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  1. #1
    Registered User hokiepokster92's Avatar
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    Unhappy High BUN, Creatinine levels - Doctor freaking out

    Went in for a routine physical exam last week and they took blood. I sat down with my Doc yesterday to review my labs. Everything was normal except for the BUN (26) and Creatinine (2.07) levels. The Doc freaked out when he saw that and was dumbfounded as to what could be causing this.

    I make an effort to eat at least 3 whole food meals per day (equal portions of protein and carbs, as well as green veggies with at least two of those meals). Protein usually consists of chicken breast, turkey breast, turkey burgers, lowfat cottage cheese, and fish (salmon, tilapia). Carbs consist of brown rice, wheat bread, oatmeal, apples, oranges, and nonfat yogurt. Additionally, I supplement with:

    1 Animal Pak multi with breakfast
    2 scoops of N.O. Xplode prior to daily workout
    1 scoop of cellmass twice daily (1 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon)
    1-2 scoops of Syntha6 in the morning, 2 scoops in the afternoon
    1 scoop Optimum Casein Protein right before bed

    When I'm on the go, I'll occasionally replace the Syntha6 with a detour bar.

    There may be a day or two when I don't drink enough water (if I'm going on a long drive I want to minimize the bathroom stops) but in general, I'm drinking it constantly throughout the day.

    For now, I'm stopping all supplementation and just eating whole foods. It really sucks because I was making progress toward my goals. Right now I am 5'9" and weigh about 165 lbs.

    On second thought, I should have stopped supplementing a couple of weeks prior to the exam.

    Has anyone else experienced high BUN and creatinine levels? Am I safe to assume it's due to the creatinine/protein supplementation? Should I expect these levels to return to normal after weaning off of the stuff?
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  2. #2
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    High BUN can be from too much protein (not enough water)

    High creatinine can be from too much creatine intake (not enough water)


    See how your next test is without supps and then get 1 more down the road with supps and a much higher water intake. Also, have you been sick lately? Allergies? That can dehydrate you and mess with your numbers.

    edit : Your creatinine levels are really high. Normal max is ~1.2 or so. I've been as high as 1.4 and the doctors were confused about that. Over 2 is pretty high. Do you have a history of kidney problems or does your family have kidney problems?
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    creatinine levels will be higher in BBers purely because we undergo continual muscle breakdown and repair. but really high levels.... not good. id stop all creatine products.
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  4. #4
    Registered User hokiepokster92's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by US_Ranger View Post
    High BUN can be from too much protein (not enough water)

    High creatinine can be from too much creatine intake (not enough water)


    See how your next test is without supps and then get 1 more down the road with supps and a much higher water intake. Also, have you been sick lately? Allergies? That can dehydrate you and mess with your numbers.

    edit : Your creatinine levels are really high. Normal max is ~1.2 or so. I've been as high as 1.4 and the doctors were confused about that. Over 2 is pretty high. Do you have a history of kidney problems or does your family have kidney problems?
    No history of kidney problems with me or my family. I have not been sick but I do have seasonal allergies, actually year round, to pollen. Thanks for the quick reply.
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  5. #5
    Registered User hokiepokster92's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mark118 View Post
    creatinine levels will be higher in BBers purely because we undergo continual muscle breakdown and repair. but really high levels.... not good. id stop all creatine products.
    I have stopped. Thanks for your input.
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    Originally Posted by hokiepokster92 View Post
    the BUN (26) and Creatinine (2.07)
    These values are not unusual for someone who works out and supplements with creatine and protein. A more important value would be eGFR.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by hokiepokster92 View Post
    I have stopped. Thanks for your input.
    There is no need to stop supplementing with creatine nor protein. Just follow up with your doctor with more precise (and relevant) tests.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by neuron View Post
    These values are not unusual for someone who works out and supplements with creatine and protein. A more important value would be eGFR.
    My eGFR number was also abnormally low: 36
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    Originally Posted by hokiepokster92 View Post
    My eGFR number was also abnormally low: 36
    Should be greater than 60, so follow up tests will be necessary. Keep in mind the apparent kidney disfunction is not the result of aforementioned supplementation (creatine + protein).
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    BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)

