Since beginning healing protocols like GAPS and biochemical restoration, we’ve been watching for any signs of improvement in Nicole’s kidney function. As part of her dialysis package she gets monthly blood tests. Over the last four months we’ve noticed a positive reversal. Creatinine levels, which had slowly risen to 1,110 μmol/L (12.6 mg/dL), have now lowered to 869 μmol/L (9.8 mg/dL). A 241 μmol/L (2.7 mg/dL) drop.
Creatinine levels are one of the primary ways specialists measure kidney function. Cretainine, according to Wikipedia, is “is a breakdown product of creatine phosphate in muscle [tissue].” In other words creatinine is a waste product of muscle contraction and meat consumption. Being a waste product the glomerulars of the kidneys will freely excrete it. It’s not a nutrient where the kidneys must discern whether the body needs more or less of it. Hence, the poorer the kidney function the more creatinine accumulates in the blood stream.
A normal creatinine level according to Nicole’s lab report is between 46-92 µmol/L. Here’s how her last four tests looked:
- 1,110 μmol/L (12.6 mg/dL) on December 4, 2014
- 999 μmol/L (11.3 mg/dL) on January 8, 2015
- 922 μmol/L (10.4 mg/dL) on February 15, 2015
- 869 μmol/L (9.8 mg/dL) on March 3, 2015
While 869 μmol/L still reflects near complete kidney failure, it’s certainly an improvement over 1,110 μmol/L.
Other Factors That Lower Creatinine
As promising as this looks, I don’t like to jump to conclusions. There are other factors that could be affecting Nicole’s creatinine levels:
- Muscle Use: The more we use our muscles and the more we have, the more creatinine we produce. Since December, Nicole’s has been walking less and resting more. This may account for some of the drop of in creatinine.
- Other Detox Pathways: Nicole has been doing daily coffee enemas for nearly a year now, and daily sauna sessions since July. I’ve found no evidence that the skin or colon can excrete creatinine. Nonetheless, the body is highly adaptive and may be using these pathways to get rid of some creatinine.
There seems to be some debate on whether meat consumption raises creatinine levels or not. We certainly noticed a leap in creatinine when Nicole shifted from a vegetarian diet to a omnivorous one. Eating meat typically increases muscle mass, so this would increase creatinine levels. Nicole’s consumption of meat, however, has not changed since December. Her weight has also not changed, nor her muscle tone since December.
So, while less exercise and auxiliary detox protocols may have helped lower creatinine levels, I don’t think they are completely responsible for the dramatic and consistent drop she has seen. If anything, her increased consumption of red meat should have caused the creatinine levels to rise.
Stage 5 Kidney Failure to Stage 4
Using DaVita’s GFR calculator and a creatinine conversion tool I was able estimate her glomerular filtration rate (GFR) based on her creatinine levels. GFR lets you know how well the kidneys are filtering toxins.
Healthy kidneys have a GFR of 90 ml/min or higher (according to The Renal Association). Based on Nicole’s December 4, 2014 lab results, her GFR was 3 ml per minute. With her decrease in creatinine levels, by March 3, 2015, her GFR had increased to 4 ml/minute. So a 33% improvement.
But when you’re 1000 feet under water, getting 330 more feet closer to the surface doesn’t make it much easier to breathe. Going from 4ml/min to 90 ml/min sounds like a dauntingly long journey.
15 ml/min and above, however, is considered stage 4 kidney failure according to the National Kidney Foundation. Stage 4 kidney failure doesn’t require dialysis. So instead of aiming for normal kidneys, right now, I think our goal should be moving from Stage 5 kidney failure to Stage 4 kidney failure – a journey of only 11ml/min.
– John C. A. Manley
P.S. To read more about how Nicole has improved other kidney-related markers on her blood work check out: Dialysis Patient’s Phosphorous and Potassium Drops to Normal Range
P.P.S. If you’re finding these e-letters useful, you can support its continued and more prolofic production by purchasing a sauna. While we don’t know if they are directly lowering creatinine levels, they certainly remove a host of other toxins. The heat from the sauna also relaxes the body, reducing blood sugar levels.