The Interpretation of Bloodwork in Enhanced Athletes – Creatine Kinase

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One of the great challenges that Enhanced Athletes have when working with Primary Health Care Providers is the lack of understanding of the differences in what we would consider “normal range” Biomarkers between Athletes and the General Public

Being ” enhanced” only widens that divide

Creatine Kinase is the most sensitive enzyme index of muscle damage. It is an intracellular enzyme with three main isoenzymes and is found mainly in skeletal and cardiac muscle.

Creatine Kinase is commonly measured in the general population to assess damage to cardiac muscle post Myocardial Infarction ( MI ), AKA Heart Attack for elevation in CK levels following MI , occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart causing damage to the heart muscle.

But as I say Creatine Kinase is also abundant in Skeletal Muscle Tissue.

I have had many clients GP’s over the years express concern over elevated CK Levels.. when in reality the readings seen in that clients Bloodwork are exactly what we would expect to see in an Athlete, even a Natural Athlete.

The upper reference limits for CK in male and female athletes.

The upper reference limits for CK in male and female athletes are twice those for male and female non-athletes.

Since athletes have higher values than non-athletes, comparing the values of athletes to the normal values established in non-athletes is pointless

Layman’s Takeway ?

Keeping it simple.. always ask your Dr opinion but make sure if he is cautioning you against this or that that he understands the difference between normal for ” Citizen Joe” and normal for ” The SuperNatural Man ” they are not always the same.. and here in the case of Creatine Kinase by a factor of 2 X

ie The upper reference limits for CK in male and female athletes are twice those for male and female non-athletes.
Add ” enhanced” to the mix and its reasonable to expect that divide to widen even further, why ?

Creatine Kinase in Enhanced Bodybuilders 

Here we see CK in 4 Enhanced Bodybuilders 

All four bodybuilders had last trained about 72 hours before the test exercise. Their markedly increased CK at the start of the test may therefore be due to the previous period of muscle trauma induced by exercise. This marked elevation of CK before exercise (median concentration nine times the upper limit of reference range) may be a direct effect of the anabolic steroids.
When they were not taking steroids, ie as Natural Bodybuilders their initial CK was only about one and a half times the upper limit of reference range.

Why are the Pre-Training Reading Elevated ?

The reason for the pre-exercise elevation in CK could be

1, The steroids may have affected the integrity of muscle cell membranes, and the stress of exercise may have exacerbated the loss of intracellular substances such as CK and AST.

or

2, The bodybuilders as a result of enhancement may be able to sustain a higher level of exercise which could cause greater muscle damage.

Victor Black
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