How One Woman Developed a Potentially Fatal Condition After Her First Spin Class
When 33-year-old Lauren Peterson attended her first spin class, she expected it to be physically challenging; she didn't expect to leave the class with a potentially fatal health condition. After 15 minutes of super-intense cycling, the Bronx, New York-based schoolteacher says she felt nauseous and almost passed out. And while that might sound like most people's introductions to spinning, it definitely wasn't: Two days later, she was still suffering from a handful of scary symptoms, including dark urine and swelling and searing pain in her thigh muscles. It turned out that Peterson's doctor, Maureen Brogan, MD, had seen two more cases of rhabdomyolysis at Westchester Medical Center before Peterson's ER visit. She wrote about it in a November 2016 report and noted several key similarities: In all three cases, rhabdomyolysis was brought on by a high-intensity spin class, all three patients were novice spinners, and the vigorous workout took a toll on some of the largest muscles in their bodies: those in their thighs and butts. When these muscles didn't get enough oxygen, they broke and burst — which ultimately led to the release of myoglobin into the blood and some not-so-fun symptoms.
NYMC Faculty: Maureen E. Brogan, M.D., associate professor of medicine