Creatine, Creatinine, Doctors, and Kidney Tests

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    Creatine, Creatinine, Doctors, and Kidney Tests


    Over the past 2 weeks, I have overheard conversations at my gym where 2 different people stated that their doctors told them to stop taking creatine. I did not hear specifically why these people had been to a doctor. It could have been anything, including a physical. Both guys are close to 40+ years old. I realize there are a lot of unknowns here but I was surprised to hear that 2 times in 2 weeks.

    1 guy specifically said that his creatinine levels were a little high and the doc said it was a sign of reduced kidney function and was accompanied by high protein levels in his urine.I know that creatinine levels are 1 indicator of creatine function.

    What I am wondering though is, that if a person is taking creatine, isn't their creatinine level going to be higher than if they weren't taking it anyway? A doc who does not know about supplementation may just automatically default to the safe, don't get sued answer of stop taking it.

    My only problems ever with creatine were staying hydrated and upset stomach on the cheap stuff. LOL...I had a horrid batch years ago mixed with vit-B complex in powder form. It was a test of my manhood every day to drink that stuff.

    My speculation is that most likely these guys were not properly hydrated and the doc just took the easy way out. I could be wrong of course but, I don't think that the average MD takes body building/athletic/supplemented lifestyles into account.
    Last edited by specmike; 12-21-2010 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by specmike View Post
    Over the past 2 weeks, I have overheard conversations at my gym where 2 different people stated that their doctors told them to stop taking creatine. I did not hear specifically why these people had been to a doctor. It could have been anything, including a physical. Both guys are close to 40+ years old. I realize there are a lot of unknowns here but I was surprised to hear that 2 times in 2 weeks.

    1 guy specifically said that his creatinine levels were a little high and the doc said it was a sign of reduced kidney function and was accompanied by high protein levels in his urine.I know that creatinine levels are 1 indicator of creatine function.

    What I am wondering though is, that if a person is taking creatine, isn't their creatinine level going to be higher than if they weren't taking it anyway? A doc who does not know about supplementation may just automatically default to the safe, don't get sued answer of stop taking it.

    My only problems ever with creatine were staying hydrated and upset stomach on the cheap stuff. LOL...I had a horrid batch years ago mixed with vit-B complex in powder form. It was a test of my manhood every day to drink that stuff.

    My speculation is that most likely these guys were not properly hydrated and the doc just took the easy way out. I could be wrong of course but, I don't the average MD takes body building/athletic/supplemented lifestyles into account.
    A doctor telling one to stop using creatine is common. SOME kinds of creatine can play havoc with one's bloods - one example of this is CEE. You can see my personal experiences and results with CEE and what it did re my bloods in my first log.

    A few comments from said log:
    Quote Originally Posted by post#71
    BLOOD STATISTICS

    ...

    As well as getting a Complete Blood Count done weekly, several other things are tested for, among which are Creatinine and Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR), both values of which were a little disturbing, to put it mildly.

    Creatinine: 211 umol/L (Normal Range 50-100)
    eGFR: 27 ml/min/1.73m2 (Normal Range 80-120)

    Creatinine is representative of renal function. Increased values of Creatinine are caused by either renal disease (kidney failure) or acromegaly (syndrome where excessive growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland).

    GFR is a measure of kidney function; more specifically the volume of filtrate that is formed each minute by the kidneys. A decrease in GFR is due to the constriction of the afferent arterioles (a group of blood vessels that play an important role in the regulation of blood pressure [BP]).

    Afferent arterioles become constricted when renal blood flow is reduced. Renal blood flow reduction is caused by hypotension (low BP).

    Hypotension can be caused by a number of things, among which are: a) A decrease in cardiac output, of which bradychardia is a cause; and b) Excessive vasodilation, which can be caused by a number of factors, including acidosis - of which hyperventilation and shock can be a cause, and postprandial hypotension (drastic decline in BP after eating). The main indicators of hypotension are lightheadedness and dizziness (with mild depression in some people). Since my BP is ALREADY low (100/50 mm Hg), either a) (although I attribute my very low resting HR and exercising HR to being very fit, others view this as ABnormal) OR b) (increased vascularity of late), and most definitely a combination of BOTH, could possiby lower it even MORE.

