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  1. #1
    Registered User pasquale412's Avatar
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    Exclamation Creatine and Kidney Failure

    Ok I went to the doctor today to follow up on an allergic reaction that I have been having. He also had me give some blood work the other day and I wanted to follow up on that too. I went in there thinking we were going to discover what was causing my allergic reaction, then he hits me with "Your kidney is having some major issues with you body" He goes on to tell me that my creatinine (no not creatine) level is very high. 2.3 to be exact. My level was at 1.1 in August. For some reason my creatinine level has more than doubled in the past 4 months. And this is very dangerous for anyone that does not know. Anyways he told me I have "Acute Renal Failure". He also said that the creatine and protien shakes I am taking can be directly affecting these levels. Can this be true? I have only been taking creatine about 3days per week for the last month and a half.I am taking VNS Jacked. I am taking the recomended dosage of 2 tsp/serving. Does anyone have any real knowledge of this? No offense but I dont want an 18yr old guy telling me my Doc is full of ****, which he very well may be but I want to hear it from someone with some serious background knowledge. Thanks
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    Registered User CRyan64's Avatar
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    yeah the creatine could be the problem, prob is.
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    If any of this helps, taken from another thread.

    Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Jun;39(6):1093-6. Epub 2005 May 10.

    The effect of creatine intake on renal function.

    * Pline KA,
    * Smith CL.

    College of Pharmacy, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, USA.

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of creatine supplementation on renal function and estimates of creatinine clearance. DATA SOURCES: A MEDLINE search was conducted (1966-September 2004) using the key terms creatine, creatinine, kidney function tests, drug toxicity, and exercise. Relevant articles were cross-referenced to screen for additional information. DATA SYNTHESIS: Supplementation with creatine, an unregulated dietary substance, is increasingly common in young athletes. To date, few studies have evaluated the impact of creatine on renal function and estimates of creatinine clearance. Because creatine is converted to creatinine in the body, supplementation with large doses of creatine may falsely elevate creatinine concentrations. Five studies have reported measures of renal function after acute creatine ingestion and 4 after chronic ingestion. All of these studies were completed in young healthy populations. Following acute ingestion (4-5 days) of large amounts of creatine, creatinine concentrations increased slightly, but not to a clinically significant concentration. Creatinine is also only minimally affected by longer creatine supplementation (up to 5.6 y). CONCLUSIONS: Creatine supplementation minimally impacts creatinine concentrations and renal function in young healthy adults. Although creatinine concentrations may increase after long periods of creatine supplementation, the increase is extremely limited and unlikely to affect estimates of creatinine clearance and subsequent dosage adjustments. Further studies are required in the elderly and patients with renal insufficiency.

    Another study...

    Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes.

    Clinical Sciences
    Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 31(8):1108-1110, August 1999.
    POORTMANS, JACQUES R.; FRANCAUX, MARC

    Abstract:
    Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 31, No. 8, pp. 1108-1110, 1999.

    Purpose: Oral creatine supplementation is widely used in sportsmen and women. Side effects have been postulated, but no thorough investigations have been conducted to support these assertions. It is important to know whether long-term oral creatine supplementation has any detrimental effects on kidney function in healthy population.

    Methods: Creatinine, urea, and plasma albumin clearances have been determined in oral creatine consumers (10 months to 5 yr) and in a control group.

    Results: There were no statistical differences between the control group and the creatine consumer group for plasma contents and urine excretion rates for creatinine, urea, and albumin. Clearance of these compounds did not differ between the two groups. Thus, glomerular filtration rate, tubular reabsorption, and glomerular membrane permeability were normal in both groups.

