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  1. #1
    Registered User kkcrotty's Avatar
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    Question High Creatinine, high red blood cell count & supplements

    Hi guys,

    I am a 35 yr old weightlifter who has trained mostly for sports like football, wrestling and powerlifting.

    I am 235lbs and have been lifting for about 20 years. I am lifetime natural with no steroids ever. I am relatively strong for a raw, non-steroid lifter with a bench in the low to mid 400's and squat and DL around 550-600 without any equipment, belts or wraps.

    Recently my new doctor was concerned at my high creatinine levels.

    I was recently on creatine (had been off for about a week) and I notified him of this but he said I also have higher than normal (just above the threshold) red blood cell count.

    Creatinine (1.5) HIGH
    glomerulus function or something like this?
    --Slightly Low (.49) vs (.50 for lowest normal)
    Red Blood Cell count -Slightly High
    --just above high end of normal range

    I was wondering how common these results are for
    A) some one with a long weightlifting background.
    B) A lot of muscle mass compared to a non-lifter and lots of explosive lifting
    C) Supplementing with Creatine & Beta-Alanine off and on

    Are these results abnormal for some one like me and should I be worried?
    Are there any tests I can have done that will show if I actually have kidney function issues and this is not a false positive?

    Thank you!!!!
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  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by kkcrotty View Post
    Hi guys,

    I am a 35 yr old weightlifter who has trained mostly for sports like football, wrestling and powerlifting.

    I am 235lbs and have been lifting for about 20 years. I am lifetime natural with no steroids ever. I am relatively strong for a raw, non-steroid lifter with a bench in the low to mid 400's and squat and DL around 550-600 without any equipment, belts or wraps.

    Recently my new doctor was concerned at my high creatinine levels.

    I was recently on creatine (had been off for about a week) and I notified him of this but he said I also have higher than normal (just above the threshold) red blood cell count.

    Creatinine (1.5) HIGH
    glomerulus function or something like this?
    --Slightly Low (.49) vs (.50 for lowest normal)
    Red Blood Cell count -Slightly High
    --just above high end of normal range

    I was wondering how common these results are for
    A) some one with a long weightlifting background.
    B) A lot of muscle mass compared to a non-lifter and lots of explosive lifting
    C) Supplementing with Creatine & Beta-Alanine off and on

    Are these results abnormal for some one like me and should I be worried?
    Are there any tests I can have done that will show if I actually have kidney function issues and this is not a false positive?

    Thank you!!!!
    curious to know what a high red blood cell count means?
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  3. #3
    Registered User jwbeeler's Avatar
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    Were you dehydrated when your sample was taken? I don't think the creatine would have any effect on your creatinine levels, but dehydration certainly could. What type of medical history do you have? Do you have any thyroid dysfunction?
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  4. #4
    Registered User kkcrotty's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwbeeler View Post
    Were you dehydrated when your sample was taken? I don't think the creatine would have any effect on your creatinine levels, but dehydration certainly could. What type of medical history do you have? Do you have any thyroid dysfunction?

    THANK YOU for your follow up.

    ~One more thing, my potassium was slightly higher than normal too.
    ~My thyroid was normal.

    Creatine breaks down into creatinine naturally in the body. In most studies users of creatine do have elevated creatinine levels with supplementation but this is considered normal. This doesn't mean they are over the normal high-end of the range however. Just higher than before their supplementation began.

    People with large amounts of muscle mass and / or on high-protein diets can also have higher than common levels, but again, not necessarily above the reference range.


    I have had two blood tests done about 14 days apart and I had similar results both times. The first was fasted. The second one wasn't. The second blood test also had a 24 hour urine-analysis done as well.

    I actually had higher creatining levels for the second test (about 3 weeks without creatinine supplementation) than on the first of these blood test about a 1/2-1 week after stopping creatinine supplementation. I thought my test results would go the other way the further from creatine supplementation I got.

    I am going in for a third, test, which will be my second non-fasted blood test/ urin test. I also had a 24 our urin test and a fasted 12 hour blood test done.

    I have no real medical history issues. I have asthma but no other known conditions and rarely take any meds for anything.

    My parents are type 2 diabetic, but I am not. I have had normal blood sugar levels every time i've checked and my blood insulin levels and blood sugar were normal on these fasted / and non-fasted tests.

    I also found an old blood test from over a year ago.

    The last doctor never even blinked at my these lab results when they were taken, but they were very similar to these two recent tests. He figured it was a false positive from creatine supplementation but my creatinine was high then too, but my red blood cell count was at the high-end of normal and I believe my potassium levels were in the normal range as well.

    Since then, my creatinine has gone up just a little more & my red blood cell count increased from the high-end of the normal range to just OVER the high-end of normal.

    Dehydration does seem to be one explanation, but I feel I drink a lot of fluids on most days. Not sure if something could be causing me to be dehydrated?

    I will drink more wanter before my next test. Any other feedback would be appreciated.
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  5. #5
    Registered User jwbeeler's Avatar
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    Dehydration is a known cause of high RBC count as well. You should be drinking no less than 64 oz of water (not tea, coffee, etc.) every day. The article below describes causes of high RBC Count. Please keep us updated.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hig...SECTION=causes
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  6. #6
    Registered User kkcrotty's Avatar
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    This looks like it could be it. I will check it out. Thanks.

    Keth
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  7. #7
    Registered User jwbeeler's Avatar
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    Don't just drink a lot prior to your next scheduled test, start now and begin working your body up to the level you should already be drinking. You should notice a performance increase in your lifts as well.
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  8. #8
    Registered User kkcrotty's Avatar
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    hydration

    Originally Posted by jwbeeler View Post
    Don't just drink a lot prior to your next scheduled test, start now and begin working your body up to the level you should already be drinking. You should notice a performance increase in your lifts as well.
    I am starting the hydration right now. I will actually measure how much I am drinking because I have no idea. I have cut out all supplements just so I can get a realistic base line of where I am at.

    I have been doing some research and it’s interesting. I have the following lab results:

    Slightly elevated potassium levels
    Slightly elevated red blood cell count
    High creatinine levels

    We know that:

    1) Kidneys remove excess potassium from the blood.
    2) Kidneys produce EPO for regulation of red blood cell count.
    3) Kidneys filter creatinine out of the blood to be excreted in urine.

    I am starting to see the connection between all of these and I have to say I think my doctor is correct to take the (WTF is going on?) stance. I am hoping the improved hydration has the desired effect. I will continuing to read up on this.

    Thanks for you help and I appreciate any additional feedback that people have.
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  9. #9
    Registered User jwbeeler's Avatar
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    I would probably NOT change my supplementation. See if you are simply dehydrated first. If that doesn't fix it, then begin removing supplements one at a time. Otherwise, you might end up in the same situation and have no idea which supplement could be causing it.
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