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Can Creatine Supplements Cause Kidney Stones

If I Have Kidney Failure What Is The Treatment For Low Iron

Does Creatine Cause Kidney Problems?

There are several methods for treating low iron in people with kidney failure, but not all are available for everyone on dialysis. You and your healthcare professional will decide which method is best for you. You can:

  • Take extra iron by mouth in tablet or liquid form.
  • Get iron injected into a vein at the healthcare professional’s office .
  • Receive an injection of iron into the blood tubes during hemodialysis treatments.
  • Have iron added to the dialysate during hemodialysis treatments .

Most people on dialysis need extra iron because:

  • Your diet may lack iron rich-rich foods. Foods that are rich in iron, like red meats and beans, may be limited in your dialysis diet. Without enough iron-rich foods, you are more at risk for low iron. A dietitian can help you choose foods that are good sources of iron, vitamins, and other minerals. Check with your dietitian before making any changes in your diet.
  • You lose a little blood during hemodialysis treatments. At the end of each hemodialysis treatment, a small amount of blood is usually left behind in the dialyzer . This can be a source of iron loss over time. However, if your healthcare provider finds that you are a good candidate for dialysate iron, you may be given this treatment during your dialysis to replenish this loss of iron during treatment.

Other Protein Powder Side Effects

Kidney issues may not be a huge concern with protein drinks, but if you overdo it on the protein supplements or whey protein, side effects that have nothing to do with your kidneys are possible. According to Harvard Health Publishing, eating too much protein may set you up for:

  • High cholesterol
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea

However, Harvard Health also notes that these effects may not be caused by the protein directly, but may be connected to eating the wrong types of protein, like a lot of processed meats, that are also higher in unhealthy fats and artificial ingredients.

Read more:5 Sketchy Things to Avoid in Your Protein Powder

Question: Does Creatine Cause Kidney Stones

Years ago, I had occurrences of kidney stones made specifically of calcium oxalate. I have read warnings against creatine for those with kidney disease. Kidney stones are not usually called “kidney disease”. I am considering using creatine, but I am not sure if it would cause a problem. Are there any reports of increased kidney stone activity in users of the creatine supplement?

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Will Creatine Mess With My Kidneys Blood Sugar Or Cause Muscular Dystrophy

Don’t believe everything you read on Internet forums.

Researchers are constantly studying creatine for its effectiveness and safety. Thats why many trainers and health experts support the use of creatine: Studies indicate its safe.

Creatine is one of the most-researched sports supplements out there, Kerksick says. And theres no published literature to suggest its unsafe.

There have been anecdotal reports of kidney damage, blood sugar concerns, heart problems, muscle cramps and pulls, dehydration, and diarrhea, in addition to other negative side effects. But the key word is anecdotal.

Im not saying people dont experience cramps, but I dont believe it can be very common, Greenhaff says. If there were any major adverse side effects, we would have seen them by now.

Some of these conditions can be caused by consuming too much of certain vitamins, says Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea, and too much iron may lead to stomach problems, he says.

To be safe, he recommends using creatine only if you are healthy and have no kidney problems. Thats because your kidneys excrete creatinine, a breakdown product of creatine.

Why Do People Think Creatine Damages The Kidneys

What Causes High Creatinine Levels?

The concerns about creatine and the kidneys stem from initial concerns about protein.

The kidneys have a major workload, and thus can be taxed. However, when kidneys get damaged it becomes a more stress is worse situation where making them work harder will simply exacerbate and speed up the damage.

The best example of this is protein.

Clinically speaking, people with kidney damage thrive best on diets that are limited in protein intake. This is because amino acids, the building blocks of protein, inherently stress the kidneys a bit when they get processed

While normally this is an acceptable stress that the kidneys can recover from easily in a damaged state where the kidneys are less able to repair themselves it becomes a straw that breaks the camels back situation.

While its well demonstrated that excessive protein intake harms already damaged kidneys there was concern for a while that protein, inherently, could harm the kidneyscausing a problem as well as accelerating it.

However, studies spanning over a decade in time found that this is seemingly not an issue. Regardless of your protein intake, as long as your kidneys are in a state of good health then protein is not a strong enough insult to cause damage. Damage needs to come from another source, like the process of aging or alcohol abuse.

Now, how does creatine fit into all of this? Two major reasons:

  • The If its too good to be true it usually is mentality.
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    Creatine Is It Worth The Risk

    • Nancy Ling, RD
    • Competitor Magazine

    Creatine’s first documented use was in the Soviet Union during the 1960s, when a professor of exercise biochemistry researched creatine supplementation in elite athletes. His experiments were thought to have played a role in the Soviet Union’s unprecedented success in power lifting, wrestling and gymnastics in the Olympic Games from 1964 to 1994.