    Conclusions: Neither short-term, medium-term, nor long-term oral creatine supplements induce detrimental effects on the kidney of healthy individuals.
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    The cast is off... crzyhorse's Avatar
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    The Dangers of Creatinine, a book written by Jeff Golini is very informative even if it is a sleeper. He did his homework when he wrote it. The jist was this, all studies on creatinine have been done with healthy individuals, resulting in little to no problems with excess creatinine in the system. But, the potential harm to someone with existing renal failure or undiagnosed chronic kidney desease could be potentially very harmfull. The truth is, elevated levels of creatinine in an unhealthy individual(i.e. ones with cronic kidney desease or renal failure) has never been offically studied, therefore there is no absolute evidence one way or the other.

    Just consider this, the kidney is a filter (among other things) a good filter has no problem keeping the system clean, but a bad filter will eventually fail, and likely to do so faster the more garbage you put through it.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Nick29's Avatar
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    your doctor (and CRyan64) is most likely full of ****. Creatinine excretion is used as an indicator of kidney function in a normal (ie: not supplementing with creatine) person. However, higher than normal creatinine levels have been observed in people supplementing with creatine. If your doctor is saying that creatine supplementation and a high protein diet are causing acute renal failure, he's just pulling that out of his ass. There's no medical or scientific basis to make claims like that.

    You shouldn't make a diagnosis of acute renal failure based on one test. Your doctor should have performed at least a couple other tests (BUN, urinalysis, etc.) to confirm the diagnosis, and you should have other symptoms if you do have ARF.

    Here are a couple articles that will give you more info:
    Acute Renal Failure
    creatine supplementation

    For what it's worth, I'm a dental student. We pretty much take the same basic science courses as med students (physiology is the same, but anatomy and histology are more focused toward the head and neck). The whole basis of measuring creatinine clearance could have been explained a lot better in my physiology course. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find a physician or dentist who thinks that high creatinine levels are a cause of a disease and not a symptom.
    Last edited by Nick29; 12-13-2006 at 09:24 PM.
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    Don't use this a medical advice.......

    A high natural creatinine level without supplementaion of creatine is a sign of kidney failure.

    Taking creatine can cause the same result in a blood test, so a doctor has no recourse but to tell you you have kidney failure. If you go back in a week or two weeks, or whenever, after stopping creatine your level will drop and you're cured.
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post
    your doctor (and CRyan64) is most likely full of ****. Creatinine excretion is used as an indicator of kidney function in a normal (ie: not supplementing with creatine) person. However, higher than normal creatinine levels have been observed in people supplementing with creatine. If your doctor is saying that creatine supplementation and a high protein diet are causing acute renal failure, he's just pulling that out of his ass. There's no medical or scientific basis to make claims like that.

    You shouldn't make a diagnosis of acute renal failure based on one test. Your doctor should have performed at least a couple other tests (BUN, urinalysis, etc.) to confirm the diagnosis, and you should have other symptoms if you do have ARF.



    I agree with Nick29 100%.

    While the administration of creatine will DIRECTLY increase creatinine levels within urine, ultimately, .... IF .... renal failure is diagnosed, the supplemental creatine and or protein will not be the source of the condition.
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    Unhappy

    Wow, are you really taking the word of people over the internet over a doctors? If you are having kidney dangers, I think I would immidiately quit everything for awhile, and stick to water. I once had scar tissue in my kidneys and trust me bro, its not fun or any painless procedure.
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    Fit mom of 2 terracotta's Avatar
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    Nick29 did not say "don't worry about it, everything is fine".

    He said, that "acute renal failure leads to high creatinine levels" however so can taking creatine, and that the doctor should have performed additional tests.

    To the OP, go back to the doctor, and demand additional testing as Nick29 suggested. Explain to the doctor that you do not wish to assume it is acute renal failure.

    As for doctors, they are not supposed to be assuming things like this.. he should have said, "it may be this, let's do more tests"
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    Originally Posted by terracotta View Post
    To the OP, go back to the doctor, and demand additional testing as Nick29 suggested. Explain to the doctor that you do not wish to assume it is acute renal failure.