    From this (and because these values have never been like this before) I speculate that I have had an acute bout of hypotension, and will wait for this week's results, to see whether last week's readings were just a one-off event, before getting TOO concerned...
    posts #74 and #75 explain things further
    Quote Originally Posted by post#111
    Creatinine: 182 umol/L (Normal Range 50-100)
    eGFR: 32 ml/min/1.73m2 (Normal Range 80-120)

    Comments: Creatinine has decreased from last week, while eGFR has increased. Still not within the 'normal' limits, but they seem to be heading back that way. I think that it was just the CHANGE in the TYPE of creatine used that caused last week's outlier result, nothing ABnormal or anything to worry about.
    Quote Originally Posted by post#150
    BLOOD STATISTICS

    ...

    Creatinine: 188 umol/L (Normal range 50-100)
    eGFR: 31 ml/min/1.73m2 (Normal range 80-120)

    Comments: Creatinine still high and eGFR still way too low. I'm not worried though. Is probably just the change in creatine product I'm using. This is the LAST week that I am going to comment on these, since it is not something that I need be TOO concerned with...
    Creatinine levels are NOT accurate indicators of "creatine" function, and one can use creatine and have NORMAL creatinine levels - the ONLY type of creatine/creatine product that has EVER increased my creatinine levels is CEE (i.e. the original NeoVar). Trust me, I had bloods done almost WEEKLY from aged 15 to 25.

    Be aware that creatinine can also be elevated for other reasons, such as muscle breakdown and damage, etc., cause by training and intense exercise.

    Not being hydrated enough when using creatine does not make a different to creatinine levels - as indicated, CEE INcreased my creatinine levels even at drinking 8-10 litres of water daily.

    The "average MD" - unless they are a sports doctor or actually involved in the fitness lifestyle - is ignorant when it comes to supplementation and will tell you to stop taking anything, regardless of what it is, and therefore their advice should be taken with much less than a grain of salt, IMO.

    ~Rosie~
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    Rosie you do realize eGFR is calculated from Creatinine levels so they are correlated right? Just heading to the gym and was just skimming.

    Intaking Creatine will correlate with an increase in creatinine in some studies. Here's a good study . However another good study that loaded 20g/day for 5 days showed no change in plasma creatinine. Also peruse these search hits for further interest. Most studies are done on Creatine Monohydrate, as a caveat.

    So I don't think there's a clear cut and dry answer. There's so many factors to do with an individual's health. As a practitioner, I think it makes sense to them to tell you stop stop the creatine, and if your levels don't change then they will know it wasn't the Cr. At the end of the day they're worrying about your overall health (ie. renal failure) vs another 5lbs on your bench press. Ideally get your Creatinine measured before starting creatine
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    I was basing part of my hydration speculation on WIKI info which may need to be taken with that same grain of salt. I don't yet have enough posts to link it but here's a quote:

    Urine creatinine

    Creatinine concentration is also checked during standard urine drug tests. High creatinine levels indicate a pure test, whereas low amounts of creatinine in the urine indicate a manipulated test, either through the addition of water in the sample or by drinking excessive amounts of water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post
    The "average MD" - unless they are a sports doctor or actually involved in the fitness lifestyle - is ignorant when it comes to supplementation and will tell you to stop taking anything, regardless of what it is, and therefore their advice should be taken with much less than a grain of salt, IMO.

    ~Rosie~
    Regardless of the accuracy of that info or my guesses, I agree with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steveoph View Post
    Rosie you do realize eGFR is calculated from Creatinine levels so they are correlated right? Just heading to the gym and was just skimming.

    Intaking Creatine will correlate with an increase in creatinine in some studies. Here's a good study . However another good study that loaded 20g/day for 5 days showed no change in plasma creatinine. Also peruse these search hits for further interest. Most studies are done on Creatine Monohydrate, as a caveat.

    So I don't think there's a clear cut and dry answer. There's so many factors to do with an individual's health. As a practitioner, I think it makes sense to them to tell you stop stop the creatine, and if your levels don't change then they will know it wasn't the Cr. At the end of the day they're worrying about your overall health (ie. renal failure) vs another 5lbs on your bench press. Ideally get your Creatinine measured before starting creatine
    I do. Was just providing an example to the OP's comments and questions. DO note, as I said, it was my first log (still early in my exercise science degree, when I was really getting into learning all about that stuff), and the first (and only) time something like that had ever happened with my bloods, so when it initially occurred, I was concerned, but when I knew what it was, not so much.

    There's never a clearcut answer for most issues. Every individual is different and what is "normal" for one is "abnormal" for another, and there will always be anomalies in everything, no matter what it is. This definitely makes it extremely important to KNOW your body and how it responds and reacts to EVERYTHING.

    ~Rosie~
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    I look for every chance I can get to say this. NO ONE SHOULD TAKE CEE!
  

  
 

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