T Nation

Health Concerns


I recently went to my doctor and had a full blood workup done and a urinalysis completed. I just got back the results yesterday in the mail and I'm pretty concerned about the results. Both my AST (aspartate aminotransferase) and ALT (alanine amintransferase) were more than triple their normal amounts. I talked to a nurse and she explained to me that when liver cells are damaged they release more of these enzymes into the bloodstream. The high AST enzyme is more of a marker for damaged heart, liver and brain tissue.
My creatinine level was also above average and my Urea Nitrogen level was also off the charts. Both of which were explained to me as being indicators of abnormal kidney function. I thought that I was just having lower back pain but instead it could be my kidneys causing me pain. I was told that as kindey function decreases the Urea Nitrogen increases. Anyway I have given up most of my supplements until I can take another bloodtest and if needed a liver biopsy. Before the bloodtest I was taking only creatine, Surge and whey protein. None of those should cause damage to my kidneys or liver but I want to be on the safeside until I see my doctor.
I thought I was doing really well with my diet and exercise but the nurse told me that the levels of enzymes in my urine was almost like I was pissing out pure muscle. So it was a kick in the balls to say the least. Anyway today is my day off from work, so I'm going to have a turkey burger and some veggies and watch the White Sox/Indians game. I'm going to keep this thread going for a while, any help or opinions would be great, if you have any questions or if there is anything you need me to clarify just ask.

Thanks for reading,



I had a medical when I was contemplating doing a medical panel for GSK as few years back, I had high values, not as high as this though. I'd been overdoing it in the training, although this probably isn't the major cause for you but its probably contributory if your hepatic and kidney function is compromised. Best bet, get second opinion off another MD who specialises.


it will be interesting to see what you discover about this in the future. did you say you were going to do another test? and if so i imagine you'll share the results with all of us?


My BUN was 32 milligrams per deciliter and my creatinine level was 1.4 milligrams per deciliter. The normal range for BUN is between 7-25 milligrams for UREA Nitrogen, my creainine level is only slightly raised though, the normal range should be between 0.5-1.2 milligrams per deciliter.

Thanks for the support MODOK, it's nice to be able to share my problem with people that understand the environment of training and nutrition. For the time being I'm going to keep eating the way I was before, I'm setting up the bloodtest as soon as possible and I'm going to start working out a little bit smarter.

I think my diet is healthy and I think I train, but maybe I train too much. After some stuff and these results I'm beginning to realize that lifting and training weren't just a part of my life but maybe they had become my life and I don't think that is how it should be.

Anyway, I just got done watching the Sopranos, so time to have a Casein shake and hit the hay. I've got training at 5 am tomorrow so everybody take care, good luck with training and I hope you meet your goals and enjoy every second of it.



You may want to do a quick search on creatine and creatinine levels. I thought I recently read an article/post stating that taking creatine causes abnormal creatinine levels because creatine is broken down into creatinine and subsequently pee'd out.

Now i'm not sure whether this is true or not, but it may be worht looking into.


Yes, I have read this recently to. I'm not sure if the elevated creatinine levels are as much cause for concern if you are supplementing with creatine tho.


Being dehyrdated i.e. not drinking any water overnight and eating high protein will cause artifactual high BUN/Creat.

Working out hard will elevate ALT/AST for a day or two.

Don't work out for 3 days, stay well hydrated before bloodwork and repeat them.


I know very little about toxicology but Urea is an ammonia like toxin and is a by-product of protein systhesis. This is why it's so important to drink 2-3 gallons of water a day. At least thats my understanding.


I wish I had some great advice.... I just wanted to offer support. I'm sure you can get the the bottom of your health issue, but don't give up on the healthy lifestyle whatever you do!

Milk thistle is a good supp for liver support.

Have you considered seeing a naturopathic doctor? An ND could help you figure out why your liver is so messed and help you detox if necessary.

Do you have a background of drug/alcohol/steroid use? Any pertinent family history of similar issues?


don't see a naturopath... nothing worse than a fake doctor. don't see a homeopath either.




I appreciate the concern Jinx Me. I haven't given up on my lifestyle just yet, I will say that I definitely missed my Surge post workout drink this morning, I've gotten very used to it.

