Is this the end of weight-training? Ugh. - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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Is this the end of weight-training? Ugh.

spencerk profile image

Hi guys. Well this is depressing isn't it.

I've always had low GFR and high Creatinine, this is because I've always weight trained. In 2018 I was at:

In 2018 it was - gfr60.4

In 2020 it was gfr63.3

In 2021 it was grf57.

My Creatinine levels are around 120, constantly.

My doctor does not seem overly worried, as she says that's OK for "my body" .

I run close, just below minimum levels, in a lot of things, my Plattlettes are always just below minimum, my testosterone levels just bekow, white blood count always just below minimum - but I can still gain muscle and have no ill effects from these readings. I feel totally fine.

So, with my GFR just below minimum, she said more fluid and take another test in 6 months. I was ok at first, then I looked into what GFR57 actually represents and 😞😳.

To find out my kidneys are not working sucks, but to find out that training (the only thing I enjoy in this world, don't drink, smoke) is the cause oes my mind

My question is, should I carry on training as I do?

I honestly cannot imagine not training! I'm angry at the thought that weight training is killing my kidneys.

I do eat about 200g (1g per 1lb bodyweight) a day. 1/3 of my protien intake is pea based protien shake, the rest white meat.

Has Keeping healthy and training destroyed my Kidneys, wtf is all that about?? 🤣

Is it possible for me to just have low GFR numbers, the same as my plattletts, testosterone, white blood count etc, but without doing damage to my kidneys? Or does the GFR57 indicate that damage IS being done?

Considering my levels have been stable for 3 years now, if permanent damage was being done, would my levels have progressively got worse and not fluctuated. I suppose the main question is that, what effect does muscle mass on the results of a creatinine and eGFR, and is that bad for the Kidneys.

I've just ordered some home protien urine tests, will this be enough, or do I need a Cystanin C test to make sure?

Thanks guys. 🙏🙂

Just read through some posts on here, very sorry for the people having trouble and serious issues. I know my post ses trival when compared

13 Replies

Please don't think it's trivial to ask about the weight training if it's the thing that you most enjoy. We all have had to give up so much recently & it's been even harder with medical issues on top of Covid. Sorry I can't answer your question just wanting to wish you well

spencerk profile image
spencerk in reply to shouty

Thanls Shouty.

To be honest, if I cannot exercise, I think I'm done for. It's the only thing I ha e left in my life that I enjoy. I'm reading so much, it's hard to answer my main question. Are eGFR tests accurate if the subject has high creatinine levels due to muscle mass and high protien intake.


Hi there. Perspectives are funny: I was a bit distraught find I out I had to start exercising - I hate it

Dunno about creatinine for people who train like you do but that protein level sounds really high. 2.2g/kg is way more than RDI 8g/kg and way above what appears to be best for preserving kidney function: 4g/kg plant (varied) + keto amino acid.

But at that GFR the time has come to put kidneys uber alles. You need to preserve what you have. It might not mean an end of all training but you'll find out as you educated yourself.

You need to talk to a kidney doc anyway

1) Weight training and body building are two different things. Doctors will tell you to back off the body building, but weight training is needed to maintain muscle mass. How much weight resistance training is too much? The doctors don't know. The research doesn't show.The only rule of thumb I was given was that I should be ok if I could do 15 reps of an exercise.

2) You're ingesting entirely too much protein. That much protein combined with the breakdown of muscle is very rough on the kidneys. Most nephrologists would suggest that you try to keep the protein intake to around.6-.8 grams per kilogram of body weight which would put you at 55-73gms per day. Yes, you're probably eating around triple what you should be. The question you need to ask your doc is whether 1/3 of the protein you're presently consuming is enough to maintain your muscle mass. If it's not, you may be directed to ease back on the weights.

3) Yes, get a Cystatin-C test and use the combined creatinine and cystitis-c formula to get the most accurate picture of your kidney health.

Have you got any other symptoms like foamy urine, kidney pain, fatigue, longer DOMS, etc.?

I’m in the same predicament as you though my eGFR is currently around 80, with 97 creatinine. I started reading about kidney problems when I’ve noticed that my urine has become foamy overnight. I haven’t got any other symptoms and doctor obviously said that everything’s fine, also after a dipstick test. I workout a couple of times a week and have been taking protein shakes and creatine to aid with my workouts for a couple of years now. I ended up stopping taking them recently and will now be waiting for another blood test in a couple of months. I’m 35 years old and in the past 2 to 3 years, I’ve started noticing that my DOMS are lasting longer and longer even with supplementation.

I’m sorry to hear that you are now contemplating on stopping something that you love doing, but I guess you don’t have to stop it. Maybe you should ease down with the supplements and lower you muscle mass at the same time to see if it’s going to affect your numbers or not. You will encounter issues with your DOMS and performance but at the end of the day, you can train harder again and regain back your muscle mass easily but it’ll be harder (or probably impossible) to gain back you kidney performance.

Also, products that have got artificial sweeteners in them might be contributing to bad kidney health. I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of these on protein supplements.

Also note that I’ve read somewhere that the GFR calculation isn’t really accurate for black and asian ethnicity. I’m Asian so I’m not really sure if my 80 score is 100% accurate.

spencerk profile image
spencerk in reply to accurnicorn

Hi mate.