    This test measures the amount of urea nitrogen that's present in the blood. When protein is metabolized, the end product is urea which is formed in the liver and excreted from the bloodstream via the kidneys. This is why BUN is a good indicator of both liver and kidney function. Increased levels can stem from shock, burns, dehydration, congestive hear failure, myocardial infarction, excessive protein ingestion, excessive protein catabolism, starvation, sepsis, renal disease, renal failure, etc. Causes of a decrease in levels can be liver failure, overhydration, negative nitrogen balance via malnutrition, pregnancy, etc.

    Normal range:

    Adults
    10-20 mg/dl

    Creatinine

    Creatinine is a byproduct of creatine phosphate, the chemical used in contraction of skeletal muscle. So, the more muscle mass you have, the higher the creatine levels and therefore the higher the levels of creatinine. Also, when you ingest large amounts of beef or other meats that have high levels of creatine in them, you can increase creatinine levels as well. Since creatinine levels are used to measure the functioning of the kidneys, this easily explains why creatine has been accused of causing kidney damage, since it naturally results in an increase in creatinine levels.

    However, we need to remember that these tests are only indicators of functioning and thus outside drugs and supplements can influence them and give false results, as creatine may do. This is why creatine, while increasing creatinine levels, does not cause renal damage or impair function. Generally speaking, though, increased levels are indicative of urinary tract obstruction, acute tubular necrosis, reduced renal blood flow (stemming from shock, dehydration, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis), as well as acromegaly. Decreased levels can be indicative of debilitation, and decreased muscle mass via disease or some other cause.

    Normal range:

    Adult Male
    0.6-1.2 mg/dl

    BUN/Creatinine Ratio

    A high ratio may be found in states of shock, volume depletion, hypotension, dehydration, gastrointestinal bleeding, and in some cases, a catabolic state. A low ratio can be indicative of a low protein diet, malnutrition, pregnancy, severe liver disease, ketosis, etc. Keep in mind, though, that the term BUN, when used in the same sentence as hamburger or hotdog, usually means something else entirely. An important thing to note again is that with a high protein diet, you'll likely have a higher ratio and this is nothing to worry about.

    Normal range:

    Adult
    6-25
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by neuron View Post
    Should be greater than 60, so follow up tests will be necessary. Keep in mind the apparent kidney disfunction is not the result of aforementioned supplementation (creatine + protein).
    My Doc is performing follow up tests. I had a CT scan this morning and he took more of my blood yesterday. He did not rule out the possibility of any of the abnormal numbers being due to error but we can't make that assumption. I'm going to see him again in two weeks.

    To simplify the diagnosis, I'm dropping all supplements, period.
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    Originally Posted by hokiepokster92 View Post
    My Doc is performing follow up tests. I had a CT scan this morning and he took more of my blood yesterday. He did not rule out the possibility of any of the abnormal numbers being due to error but we can't make that assumption. I'm going to see him again in two weeks.

    To simplify the diagnosis, I'm dropping all supplements, period.
    Ever had kidney stones?
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    When you had your blood test did you follow the protocol of not training for at least 24 hours prior to the test, not eat any 'meat' 24 hours prior to test, & took the test in a 'fasted' state? I ask because I had the same results several years ago and had even worse numbers than yours. I did some research and discovered that lifting the day before the test, aerobics the day of the test, eating meat the day before, and having a shake (which included CEE) the morning of the test could skew the numbers.

    I retook the test 5 weeks later following the suggested protocol and both creatinine & BUN levels were normal. I also did go off of CEE during that time.
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    Registered User hokiepokster92's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jonbodin View Post
    When you had your blood test did you follow the protocol of not training for at least 24 hours prior to the test, not eat any 'meat' 24 hours prior to test, & took the test in a 'fasted' state? I ask because I had the same results several years ago and had even worse numbers than yours. I did some research and discovered that lifting the day before the test, aerobics the day of the test, eating meat the day before, and having a shake (which included CEE) the morning of the test could skew the numbers.