    As for doctors, they are not supposed to be assuming things like this.. he should have said, "it may be this, let's do more tests"
    Agreed. I didn't mean to imply that you should ignore your creatinine levels if you're taking creatine. Just that, based on the research I've seen, creatine supplementation seems to make creatinine concentrations less useful for diagnosing renal failure.
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    Registered User pasquale412's Avatar
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    I did have additional tests done after I stopped taking all supplements for 3 days and the results came back completely normal. I guess Im gonna stop taking creatine and just stick with protein. Thanks for all your help
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by pasquale412 View Post
    I did have additional tests done after I stopped taking all supplements for 3 days and the results came back completely normal. I guess Im gonna stop taking creatine and just stick with protein. Thanks for all your help

    Here's some food for thought.


    VNS Jacked is Creatine Ethyl Ester. When I was taking CEE, my creatinine levels were through the roof compared to my normal levels, or even when I was taking just plain micronized creatine monohydrate.

    I would get rid of the Jacked, and maybe in a month or so, try taking a regular monohydrate, and then get the levels checked again. Your creatinine levels will always be higher when on creatine and are generally not a major concern, but I've seen the common trend of people winding up with RIDICULOUS creatinine levels after using CEE.
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    im going to be the 18 year old that tells you that your doctor is full of ****. but supplementing with creatine does raise creatinine levels, and if it comes out that you may have kidney problems, i'd quit taking protein and creatine. high protein diets wont cause damage to someone with healthy kidneys, but if you have problems, it can make it worse.
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    Originally Posted by disturb3d15 View Post
    im going to be the 18 year old that tells you that your doctor is full of ****. but supplementing with creatine does raise creatinine levels, and if it comes out that you may have kidney problems, i'd quit taking protein and creatine. high protein diets wont cause damage to someone with healthy kidneys, but if you have problems, it can make it worse.
    Yes, surely you know better than someone who has been through college and medical school, why would anyone even think twice about doubting your qualifications to make such a statement.............
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    let me tell you my sitauation. i have taken creatine mono for the last year and a half. when i started taking anator, in my third week i started getting sick(flu-like symptoms). i figured it was the anator causing it and it went away. i then bought some creatine mono and i would take it pwo. i started to get that crappy feeling again. then i tried a sample pack of size-on which was great and then 36hrs later those same symptoms. why is the creatin making me feel like this if i took it for over a year with no problem. i went to the doctor and took a piss test for my kidneys and there was no infection and everything was ok.
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    Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post
    your doctor (and CRyan64) is most likely full of ****. Creatinine excretion is used as an indicator of kidney function in a normal (ie: not supplementing with creatine) person. However, higher than normal creatinine levels have been observed in people supplementing with creatine. If your doctor is saying that creatine supplementation and a high protein diet are causing acute renal failure, he's just pulling that out of his ass. There's no medical or scientific basis to make claims like that.

    You shouldn't make a diagnosis of acute renal failure based on one test. Your doctor should have performed at least a couple other tests (BUN, urinalysis, etc.) to confirm the diagnosis, and you should have other symptoms if you do have ARF.

    Here are a couple articles that will give you more info:
    Acute Renal Failure
    creatine supplementation

    For what it's worth, I'm a dental student. We pretty much take the same basic science courses as med students (physiology is the same, but anatomy and histology are more focused toward the head and neck). The whole basis of measuring creatinine clearance could have been explained a lot better in my physiology course. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find a physician or dentist who thinks that high creatinine levels are a cause of a disease and not a symptom.
    I agree with you that most likely this doctor is in unfamiliar territory and is making things up, however looking at one of the articles you posted I found this:

    "In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week study involving ... 20 g creatine monohydrate/day for 5 days and 10 g/day for 51 days, followed by a 4-week withdrawal period. Blood was tested at baseline, week 4 and week 8 after supplementation, and week 12, 4 weeks after withdrawal. ... However, when analyzed by gender, there was a significant increase in serum CPK in the males at week 8, which returned to normal at week 12 following withdrawal, and a significant increase in serum BUN in females at week 8, also returning to normal following withdrawal. Based on these data, the authors concluded that chronic high dose creatine monohydrate supplementation elicited minimal changes in markers of renal and hepatic function. "

    Dont you think this means that perhaps the poster should not see an increase in his BLOOD creatinine? I mean, here you have homeostatic control of blood creatinine levels, unless he just took the creatinine...

