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If You Lift, Tell Your Doctor

Posted on: Dec 4, 2014 12:42 PM

Featured story December 4, 2014


If You Lift, Tell Your Doctor: Weight Lifiting May Alter The Results Of Your Next Liver and Kidney Function Test. 
Most of us have been asked if we are taking any medication or have any allergies by our doctor or at the hospital. This is routine practice because drugs can affect certain test results or react badly with one another and many people are allergic to certain drugs. This way, they can avoid giving you any treatments that are likely to have nasty side effects. For years it has been known that exercise can affect certain tests also and now there is some more research on just how drastically it can do so.

One of the large pharmaceutical firms, AstraZeneca (who I used to work for), has done some testing on how liver and kidney function tests are affected by weight training. These tests look at various natural chemical levels in the blood and if some of them are too high, it is an indicator that one of these organs may not be working properly.

In this study, subjects who exercised but didn’t lift weights did one hour of weight training and were monitored for seven days. Afterwards, researchers found that five out of eight of the main indicators of liver and kidney dysfunction were significantly elevated for the full seven days. Keep in mind that this study was done in people who aren’t regular weight lifters, so the effects may not be as extreme or last as long in bodybuilders who are adapted to weight training. But anyone who trains diligently has unusually heavy or grueling workouts from time to time that may cause several days of muscle soreness and these would be expected to affect these tests.

So here’s my advice: 
  1. Don’t train heavy or change your workout dramatically for 7 days before getting medical tests.

  2. Tell your doctor that you weight train and that this has been shown in studies to interfere with liver and kidney tests, as many doctors aren’t familiar with this information.

  3. If you get your tests back with elevated AST, ALT, LD, CK or myoglobin, suggest that you get a second test in a week or more and take a week off training. This is the only way to be reasonably sure of the results.




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