I don't get Doms anymore. Even if I destroy my body parts. And my no frothy urine. I get fatigue, brain fog. But, this could be down to cronic stress, which I suffer from. My BP can go from 120/60, to 140/75.

KidneyCoach profile image
KidneyCoachNKF Ambassador

I must say firstly it is doubtful your weight training has any negative impact on kidneys. What is concerning is your extremely high consumption of daily protein. That much protein could cause kidney burnout. Talk to your doctor about a healthy and safe number on grams of protein intake daily (shouldn't generally exceed 100 grams daily) that will still allow you to maintain the level of muscle mass you enjoy. Stay hydrated, keep away from NSAIDS, keep active, keep BP and blood sugar well controlled, limit dark colas, prevent infections are the best suggestions for a healthy kidney status.

Talk to a registered renal dietitian about how best to move forward within your goals (after consulting your physician).


my nephrologist said that creatinine and Gfr were very unreliable tests and the 24 hour urine sample was the best indicator. Also keep your blood pressure normal.

Hi guys, thanks for your, very much welcomed, advice. I read that, in terms of protien, 1g per 1lb if bodyweight. So roughly 200gs of protein for a bulking doliet. Boy was I wrong then.

I suffer from fatigue and I seem to be allergic to most food types, eh I get horrendous brain fog. I have given up all dairy, gluten and soy, so I pretty much have the same menu every day.

As my Creatinine is always around 120, and the fact that my eGFR numbers have gone from 60, 63 to 57 over the past few years, that I'm not quiet in the CKD just yet. Although I has started to limit my protien to 120gs max for the time being. I'm going to call the doctors and get the Cystain C test hopefully. I was dehydrated when I had my bloods drawn and still had a lot of lockdown fat, bloods were done 30th April and only just got to speak to the doctor about them this week.

Regardless, I will be lowering protien intake permanently. I use Pea protien for my drink after training, and will swap one of my 3 meals a day to Quorn and gradually move to planet based foods.

Its strange, I have a fairly good body, that I've worked hard for, to think all that dedication and hard work - not drinking, smoking, eating OK - apart from Easter Christmas, birthdays, has caused my kidneys to deteriorate is sickening.

Still, I have read a lot of posts, from older people who train, stating their GFR scores have been below 60, with elevated creatinine levels, that have tied out alright after they either get the Cystatin C or 24 hour urine test.

A question, CKD is progressive (once again, so sorry you lot have had to go through this), as my levels have fluctuated over the last 3 years, if I had serious GRF, would my levels not be lower.

Still, no point worrying until I have gotten the Cystatin C test, I mean it actually states that the test is specifically for people with muscle mass and that GFR is not accurate.


Much respect for all you warriors!

Hi, just spoke to my doctor. She basically said there is no such thing as a Cystatin C test, and she's never heard of a 24 hour urine test in regards to Kidney function. I got the "So what forum on thr Internet told you about this Cystatin C test then?" 😏. Acting like I'm some kind of hypercondriac because I'm not happy to wait another 6 months for a eGRF test, when I have a score of 57. She also said, if you can believe it, that someone with a Stage 3a is not something we are overly concerned about.

So I said, is it OK then for me to carry on with my current protien consumption and training regime, she said yes. Sorry, but this is bad advice. What is it with doctors, soon as you mention something they don't know, they tail stands up. To be fair, to her. She could not give the test however, as it didn't appear - she had never given that test or could even of she wanted too.

But, she will recommend me to a specialist - 4 months waiting list in UK, and will do a urine and another eGRF test in the meantime.

I will make sure I'm hydrated, no exercise for 2 days before.


I am a life long kidney patient. Years ago my nephrologist did 24 hour urine tests but not anymore. Even if they are not currently done your doctor should not have been so dismissive. By the way, I found being even slightly dehydrated had an influence on my gfr.

I was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 CKD and a 24 urine collection was the first action my nephrologist ordered. I’m thankful my now Family Nurse Practitioner ordered a renal ultrasound and limiting my protein on my first visit with her. This was also advised by my Nephrologist.

I firmly believe you find a doctor that looks at every thing and not just the obvious. I apparently have been living with this since I was 21 (maybe younger). I’m 43 now and have never been advised of any kidney issues.

Do your research and go with your gut. Praying you get the answers you need and find you are able continue exercising.

Hi guys, things suck at the moment.

My twin sister got diagnosed with Soft Cell Sarcoma 2 weeks ago, so they said to get things checked out because we share everything. Well, I had a lump in my belly button, so had a scan and turned out to be a Hernia.

My blood test showed Kidney Failure, as above. I have been havinf brain fog and tremors for a while, so went to a private MRI on Sunday, got the results, I have a thickening of the putitary and that needs further investigation.

But.. Due to my new stage 3a Kidney diagnosis, its very unlikely I will be able to get it done. They just won't accept it. All this in the space of two weeks 🙄🤣😒😌.

So, I need to get my Kidney values good before I can get an MRI. I have an ultra sound in 4 weeks of my urinary track (that includes Kidneys?). She's doing me a urine test and a other GRF - which seems pointless as my muscle mass will increase my Creatinine and screw with my results. Suppose the urine test will see of I have protien and the ultra will see the size of my kidneys.

Sucky couple of weeks just suck! 😂

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