    Creatine is an amino acid derivative found naturally in the body. Concentrated in the muscle, it is produced by the body from amino acids and is consumed in meat and fish. It functions as an essential part of muscle contraction.

    Athletes and body builders take creatine supplements to try to increase the pool of creatine in muscle, so the muscles can work harder and recover faster.

    Does creatine work?

    Many studies have been performed to determine the effectiveness of creatine supplementation in athletes. It has been shown to improve performance in bicycling sprints and weightlifting. Studies involving bicycle sprints found that creatine supplementation increases in total work performed. Most studies evaluating weightlifting or specific muscle group activities suggest that taking creatine helps increase lifting strength.

    There is no indication that use of creatine gives any benefit in sports such as running and swimming. Studies indicate that creatine does not enhance endurance.

    How much is needed?

    Any side effects?

    The bottom line

    Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

    The Bottom Line On Creatine And The Kidneys

    At the end of the day, the inception of this myth was caused by a poorly understood link between amino acids and the kidneys.

    The perpetuation was likely due to the nature of there being a false positive, unnecessary prudence and caution, all topped off by the if its too good to be true, it usually is mentality ironically not paying attention to the usually in that saying.

    Excluding some potential stomach ache and diarrhea that comes from taking too much creatine at once, usually with inadequate fluids, there are no proven or well established harms of this dietary supplement.

    In other words, a mountain of evidence shows that taking creatine isnt going to damage your kidneys as long as youre otherwise healthy. And it probably wont hurt your kidneys even if youre unhealthy.

    If you liked this article, please share it on , , or wherever you like to hang out online!

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    Does Protein Intake Impact Kidney Stones

    Animal protein, including meat and fish, can contribute to kidney stones. As rich sources of purines — substances that occur naturally in most foods — meats and seafood trigger uric acid production during digestion. Excessive uric acid levels are a significant risk factor for kidney stones. To lower your risk, the National Kidney Foundation recommends limiting animal protein, including beef, chicken, fish, pork and eggs, to 4 to 6 ounces per day. Lower-purine protein alternatives include quinoa, beans, lentils and low-fat milk and yogurt.

    What Is Being Tested

    Does Calcium Supplements cause Kidney stones? Dr Deep Dutta Endocrinologist

    Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscles from the breakdown of a compound called creatine. Creatinine is removed from the body by the kidneys, which filter almost all of it from the blood and release it into the urine. This test measures the amount of creatinine in the blood and/or urine.

    Creatine is part of the cycle that produces energy needed to contract muscles. Both creatine and creatinine are produced by the body at

    Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscles from the breakdown of a compound called creatine. Creatinine is removed from the body by the kidneys, which filter almost all of it from the blood and release it into the urine. This test measures the amount of creatinine in the blood and/or urine.

    Creatine is part of the cycle that produces energy needed to contract muscles. Both creatine and creatinine are produced by the body at a relatively constant rate. Since almost all creatinine is filtered from the blood by the kidneys and released into the urine, blood levels are usually a good indicator of how well the kidneys are working. The amount of creatinine you produce depends on your body size and your muscle mass. For this reason, creatinine levels are usually slightly higher in men than in women and children.

    Results from a blood creatinine test may be used in combination with results from other tests, such as a 24-hour urine creatinine test, to calculate values that are used to evaluate kidney function.

    Recommended Reading: How To Know If Kidneys Are Failing

    How Much Milk Can I Drink And Not Get Kidney Stones

    Unlike calcium supplements, high intakes of calcium-rich foods can help protect you from kidney stones, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Low-fat milk lowers your body’s uric acid levels, guarding against uric acid-containing stones. Most adults need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, which can be fulfilled by consuming about 3.5 cups of low-fat milk.

    How Will I Feel If My Iron Level Is Low

    If your iron level is low, you may have low hemoglobin. This can cause you to:

    • Look pale
    • Feel more tired or weak
    • Feel “down” or depressed
    • Feel short of breath with activity
    • Have chest pain
    • Feel numbness or coldness in your hands and feet
    • Have a faster heartbeat

    Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any symptoms listed above. Write down how you feel, your allergies, medications, previous medical procedures, and any health problems.

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    What Is A Good Creatinine Level

    In most cases, the normal range for serum creatinine for someone with healthy kidneys is 0.9 to 1.3 mg per deciliter for adult males and 0.6 to 1.1 mg per deciliter for adult females.

