I am a 34 year old weightlifter who is 6'5" and weighs 280lbs. My creatinine levels have fluctuated between 1.3 to 1.8 over the last ten years with 1.5 being the norm. My GP sent me to a nephrologist who says that I have an excellent ultrasound and with no blood or protein in the urine I have no disease of the kidneys. Although my creatinine levels have been stable he does suggest I do have kidney damage? He recommends keeping BP below 130/80 and following a low protein diet. I disagree with the low protein diet and explained that weightlifting breaks down muscle tissue causing higher than normal creatinine readings. After my reading of 1.8 I stayed away from gym for 3 days and stayed well hydrated. Four days after the 1.8 my reading was at 1.4. Two months later retook test and level was at 1.3. Last reading was back at 1.7 four months later. I believe because of dehydration and not abstaining from gym. How worried should I be? Although he is a nephrologist I disagree that my kidneys are damaged and want to seek out a second opinion from someone who better understands the relation of muscle mass to creatinine levels.
It is rather strange that, even knowing that you are a bodybuilder and that you workout regularly, that your high creatinine would bother him. It is true that the creatinine level in your blood reflects your kidney function, but as you have demonstrated, there are some things that have to be taken in to account with the readings. One thing though, seeing if you have kidney damage does not only depend on your creatinine, but also things like the ultrasound (which you said was normal), and also your hemoglobin, and transferrin saturation....do you know if any of those are abnormal? Additionally, the TREND over time of the amount of creatinine in your blood is important. Though it would be acceptable to have YOUR particular creatinine as higher than a regular person's, if it goes up by 10% that's still a significant increase and should be looked after.
The four most common causes of chronic renal failure in N. America are:
secondary to diabetes
polycystic kidney disease
Other than maybe hypertension, I don't think you have any of the above.
The one thing that's preventing me from totally interpreting your case is that we measure our creatinine levels a little differently in Canada. Our normal levels come out to between 60 to about 115.....do you know how to convert your values over?
i definitely wouldn't worry about your creatinine level especially with the fluctuating numbers that bounce from normal to above normal. if you have no protein in your urine i would just check your creatinine once every 4 to 6 mos. and keep your blood pressure down. and with you probably eating a high protein diet and hydration issues don't sweat it at all, bad creatinine levels can reach in the 7.0 or higher before most people even consider dialysis. you could also buy some urine protein test strips for 10 bucks and check your urine a couple times a week and see if it ever shows a positive. i have kidney disease and can pretty much tell you that this is what my nephrologist would say and there one of the top renal hospitals in the u.s.
Just had levels re-tested and my creatinine was back at 1.3 and my BUN was 16. To achieve these levels I abstained from gym for 3 days and drank plenty of water. Maybe my doc will believe I have no damage now? It should also be noted that my BP is regularly checked and in the 130/80 range. Not bad for a 280lb guy? My other levels are normal as well...hemo=16 and transferrin sat=40% Butterfly, divide your readings by 88 and you can compare totals. My 1.3 =your 115. I have had levels as high as 1.8 x 88 = 158. Even though my levels are stable he suggested low protein and BP meds? As far as I am concerned he can get bent. We will monitor levels every 3 months. Next time I will do heavy squats the day before test and watch the puzzled look on docs face.....Not to flame Nephs but I believe they specialize in kidney disease and dialysis and most do not understand the relationship of constant muscle breakdown and elevated readings, at least not mine. When I suggested whey protein instead of meat and milk he did not know what whey was?
Not to flame Nephs but I believe they specialize in kidney disease and dialysis and most do not understand the relationship of constant muscle breakdown and elevated readings, at least not mine. When I suggested whey protein instead of meat and milk he did not know what whey was?
I know you're not "flaming" nephrologists, but they are of the smartest doctors out there in terms of subspecialists of internal medicine. Trust me, they should know the relationship between muscle mass and creatinine level as that is the most basic level of nephrology there is. I think your doctor in particular is either not explaining something properly to you, or HE in particular is an idiot!
The Following User Says Thank You to butterflytrans For This Useful Post: Andre Kirby Sr (11-01-2011)