your muscles healthy reduce or get rid of toxins in your muscles.
Healthline: Rhabdomyolysis: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis
Focusphysiotherapy: How Massage Therapy Releases Toxins From The Body