    However, there are a lot of variables when it comes to levels of creatinine. Normal is a somewhat subjective term. Muscle breakdown creates creatinine, so your muscle mass and activity level can influence the amount in your blood. To accurately measure blood creatinine levels, a doctor will first assess these various factors to establish a baseline, according to Taylor Graber, MD, an anesthesiologist and founder of ASAP IVs. Creatinine level assessment starts with getting a demographic baseline to assess what normal levels should be, Dr. Graber says. This depends on age, race, gender, and body size. Once these values are normalized, changes from this range can signify abnormalities of the kidney.

    Healthcare providers like to keep an eye on creatinine levels for various reasons. If you had or currently have kidney disease, kidney damage, diabetes, or another illness that affects your kidneys, or are taking a medication that could affect your kidneys, your healthcare provider might order regular creatinine measurement to monitor your renal function. The most common test methods are via blood and urine.;

    The Verdict: For People With Healthy Kidneys

    Supplements Made Simple

    People with healthy kidneys can take creatine supplements without any worries. We have enough studies and research to prove this fact.

    Lets take up a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

    The researchers gave the participants 20 grams of creatine per day for 5 days. They followed it up with a dose of 5 gram/day for the rest of the trial. The participants ate a high-protein diet and practiced resistance training.

    As expected, the study didnt find any change in renal functions over 12-weeks of trial.

    Now lets take a look at what researchers found from the analysis of 12 articles and case reports-

    Creatine supplementation is safe for healthy adults in recommended doses.

    • Creatine made no effects on kidney or liver functions in a long-term study with college athletes
    • A four-year study also concluded that creatine has no adverse effects

    Till now, no researchers have been able to prove that creatine damages kidneys in healthy adults.

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    Before Taking This Medicine

    You should not use creatine if you have:

    • kidney disease; or

    • diabetes.

    Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:

    • heart disease.

    Creatine may not be as effective in improving strength or building muscle in people over 60 years old.

    It is not known whether creatine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product if you are pregnant.

    Creatine may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product if you are breast-feeding a baby.

    Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

    What Are The Facts About Herbal Supplements

    The following facts about herbal supplements are true for everyone, with or without kidney disease. Herbal supplements often have more than one name: a common name and a plant name. Some common concerns include:

    • The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal supplements for dose, content, or pureness.
    • Some herbal supplements have aristolochic acid, which is harmful to kidneys.
    • Herbal supplements made in other countries may have heavy metals.
    • There are few studies to show if herbal supplements have real benefits and even less information in patients with kidney disease.
    • Herbal supplements may interact with prescription medicines to either decrease or increase how the medicine works.

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    Report Problems With Your Medications To The Fda

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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    Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

    When Is It Ordered

    Does creatine causes kidney failure?

    Creatinine may be ordered during a routine health exam. It may also be ordered when your healthcare practitioner suspects that your kidneys are not working properly due to your signs and symptoms. Some signs and symptoms of kidney dysfunction include:

    • Fatigue, lack of concentration, poor appetite, or trouble sleeping
    • Swelling or puffiness, particularly around the eyes or in the face, wrists, abdomen, thighs or ankles
    • Urine that is foamy, bloody, or coffee-colored
    • A decrease in the amount of urine
    • Problems urinating, such as a burning feeling or abnormal discharge during urination, or a change in the frequency of urination, especially at night
    • Mid-back pain , below the ribs, near where the kidneys are located
    • High blood pressure

    The creatinine blood test may be ordered, along with a BUN test and urine albumin, at regular intervals when you have;a known kidney disorder or a disease that may affect kidney function.

    Both BUN and creatinine may be ordered when a CT scan is planned, prior to and during certain drug therapies, and before and after dialysis to monitor the effectiveness of treatments.

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    Does Any Evidence Link Creatine With Kidney Failure

    During our research, we came up with only two cases that somehow link creatine with kidney problems.

    1. A healthy 18-year-old had acute renal failure after taking creatine. He recovered 25-days after stopping the supplement. While sharing the results, the researchers added-

    • Today there is less risk of kidney damage from creatine
    • Many studies show little or no evidence of the adverse effect of oral creatine supplements on kidneys

    2. Another 24-year-old weight lifter experienced renal failure after taking various supplements that included creatine. The man recovered after he stopped taking the supplements.

    How much faith can you put on this case?

    Lets consider a few things-

    • The athlete took a total of 52 supplements
    • A combination of more than two supplements may have caused the harm
    • The conclusion is based on circumstantial evidence

    The researchers also concluded that we need more studies to find out if creatine damages kidneys.

    As you can see, the two above cases are exceptions and rely on circumstantial evidence. No other studies or trials have been able to link creatine with kidney damage.

    If fact, creatine has a lot of health benefits like protecting your heart and helping recover muscle injuries. You can read our 10 evidence-backed Health Benefits of Creatine to find out more.


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