    IDK

    But my suggestion to the poster is not to freak out and stop taking the creatine. If you have a problem with your kidneys and its showing b/c of the increased loading with creatine, I would rather find out now and not 10yrs or 20yrs from now... Perhaps you should see a specialist.

    I also think that if your creatinine was high but not BUN or anything else, it would be unwise for a physician to say that the increased in protein has something to do with it.

    Also, I agree with Nick 100% that other *markers* of renal function HAVE to be elevated in order to declare you in renal failure. Othewise, it could be something else. It was little bit irresponsible of your physician to say this. I would get another doctor as my head doctor. This is not a good sign.


    Also, I want to tell you that you did right in not trusting his opinion. I think thats your job as patient. Keep him on his toes !
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    my experience with Creatine

    I started using creatine 7 years ago and after 8 months I started feeling pain in one of my testicules, My doctor did some l tests. He even check my kidneys and he said that my kidneys were a liltle bit swollen.

    I told him that I was using creatine and he inmediatly said: CREATINE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT.

    at that time I was taking: creatine, weight gainers, aminoacids and vitamins.
    My doctor asked if I was using a belt when I was lifting, and I told him yes.


    The pain continued for months (not in a everyday basis). Therefore, I decided to finish all the supllements that I had and not buying anymore.

    The pain went away and I never found out which product was affecting me.

    Couple years ago I started taking all my supplements again and I did not have the previous problems.

    I guess that one of the products that I took at that time was pure garbage and there is no way to find out if what they sold me in the botle is the real thing.

    I always buy my supplement from good and reconized brands but still there is no way to be sure if you are getting the real thing.
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    Originally Posted by ElMariachi View Post
    Yes, surely you know better than someone who has been through college and medical school, why would anyone even think twice about doubting your qualifications to make such a statement.............
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    I guess some people's kidneys can't deal with some stuff. I would just lay off creatine for a while. No reason to lay off protein. Trust your doc.
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    Originally Posted by Granrey View Post

    My doctor asked if I was using a belt when I was lifting, and I told him yes.
    .
    Not to be redundant, but you do know why he asked this, dont you?
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    Originally Posted by reefpicker View Post
    Dont you think this means that perhaps the poster should not see an increase in his BLOOD creatinine? I mean, here you have homeostatic control of blood creatinine levels, unless he just took the creatinine...
    Based on that study, I would say creatine shouldn't have affected the OP's creatinine levels. That being said, I've seen other studies where some subjects' creatinine levels did go up, and it makes sense logically that some of the creatine you ingest could be converted to creatinine and be excreted.
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    I see Kidney specialists and they all agree that the more protien you take the harder your Kidneys have to work. So if you do have some sort of problem taking extra protien and creatine is very dangerous.
    Just more evidence that crack don't smoke itself!
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    for what its worth i was on cee, which supposebly turns to creatinine at a faster rate...

    anyway i felt minor kidney pain and it also caused a gout flare up in my foot (which runs in my family) but I had previously never had.

    I took some pills for gout my dad had and it immediately went away.

    Just to be sure it was the creatine I tried it again a month later b/c i like the gains i get on it, but sure enough... same effect, flare up of gout within a few days on it.

    I eat a high protein diet and dno't have any problems however, but the cee atleast from my experience had some problems.

