T Nation

'Kidneys Working 75%', Told to Lose Weight


I'm not really sure which forum I should post this under so if this is the wrong one please excuse me.

A little back ground info:
I just got out of the Navy. I am in the process of getting my new healthcare set up and have an appointment with my new doctor who I've NEVER MET OR EVEN SEEN BEFORE. She called and wanted me to get blood work done so she could evaluate it.

So I just got a phone call from her and she said she was concerned about some of my blood work, specifically my kidneys. She asked me if I have been taking protein and if I've been on any medications like motrin or IB profin lately and I said yes.

Then she asked what my height/weight were and I told her 5'11" and 210lbs. She said my kidneys are only operating at 75% because I am OVERWEIGHT. She said it is taxing on my kidneys because for my height I should weigh "170-180lbs MAX."

She told me to lose 10lbs by the time I have my appointment with her on the 10th of next month. I am in no way fat (my avatar was taken last week) and there is no way I'll ever be back down to 170lbs.

All my responses to her were "ok. ok. sounds good. see you then." I didnt want to get into any sort of debate with her but I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this before? Does anyone have any tips/advice on how to handle this when talking to a doctor?

I know a lot/most doctors dont know shit about weight training but I dont like the fact that she said my kidneys arent operating at 100%

Thanks in advance for any advice/comments



simple, get a new doctor. Find a practioner with sports med experience or an athletic type background. My old doctor told me I would be on dialysis if I kept up my protein consumption. My new doctor says my old doctor is fucking crazy.


First of all I didn't know you were in the Navy, sorry to hear that. Unless you were a Corpsman, than ooorah.

Second, she's going off of BMI which in no way takes into account muscle mass. You're probably high single digit bf % based off your previous avatar.

Third, I don't want to give you any bro-med advice. You may have another underlying issue that is affecting your kidney's, I wouldn't know. I have never in my experience heard of anyone's kidney's being negatively affected by protein powder. But just because she's a doctor, don't be hesitant to question her assumption.


Good advice. Do you take creatine? That would also give you a "false positive". And fwiw, 75% of kidney function is still more enough.

I don't really remember the content of this article, but there's a "kidney function" section, which could be relevant.


Making a comment about your kidneys level of functioning due to bloodwork is acceptable (definitely something to look into, see a specialist maybe?). The assessment that you're overweight based on your height and weight simply shows ignorance of body composition. Either way, find a better Doctor.



Please find a different doc. That made no sense if she never even saw you. Docs who just assume from weight alone that someone is obese OVER THE PHONE would not see me again...but that is just me.

I would say more but this is a public forum.


You got Stu and the Prof saying to find a new doc.



Please explain? My dad's been bugging me to take a creatinine kidney test because of my high protein diet. I'm on creatine, should I go off it for this test?


Shouldn't have enough bearing on healthy kidneys to put you outside of the normal range.


Honestly though, nine times out of ten, someone at your height/weight would be morbidly obese. It's not an unfair assumption.

Doctors have a ton to learn, you'll be hard pressed to find one that is knowledgeable about weight-lifting and supps. A lack of such knowledge doesn't necessarily make a bad doctor, either.

My vote is you go see the doctor before dismissing her.


The only study I'm aware of with regards to protein intake and kidney function did, in fact, find that it had a detrimental effect...on patients already in some level of kidney failure.

I don't believe there's ever been a study on healthy kidneys and high protein intake, for what it's worth.


Thanks for the support everyone. I wrote up a long list/response to everyones comments/advice but for some reason it didnt post? But I'm also interested in Therajraj's question. I have recently (as of 2 weeks ago) started taking creatine and am wondering if it is a contributing factor in my weird test results?

I think that it was just a mix of different factors (possibly creatine? my meds/muscle relaxers for my neck and the fact that I drank some beers within 72 hours of the test for my buddys birthday.. Wasnt taking meds and beers at the same time though) that are leading to these test results.

I'm going to stop all my supps (except fish oil) and protein powder from now until the 7th just to see if the results of the blood test change.

Again thanks for the advice/concern/comments. Any more insight anyone might have is greatly appreciated. Thanks again everyone



Isn't that quite a bit of weight to lose so quickly? Did she give you any suggestions about how to lose the weight?

I agree with the others, you need to find a new doctor. No one had pointed out the issues with the doctors comments about weight loss so I thought I should.

If you keep your appointment be sure to take your shirt off and ask where you needed to lose the ten pounds from.


ok cool good to know. Yeah I know what you mean with most people in this day and age being overweight and not in a good way lol. Most people in our generation dont lift weights and arent active enough to be able to support 210+lbs on a 5'11" frame so thats why I didnt lay into the doc and try to "educate her" hahahaa. I'll just see her face to face in a couple weeks and let her see for herself that i'm no where near fat :slight_smile:



hahahaha good idea. No she didnt have any weight loss suggestions. I was talking to my buddy and he said I "should GTL it up and then show up to my appointment in a tank top" lulzzz



Oh, one more thing. I just weighed in at 185 at 5'7" and my doctor didn't say a word to me about my weight. I had a high creatine reading last summer - assumed it was from mystery illness I had - and I retested a month later and everything was fine. Again, my doc did not say anything to me about protein, supplements, etc.

Who knows, maybe she will see your build and take a new approach.


I know right? I should print this page out and point it out to her. "Ok you see the monster of a man in that pic? No no thats not a grizzle bear but yeah that pic. he's not an actual professor but he is a doctor. Ok and you see that other guy? Ok he's a Professional bodybuilder.... enough said" hahaha :slight_smile:



I would assume so. I dont really wanna bring ethnicity into this discussion but she was Asian (really REALLY thick accent) and we all know how "thin is in" with that ethnicity....We aslo all know that every person in Asian countries has 11" arms so I will probably blow her mind when I show up. HA! :slightly_smiling:



Other points have been addressed (medical advice sight unseen and no verbal medical history?! wtf...) but with kidney function, Dad is a diabetic and has one kidney leading to high BP so reduced kidney function is a bit of a big deal. He has tests pretty regularly and one came back as reduced function (in the order of where yours was). The doc said (they see each other at least every three months) we'll do another to confirm, this is a weird drop. Next test came back fine. Subsequent tests came back fine.

Good luck with another doc :slightly_smiling:


^^Thanks a lot. My blood pressure was normal and she said all of my other blood work came back normal so I'm assuming that its just a whacked off test result. Thats why I'm not getting too worked up about it until I see how the next tests come back.



I did a quick google and found a page advising you to tell your doctor if you are on creatine because it will affect the results. Not sure how legit it is however.


Does creatine affect the kidneys?

In the clinical setting, creatinine levels are measured to assess kidney function. Creatine supplementation raises creatinine levels, although it is completely non-toxic to the kidneys (Robinson, et al 2000). If you are supplementing with creatine and your doctor is running some blood tests, it is imperative that you inform him that you are using creatine otherwise this could give misleading information.

My bloodwork is happening on Sunday, I think I will go off it until then.