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Marathon Running and Kidney Damage

22 participants

Urine and Blood Sample Measurements taken:

  • A day before they ran

  • 30 minutes after they ran

  • Day after they ran

What was measured?

  • Blood markers of kidney function called BUN and creatinine

  • Looked at urine under microscope

Main finding?

  • 82% of runners developed acute kidney injury

  • Abrupt increase in serum creatinine (50% rise) suggests that there is a loss of kidney function (filtration) which leads to the diagnosis of acute kidney injury

  • In comparison, 33% of post-cardiac surgery (like by-pass surgery) patients develop acute kidney injury

What does this indicate?

  • That there is SHORT term kidney damage. All the marathoners returned to baseline within 48 hours after racing.

  • Look at the video on the page for the urine microscopy images (3:29)

  • The damage to the kidneys is not just simple dehydration.

  • There is ongoing repair going on for days after the marathon.

Could this cause progressive chronic kidney disease?

  • Not allowing adequate repair time is a concern.

  • Stay well hydrated

  • Avoid NSAIDS before running

  • If you have medical conditions, talk to your doctor

My two cents: Recovery is king, especially if you are older or have medical conditions. Make and execute a recovery plan.

Dr. Steven Horwitz Chiropractor Rockwall Texas Dallas Sports Academy

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