    I retook the test 5 weeks later following the suggested protocol and both creatinine & BUN levels were normal. I also did go off of CEE during that time.
    Thanks for sharing this. I don't feel so concerned now. My blood was taken in the afternoon the same day I ran cardio in the morning and had eaten 3 meals and consumed my daily dosages of CEE. It was probably the worst time for my blood to be drawn. At my follow up appointment, my body was in the exact same state so I don't expect the second set of tests to be any different.

    Prior to past exams, I had made an effort to go off all supplements prior to the physical. And those appointments were early in the morning. I don't know why I didn't stop supplementing this time. When I see the Doc next week, I'm going to show him everything I've been supplementing with, ask him about what you've shared, and ask him to perform the tests again since I've been off of them for almost 2 weeks now.
    Last edited by hokiepokster92; 04-25-2009 at 08:26 AM. Reason: to add to my comments
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    Originally Posted by hokiepokster92 View Post
    Thanks for sharing this. I don't feel so concerned now. Prior to past exams, I had made an effort to go off all supplements prior to the physical. I don't know why I didn't do so this time. When I see the Doc next week, I'm going to show him everything I've been supplementing with and ask him to perform the tests again since I've been off of them for almost 2 weeks now.
    Your eGFR is not going to be affected by supplements and is an accurate indicator of kidney function. Since yours is quite abnormal, I would not heed the advise of the previous poster.
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    Originally Posted by hokiepokster92 View Post
    Thanks for sharing this. I don't feel so concerned now. My blood was taken in the afternoon the same day I ran cardio in the morning and had eaten 3 meals and consumed my daily dosages of CEE. It was probably the worst time for my blood to be drawn. At my follow up appointment, my body was in the exact same state so I don't expect the second set of tests to be any different.

    Prior to past exams, I had made an effort to go off all supplements prior to the physical. And those appointments were early in the morning. I don't know why I didn't stop supplementing this time. When I see the Doc next week, I'm going to show him everything I've been supplementing with, ask him about what you've shared, and ask him to perform the tests again since I've been off of them for almost 2 weeks now.
    I don't know why you would go off supps for a blood test. If anything I'd expect a blood test to give me an accurate picture of what my body is like every other day of the week, although I'd follow the doc's advice to not eat anything that morning and have it taken fasted (skip the morning workout if that's throwing things off too). That should give the most accurate results.
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    stop the supplements and lifting and repeat the test. do not lift the day before the test.

    that SCr is high and even with creatine use should not be that high.

    eliminate all factors bc if there is a serious issue you need to be aware of it.
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    my BUN is around 26 or 27 and my serum creatinine was 0.96 and 1.0

    the BUN for me is due to the amount of protein in my diet.
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    Registered User hokiepokster92's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by neuron View Post
    Should be greater than 60, so follow up tests will be necessary. Keep in mind the apparent kidney disfunction is not the result of aforementioned supplementation (creatine + protein).
    Neuron, do you have a medical degree? According to this equation, the higher the creatinine levels are, the lower the eGFR number will be.

    eGFR (mL/min/1.73m2)= 175 x [SerumCreatinine(umol/L) x 0.0113]-1.154 x Age(years)-0.203 (x 0.742 if female)

    So there is a direct connection between creatinine levels and eGFR.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by TheStiffmeister View Post
    stop the supplements and lifting and repeat the test. do not lift the day before the test.

    that SCr is high and even with creatine use should not be that high.

    eliminate all factors bc if there is a serious issue you need to be aware of it.
    Thanks. That's the approach I'm taking.
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    Do you have the "old" version of Animal Pak?, I read that the Shark Cartilage in it can raise levels (Not sure if it was Kidney or Liver), which the "Old" version had.

    I was kinda in the same boat as you. I was taking Taking a Pre work out supp with Creatine and Animal Pak (New version thou) and my values were elevate.

