Creatinine levels and working out - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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Creatinine levels and working out

GeeMoney profile image

Man, I don't know if it's the same for everyone but... My creatinine levels are directly related to my GFR levels. I mean I know that's usually the case I guess but if I even hint at overdoing it with the weights even the slightest bit my kidneys let me know. I used to be a big workout guy and I've lost quite a bit of weight with all of the stress around my diagnosis and now with all of the plant based eating. So I've tried to do a little weight lifting at home and if my creatinine goes up by one or two points my GFR goes down by one of two points. So frustrating. *sigh. I guess this will just be the new me going forward. Anyone else have this direct of a result when exercising a little too vigorous with the weights? Thanks.

21 Replies

Usually, any vigorous exercise will show an increase in your creatinine. I've been advised by my nephrologists that I should avoid any strenuous activity in the two to three days prior to my labs for a more accurate reading. If I plan on a long ride or long hike I do it right after my labs and the rest of the time I stick to my standard routine.Having CKD and keeping it under control is a lifestyle change, not accepting that is a sure way to do further damage to your kidneys.

GeeMoney profile image
GeeMoney in reply to Mr_Kidney

True story. The proof is in the pudding. Stay well sir.

apopnj01 profile image
apopnj01 in reply to Mr_Kidney

im a big exercise and weight train person but had ti change the way i exercised not intensity. Ex. cross fit vs weight train / wearing weighted vest while walk/running /i stop at 1 hr or less - i always felt 1 hr was enough - keeps you aerobically active to fit it all n went from 53 to between 62 -78 and lost 30 lbs. My dr never said to do anything different but i came on this group and the group on FB and followed somewhat the eating plan and better for it. Doesnt have to be a chore. im ok and with GODS HELP, living the rest of my days stage 2./ 3 and no dialysis.

GeeMoney profile image
GeeMoney in reply to apopnj01

That's awesome. So most if not all of your exercise regime is more cardio based? Not weights of any kind. Are you totally plant based and on a very strict diet? Sorry for the queries just curious how you achieved your results. Thanks.

apopnj01 profile image
apopnj01 in reply to GeeMoney

Most cross fit - do where a 25 lb vest sometimes for walk / jogs. When cross fit its ropes , also cow bells (we need more cow bells) and also do some weight training nothing like before (90 lb dumbbell presses for 6-8 reps) that stopped / actually my new method is much better on my body and feel much better. As far as diet, i try to stick to about 16 oz of red meet per week, some fish, some turkey/chicken no skin and fruits (blueberries/strawberries/blackberries, etc) I also incorporate fruits into salads. Example: salad with blueberries and strawberries. I was also very dehydrated and was taking advil like candies. Dr thinks that is the reason since no high BP or sugar...yet Thank the GOOD LORD!! I take tylenol now but maybe 1000 mg per week or as needed. You will be surprised what getting fit, eating right , hydrating, etc will do fr pain and aches in your body and ultimately help your kidneys and other organs. They have to work less harder to filter, pump blood, etc.

Sunglobe profile image
Sunglobe in reply to Mr_Kidney

Hi Mr. Kidney! You mention a long ride effecting labs also....I had to drive 2 hours to have my last labs drawn since staying with family & had the draw right after the long drive and noticed my GFR was a little lower.....so that can effect it also? I mean I know it fluctuates, but I didn't consider driving long distances could effect GFR like exercise, but it makes sense...!

Mr_Kidney profile image
Mr_Kidney in reply to Sunglobe

I mentioned a long BIKE ride or a long walk right before labs could be counterproductive. Nothing about a long ride in a car. Merry Christmas.

Sunglobe profile image
Sunglobe in reply to Mr_Kidney

Thank you! Merry Christmas to you and everyone too!!

orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador

Here is a link to information on over exercise and effect on kidneys livestrong.com/article/5462...

Good info... Thanks and be well.

orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador in reply to GeeMoney

You are welcome. Merry Christmas. I am older and was doing aerobics and found was too much for CKD. I modified.

Both my nephrologist and my PC have told me to do strength training. I used to do it all the time until my kidneys started going from 3-4 and my creatinine started rising and then I got afraid to exercise. I’m small build and don’t need to do it to lose weight, but I know women should because of osteoporosis, which I was also recently diagnosed with osteopenia, the beginning stage of osteoporosis, but it just has scared me too much to resume doing it.

You have to do what feels right for you. Im a certified personal trainer and this is what im the best at doing. You are told to discontinue rigorous exercise prior to a test because it will tell you your kidneys are way more messed up than they really are. Its called a false positive. I strength train 6 days a week and my kidneys show improvement. My eGFR bounces from 49 to 76 on any given day. All i know is quality of life matters to me and strength training gives me that. Its probably different i guess for you guys that have hereditary kidney problems. I would advise any human being that would like to remain healthy n functional to strength train atleast 2x a week. Unless you want to be someone elses burden.

orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador in reply to Inhuman2019

I agree physical activity is important. It is finding what exercise is best for you given medical conditions, that is helpful.

GeeMoney profile image
GeeMoney in reply to Inhuman2019

Love your approach and you view on how you want to live your life. I guess I need to get used to the fluctuations of my GFR if I'm going to lift weights. I think I've mentioned this to you before but I used to be a 5/6 time a week heavy lifter. Until my diagnosis. The whole thing freaked me out so much that I stopped. Everything. Lost like 20 lbs of pure muscle and now.... I'm in limbo. When I work out a little at home. My creatinine goes up a few points and my GFR will go down a couple and that freaks me out. You're right when you say you need to have quality of life. It used to be who I was. Who everyone knew me as being.... Now.... Im kind of in no man's land. Sorry for the long message bro. One last thing... What's your diet like now. Plant based? You just remind me of who I used to be before all this crap started. Thanks for the info.

Inhuman2019 profile image
Inhuman2019 in reply to GeeMoney

I eat clean as i can. But no i eat moderate protein. I had my first doctor told me im gonna die if i keep lifting all that shit then i met my nephrologist. She was like i wouldnt even worry till your creatinines above 3. Mines about 1.5. I did the 24 hr screen n the cystatin c eGFR and they came back worse at 51. The 24 was high n low. No idea. I have an appt coming up with her. She wants her patients to excercise. These ppl on this sight are bound and living in constant fear. I refuse to live like that.

GeeMoney profile image
GeeMoney in reply to Inhuman2019

Like your style bro. Thanks.

Inhuman2019 profile image
Inhuman2019 in reply to GeeMoney

washingtonpost.com/health/s... good article

Exercise itself and the resulting muscles, add to the load on your kidneys.

IF, the exercise somehow increased your kidneys' capabilities it would be all to the good. Else, I'd see it as stressing your kidneys and if they're failing, such stress will speed their deterioration (imo).

If you're seeking a way to slow or just possibly stop your CKD's "progression" (doctor lingo for worsening), I urge you to consider swapping vegetable protein (eg. legumes) for animal protein, much kinder on the kidneys when done properly.

Inhuman2019 profile image
Inhuman2019 in reply to wbiC

Stop working out n your muscles atrophy n your body will then break your muscle tissue down flooding your kidneys with harmfull chemicals.

Yes. I am now limiting my animal protein to a possible once a week or every 2 weeks and eating a mostly plant based diet. Which is another reason I am losing much of my weight.

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