    I had taken creatine mono in the past and hadn't had any problems though, I was taking BN Bulk CEE.
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    Originally Posted by pasquale412 View Post
    I did have additional tests done after I stopped taking all supplements for 3 days and the results came back completely normal. I guess Im gonna stop taking creatine and just stick with protein. Thanks for all your help
    The only thing creatine is known for is cuasing false readings on blood work for kidney problems and will lead to mis diagnoses by doctors. This is why now on any pre screening for surgery this is a question on the form and the nurse doing the screening will ask you if you have taken creatine, well it was on my form anyway when I had bone surgery on my toe two years ago :-)
    Last edited by tdog69; 12-19-2006 at 05:59 AM.
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    Exclamation

    Originally Posted by grapemaster View Post
    for what its worth i was on cee, which supposebly turns to creatinine at a faster rate...

    anyway i felt minor kidney pain and it also caused a gout flare up in my foot (which runs in my family) but I had previously never had.

    I took some pills for gout my dad had and it immediately went away.

    Just to be sure it was the creatine I tried it again a month later b/c i like the gains i get on it, but sure enough... same effect, flare up of gout within a few days on it.

    I eat a high protein diet and dno't have any problems however, but the cee atleast from my experience had some problems.

    I had taken creatine mono in the past and hadn't had any problems though, I was taking BN Bulk CEE.
    But Gout runs in your family, no? So you are pre-disposed...

    Maybe taking creatine does not help you but you should not blame creatine for your gout, since you have other problems.

    I am not sure we can make a direct link between gout and creatine, but having recently read a little bit about gout for another question that someone posted here (Yeah, I am such a dork ), I would say that perhaps if you do not hydrate yourself well, you could increase your problems with gout!

    OMG OMG I just found this... It validates what I was saying above:
    "patients at risk of developing gout, certain conditions can precipitate acute attacks of gout. These conditions include dehydration, injury to the joint, fever, excessive dining, heavy alcohol intake, and recent surgery"

    But in cases like this, you should go and see a doctor and not treat yourself!!
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    Consult another doctor, perhaps.
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    Originally Posted by pasquale412 View Post
    I did have additional tests done after I stopped taking all supplements for 3 days and the results came back completely normal. I guess Im gonna stop taking creatine and just stick with protein. Thanks for all your help
    Supplementing creatine is perfectly fine for as long as you actually want as long as you do not supplement about 10-15g a day on a prolonged time. It is best to cycle off and on supplements because your body can adjust to certain ones.

    Now as far as your doctor goes, most doctors do not deal with supplementation. Creatine will raise your creatinine levels because creatinine is the waste product of creatine. Your body will urinate or crap out the waste. High levels of creatinine is a sign of kidney failure however, that is an early diagnosis kind of a tell tale sign like you having watering eyes and a sneeze would be a sign of a cold coming on. So basically what I am saying is that creatine will raise your creatinine levels which is not harmful. Since you went to the doctor after you got off creatine and your kidney was shown to be fine you have no problems in your kidneys and can go back to supplementing creatine.

    Note: Always cycle off supplements a week before you go to see a doctor because they will usually start drawing conclusions because most have not educated themselves with what bodybuilders do.
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    do you drink heaps of water?
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    Originally Posted by grapemaster View Post
    for what its worth i was on cee, which supposebly turns to creatinine at a faster rate.
    I remember this past summer there was an extensive discussion on CEE creatine and it's effect on creatinine levels. I believe the general consensus concerning possible negative side effects of creatine on renal function seemed to be associated more with CEE than Mono.
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    to two posters above, i suppose i am predisposed, but had previously never had it before going on cee and I anecdotally narrowed it down as I introduced it twice and caused it both times. Predisposed or not it seems there is obviously *something* going on. Also to poster right above yes I have also heard CEE breaks down to creatinine much faster in the body. Like I said I had previously done several month runs of mono in the past with no sides except for the usual slight water retention. I have no reason to be biased to either ones, I'm not affiliated with any supp company or doing logs etc., hell I like the results of both, just chiming in on my experience with it.
    Last edited by grapemaster; 12-27-2006 at 09:15 AM.
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