    I had below (normal Ranges next to the values)

    Creatinine 1.4 (0.6 - 1.3)
    BUN 26 (10-20)
    AST 51 (5-35)
    ALT 48 (5-35)
    Albumin 5.3 ( I think up to 4.9)

    After I stop taking both of those supps 4 week later my results were

    Creatinine 1.2
    BUN 16
    AST 31
    ALT 26
    Albumin 4.6

    For whatever that is worth.
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  22. #22
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    definitely do not workout for at least 24 hours prior to tests like that. my last one that had stuff that was of concern was determined to be no worry due to the fact i had worked out 12 hours prior. I was also taking Creatine monohydrate at teh time, 5 grams a day, and did NOT have high creatinine levels, makes me wonder about the claims regarding creatinine and CEE...
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    Bro, if it makes you feel better I have been using creatine on and off for about 15 years. When I first started I was using it almost 5 years straight. I went through the same thing with my Doctor, high creatine levels. I eventually went to a specialist, and after eveything was done they told me I was fine and said it was the creatine causing the high levels. I also had high protein levels to, again after all the tests, everyhting was fine. I still use creatine and protein everyday. i just go get checked every six months. Hope this helps.
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    Veritas. Aequitas. neuron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hokiepokster92 View Post
    Neuron, do you have a medical degree? According to this equation, the higher the creatinine levels are, the lower the eGFR number will be.

    eGFR (mL/min/1.73m2)= 175 x [SerumCreatinine(umol/L) x 0.0113]-1.154 x Age(years)-0.203 (x 0.742 if female)

    So there is a direct connection between creatinine levels and eGFR.
    Technically GFR should be evaluated over a 24 hour period.

    As far as that formula is concerned, GFR and creatinine are directly proportional, and therefore should go up or down in the same direction.

    GFR is calculated as urine flow * ([conc. creatinine urine]/[conc. creatinine plasma])
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  25. #25
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    Met with my Doc last week for a follow up appointment and brought a bag of all of my supps. He told me to stop using everything except for the NO Xplode, Lipo 6, and Cheaters Relief.

    He felt that the phosphorus content of Syntha 6 was too high and that the Optimum Casein protein contained too much bad stuff. He also said that the Animal Paks had some really good ingredients and some not so good. I wish I could have written down his specific reasons since I can not recall what he said. I thought it was odd that he told me to stop using some of the top selling products on this site because of bad content.

    He also gave me updated labs:

    BUN 23 (lower than previous result and within normal levels)
    Creatinine 1.85 (still abnormal but lower than the previous result)
    eGFR 40 (still abnormal but higher than the previous result)

    Doc believes that the supps likely explain these results. He is referring me to a nephrologist. He expects a biopsy will be performed and that the result will be negative since I have stopped supplementing.
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    Is No Xplode killing my kidney? How long to cycle off?

    I decided to resurrect this thread -- been doing some research on the effect that No Xplode might be having on my kidneys. I've been taking No Xplode for about 2 years. I cycled off at the beginning but for the past 18 months I have been on the stuff non stop -- EVERY DAY! On workout days I would sometimes take up to 4 scoops. On "off" days, I would sometimes take up to 2 scoops (I began to substitute No Xplode for coffee -- definitely keeps you focused during the day).

    Last year my creatinine levels were 122 (110 is normal). I just got results from this year and my levels are even higher 153. I suspect over the last year I had to increase the amount of No Xplode i was taking due to it becoming less effective. eGFR was 48 this year.

    I never cycled off of the No Xplode even after the elevated numbers last year. My doctor is now freaking out. So, I told him I would cycle off for some time and then retest.

    Given my dependency on No Xplode -- I rebooked to take the test in 2 weeks. Is that enough time to notice any impact? or should I give it a month? I have cut off the No Xplode but I'm still taking a weight gainer -- will that still impact my numbers?
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    Originally Posted by bb_sam613 View Post
    I decided to resurrect this thread -- been doing some research on the effect that No Xplode might be having on my kidneys. I've been taking No Xplode for about 2 years. I cycled off at the beginning but for the past 18 months I have been on the stuff non stop -- EVERY DAY! On workout days I would sometimes take up to 4 scoops. On "off" days, I would sometimes take up to 2 scoops (I began to substitute No Xplode for coffee -- definitely keeps you focused during the day).

