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Lower back pain, creatinine levels

  I've been experiencing pain in the low back area directly above the right kidney.  It is very localized, but not sharp like a needle, rather like someone pushing a screwdriver handle in the area.  I also have to urinate 1 - 2x per hour, but do drink a cup of water every two hours or so.
  I have had consistent creatinine levels over the past three years averaging around 1.3, with BUN level around 21-23.  I am a weight trainner who take the supplement creatine, approx. 5 grms per day (usually for 3 months on, then 3 months off).  Additionally, I take one or two whey protein drinks per day as a dietary supplement.
  Question:  Does this sound like a kideny problem?  Are these creatinine and BUN levels normal for a 35 yr old?  Am I OK with the quantities of the avove listed supplements taken daily?
Dear Tony,
BUN ( blood  urea nitrogen ) and creatinine are the two most commonly evaluated values of renal function. Together they give the physician informaiton regarding kidney function and hydration status. Creatinine is made by muscle. Therefore , a person with a larger muscle mass will have a slightly higher normal value than a smaller person . Even so, the normal value for  an adult male is 0.8-1.5 mg/dl and for an adult female is 0.7-1.4 mg/dl ( with some variation between labs ).
Your creatinine level is normal. The flank pain you are experiencing may be related to kidney causes such as a kidney stone or urinary tract infection with kidney involvement. This can best be assessed by first obtaining a urine sample to check for blood cells and infection. Other potential causes of your pain include musculoskeletal pain secondary to back strain or lumbar spine pain.
The over the counter medicine creatin is not harmful in the doses you are taking. I encourage you to continue drinking lots of water while using this supplement. Have your urine evaluated , if this is normal, then I would investigate the other causes I have mentioned to ascertain the origin of your pain.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition. More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its satellites (1 800 653 6568).

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