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Lifting weight. Taking creatine supplement. Found elevated creatinine levels. Side effect ?

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Posted on Mon, 25 Feb 2013
Question: Hello. I lift weights for exercise and have for a couple of years. For the first year i was lifting i was taking a creatine supplement off and on. During a visit to the er i had blood drawn and my serum creatinine level was 1.6. I was advised to stop taking my supplements and to follow up with my pcp. After one month my level came back down to normal. I have not taken any supplements since due to fear of developing renal disease. I have read conflicting evidence and stories about elevated creatinine levels and creatine supplementation. Is it unsafe and should be avoided, or is my temporary elevated level a normal expectation with chronic supplementation due to increased intake?
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Answered by Dr. Avinash Ignatius (2 hours later)
Dear XXXXXXX
It is unlikely that protein supplements alone would be responsible for increased creatinine. Normal kidneys have enough reserves to take care of that.
Possibilities:
1. There was a temporary drop in kidney function at that time due to either some meds or infection (im not clear about the reason for your visit to ER)

2.It could be a lab error.

3. An existing mild weakness in the kidneys, and a rise in creatinine due to protein supplements.

You need to recheck the creatinine, get a urine analysis and ultrasound of kidneys.

Warm Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Avinash Ignatius (9 hours later)
Ok. Thank you. Just to clarify however, i was not taking protein supplements. I was taking actual creatine monohydrate. With this being a precursor to creatinine i was unsure if that makes a difference or not.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Avinash Ignatius (7 hours later)
Dear XXXXXXX
Creatine also will lead to an increase in creatinine, however with normal kidney functions it should not happen.
Since a detailed assessment of your kidneys has not been done, avoid supplements till then.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Avinash Ignatius

Nephrologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 118 Questions

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Lifting weight. Taking creatine supplement. Found elevated creatinine levels. Side effect ?

Dear XXXXXXX
It is unlikely that protein supplements alone would be responsible for increased creatinine. Normal kidneys have enough reserves to take care of that.
Possibilities:
1. There was a temporary drop in kidney function at that time due to either some meds or infection (im not clear about the reason for your visit to ER)

2.It could be a lab error.

3. An existing mild weakness in the kidneys, and a rise in creatinine due to protein supplements.

You need to recheck the creatinine, get a urine analysis and ultrasound of kidneys.

Warm Regards