    Last year my creatinine levels were 122 (110 is normal). I just got results from this year and my levels are even higher 153. I suspect over the last year I had to increase the amount of No Xplode i was taking due to it becoming less effective. eGFR was 48 this year.

    I never cycled off of the No Xplode even after the elevated numbers last year. My doctor is now freaking out. So, I told him I would cycle off for some time and then retest.

    Given my dependency on No Xplode -- I rebooked to take the test in 2 weeks. Is that enough time to notice any impact? or should I give it a month? I have cut off the No Xplode but I'm still taking a weight gainer -- will that still impact my numbers?
    Hey guys, relax! The reason your BUN and creatinine levels are abnormally high is most likely because you are a) ingesting high amounts of protein b) taking creatine (or some product with creatine in it, i.e. NO-Xplode) or c) experiencing protein synthesis after a training session. If you are a serious weight lifter or bodybuilder there is no doubt that your high BUN levels are a combination of all three. If your are doing any of these things it would be strange if your levels weren't higher than 'normal'! An experienced doctor that sees a fair share of men who weight train or involved in other sports should recognize this and not rush to hit the alarm button (i.e. tell you to dump your supplements - I'm curious to know what the 'bad stuff' in hokipokster's casine is). Unfortunately, many doctors spend most of their days looking at geriatrics whose only experience with lifting is when they struggle out of their wheelchair. Additionally, doctors may tend to err on the side of caution. If you're really concerned about the No Xplode and other supplements, yeah, lay off it for a couple of months and if you're prone to hypochondria you can even go get a special kidney function test to allay your fears and while your at it you might want to get a second opinion from a doctor that treats athletes. Bottom line, if your a serious weightlifter your going to have some 'abnormal' blood results but this doesn't necessarily mean that your kidney's aren't working fine and you need change your supplements / diet / or (heaven forbid!) stop lifting weights.
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  28. #28
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    Hey, guys. Let me update you all since it's been a couple of years since this all went down. I'm perfectly healthy, still supplement, and work out 6 days a week.

    I have had at least a half dozen blood and urine tests since the initial diagnosis and all results have been normal. I have been seeing a nephrologist every 6 months and have checked out fine. The key for me is to cycle off everything a week before they take my lab samples and fast the night before I visit the lab. Looking back at when I submitted the initial samples, they took my blood/urine in the afternoon. In addition to having a full stomach, I had just taken my second Cellmass serving of the day prior to giving my samples. Perhaps, I should have been more up front with the Doc with what I had consumed prior to giving the samples. But I did not think it was an issue since I had never had an issue with previous physicals with other Doctors. I was supplementing when I had seen those other Docs.

    As for the Doc that initially "diagnosed" my condition, I no longer see him for both personal and professional reasons. Personally, I found him arrogant and very myopic with his views. Kurofune, you're right, he is not experienced in treating active, physically fit patients. He looked at me and saw a healthy individual and looked at the initial lab results and could not figure out what was going on. I mentioned to him possible diagnoses that a relative had given me. This relative is a medical professional. He belittled his opinion because he is only an ER Doc. Well, what this knucklehead did not know was my relative had previously worked as a Family Practitioner, the same as him. What a dick. Also, his office was run very poorly. They overbooked their schedules and never saw anyone on time. On average I would have to wait at least an hour after my scheduled time before the dude would see me. Good riddance.

    Bottom line: Make sure to cycle the supps. And if you're going to give lab samples, stop supping at least a week prior to your lab visit. Also, I'm following bb.com's recommended preworkout cycle (can't remember who specifically): 4 weeks on, 1 week off

    Thanks.
    Last edited by hokiepokster92; 08-11-2011 at 07:11 AM.
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    strong bump
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    Originally Posted by powercage View Post
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    Lol'd hard when I saw the OP had 43 posts and was in fact online 2 years after this thread was made.
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