I have no family history of liver or kindey problems but I do have a history of having ketones.

I have never used any steroids, and the only supplements I take are Creatine, Surge, Flameout, Whey Protein, Casein Protein.

You know I have never thought about natural medicine, I'll at least look into it, it sounds interesting.

My lower back has been killing me today and my urine is about the color of a yellow highliter. My chest and tri workout went well this morning but milk and whey protein just wasn't the same compared to Surge.

The Red Sox won so I'm pretty happy, tomorrow morning is leg day and those always make me a little nervous, constant fear of not being able to run for my job.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. Does anybody know any really really good ways to loosen a tight back? Any help would be mucho appreciated.


Perhaps you should find out if you really do have a problem before you try to treat it?

"urine is about the color of a yellow highliter."

B vitamins do this.




I just scheduled an appointment with my doctor for Tuesday April 11th, 2:00 p.m.

I'll let you know how it goes.



Sorry to hear about your health concerns. Sounds like you need to find the underlying cause for your Kidney and Liver problems. Could be lots of things and the only way to definitively know is for your doc to run tests.

What did your Urinalysis show? One cause for low back pain and abnormal renal labs is Pyelonephritis, or kidney infection. If you leave a pyelo untreated for too long it can damage your kidneys, so check on that asap.

I would recommend laying off the supplements for a while to give your Liver a rest and less things to have to metabolize, and also get tested for the underlying cause, such as hepatitis, etc. Have you ever had your Gallbladder checked?

I had a friend who had the same problem and he stopped all supplements and didn't overtrain for a while and later ended up fine. I wonder if that approach would help you too?

Good luck!


Not to be alarmist, but Hawk, I don't think you should wait until April 11 to see a doctor for low back pain accompanied by abnormal kidney function tests. Usually when people call us with these symptoms in the ER, we tell them to come right in and we do a complete renal workup, and we intervene rather quickly to prevent kidney damage. My concern is a kidney infection or a kindney stone that is blocking the ureter, causing the kidney to swell with urine (hydronephrosis). Both conditions left untreated can really damage your kidneys.


I appreciate the information China Doll, I believe your correct about going to the doctor sooner but circumstances beyond my control have forced me to go next Tuesday. I have stopped all supplementation, I still have some pains in my lower back but nothing else has been painful, but I have definitely been urinating more frequently than ever and I haven't consumed more fluids than usual. Thank you for the concern and I'll stay on top of the situation until the 11th.



Good luck, Hawk! I do wish you'd go sooner though... Take care!


Well, I did end up taking your advice China Doll, I went to the emergency room and it wasn't the best trip ever but I did get some info. The doctor told me no more supplementation of any kind. The amount of enzymes ALT and AST produced by my liver almost doubled again (and I've been off supplements for a full week and off creatine for 2 weeks).

They ruled out kindey problems based on my urinalysis test. The doctor thinks I'm lifting a bit too much with my back and he would be correct. Some light rowing and chin ups will be enough work for my back for a few days.

The bad news is that their is definitely some issue with my liver. The doctor told me I shouldn't really take any medication until I see a specialist. From the results of the test and them doubling again the doctor mentioned a couple really unpretty sounding conditions.

So with no supplements I'm eating like a friggin' horse, I'm starving. Here is my diet now that I have no supplements. Hopefully it's not a bad diet.

Two Organice Blueberry Waffles
Sugar Free Syrup
Organic Granola Bar
1 Serving Oatmeal
20 oz. Skim Milk

Organic Granola Bar

10 oz Turkey Burger
on Organic Wheat Roll
with Organic Ketchup
1 cup Brown Rice

Today: Ran 3 Miles

1 Cup Fat Free Yogurt with 1/2 Cup Blueberries
1 oz. Sodium Free Almonds

8-12 oz. Chicken
2 Cups Pinto Beans

1 Serving Oatmeal
4-6 oz. Scrambled Egg Whites

Before Bed:
20 oz. Milk

Thanks for the help China Doll, I'll keep everybody up to date. My appointment with the specialist is on Tuesday the 11th, 2:00 p.m. and I have mucho liver tests being performed he said, we'll see.