A few words about Creatinine

Creatinine is a waste substance produced by your muscles. Your kidneys operate to remove waste materials from your blood, including creatinine. These waste items are filtered and then eliminated from your body through urine.

Why people should check their creatinine levels?

Creatinine measurements can give you valuable information about how well your kidneys may be working. Your doctor can check the amounts of creatinine in your blood and urine. A health problem may be present if the amount of creatinine is above or below normal.

The blood creatinine is kept in a normal range by the kidneys. The kidney’s ability to function is generally indicated by creatinine. Deteriorated renal function is indicated by an elevated creatinine level. When kidney function declines for any reason, the kidneys’ ability to filter out excess creatinine from the blood decreases, leading to a rise in blood creatinine levels. Creatinine levels that are too high are an early indicator of renal disease or failure. Because of this, creatinine levels are one of the most common ones examined by routine blood testing.

Estimating kidney function more accurately requires determining how much creatinine is eliminated from the body. It is known as creatinine clearance, this measures the kidneys’ filtration rate (glomerular filtration rate, or GFR).

When can you declare that your body’s creatinine levels are normal?

Creatinine levels in the blood are maintained within normal limits by the kidneys. The common reference values for serum creatinine are specified by medical practitioners in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and micromoles per liter (mol/L). Adult males typically have blood creatinine concentrations between 0.6 and 1.2 mg per deciliter (mg/dL), while adult females typically have concentrations between 0.5 and 1.1 mg/dL.

What are the reasons for elevated creatinine levels in your body?

Creatinine elevation can occur for a number of reasons. Here are just a few of the reasons why your creatinine levels can be rising: The items are as follows:

Long-term kidney disease

Damaged kidneys have problems flushing creatinine out of the blood, leading to elevated amounts. Creatinine levels in the blood are used to determine the more precise glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which may be an indicator of chronic kidney disease. A GFR of 60 or higher is considered healthy by medical professionals, while a GFR of 60 or lower may be an indicator of kidney disease. Kidney failure is diagnosed when the GFR is 15 or lower.

A blockage of the kidneys

Causes of kidney obstruction include anything that prevents urine from passing through, such as an enlarged prostate or a kidney stone. If urine backs up into the kidney because of a blockage, kidney function may be impaired. In medical terms, this is known as hydronephrosis. Creatinine in the blood can rise if both kidneys are affected by a blockage.

Greater protein intake

There is some evidence that dietary factors influence creatinine levels. Creatinine is found in proteins and cooked meat, therefore consuming more meat than is suggested for a person’s activity level can lead to elevated levels of creatinine in the blood. Longitudinal studies, however, have indicated that high-protein diets had no discernible effect on blood creatinine levels over a two-year period.

Working-out intensely

Muscles contain creatine, which aids in their ability to produce energy. Blood creatinine levels may rise as a result of dehydration as well as muscle degradation following exercise.

Exercising might increase creatinine levels, according to some research. However, the underlying mechanisms by which this occurs remain poorly known. It’s likely that the elevated levels of creatinine in the blood are the result of increased muscle breakdown brought on by exercise. Creatinine elevations may also result from an increase in renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate due to exercise. Creatine levels go up with activity, although this is considered a normal and healthy response.

In most people, the creatinine levels do not change with moderate activity. Even if your creatinine levels rise a bit while you work out and gain muscle, that’s perfectly normal.

Some Drugs can raise the creatinine levels in your body

Although medicines save and enhance lives, it is simple to ignore their dangers and adverse effects, particularly if you don’t believe they apply to you. The majority of the 26 million Americans who have the chronic renal disease are unaware of it. You might not be aware that some medications could harm your kidneys and other organs in your body if you don’t know how well your kidneys are functioning. The kidneys filter both prescription and over-the-counter medications. This indicates that your kidneys break down and eliminate medicines from your body.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs

If you have chronic kidney illness, your dose of some cholesterol drugs, referred to as “statins,” may need to be changed.

Medicines to reduce pain in your body

Some over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), are not advised if you have impaired renal function because they can decrease blood flow to the kidneys. Patients with chronic renal disease run the risk of experiencing catastrophic complications from the accumulation of some narcotic painkillers in their bodies.

Antibacterial medications

The kidneys pass a lot of antiviral, antibiotic, and antifungal drugs. It’s crucial that you and your clinician are aware of your level of kidney function so that a kidney-safe drug can be given for your therapy.

Medicines to control diabetes

The kidneys are responsible for removing insulin and some other drugs used by patients with diabetes. It’s crucial for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels because it’s one of the main risk factors for kidney disease. Diet, exercise, and medication are frequently used to regulate blood sugar levels. Consult your doctor if you have diabetes and chronic renal disease to determine whether any dosage adjustments are necessary based on your kidney function.

Medications for antacids or upset stomach

If you have a chronic renal illness, this class of over-the-counter medicines may cause your body’s electrolyte balance to become unbalanced. If you want to know if using them is safe for you, consult your doctor.

What causes your body to have low creatinine levels?

Numerous factors can cause low creatinine levels. Listed below are just a few causes of increased creatinine levels: The following are the items:

Creatinine levels are frequently associated with “muscle mass” or the body’s total quantity of muscle, which can decline with ageing or sickness. Low levels may be a sign of weaker or deteriorating muscles, as in the case of a condition like muscular dystrophy (MD). With ageing, older persons frequently lose some muscle mass, but this is typically not a severe medical concern.

Since the liver is where creatine is produced, a sick or malfunctioning liver will not be able to produce as much creatine as it should. Creatine production may be reduced by 50% in cases of “chronic liver illness”. Lower levels of creatinine in the blood will result from this, which can be determined by a quick blood test called a serum creatinine test.

Low levels of creatinine may be related to nutrition even if the body produces some of the substance naturally. Since “meat” is the primary source of creatine, vegetarians and individuals who consume less protein are likely to have lower quantities of the substance than meat eaters. Low levels of creatinine can also result from prolonged periods of not eating or from having a disease that makes it difficult to eat.

Low creatinine levels are frequently caused by “pregnancy”, although they should rise to normal levels once a woman has given birth.

What are the tests to measure creatinine levels in your body?

There are normally two types of tests conducted by a physician to measure the creatinine levels in your body. They are

  • Standard Blood test
  • Urine Test

Blood Test

A tiny amount of blood must be drawn for the creatinine blood test, which is a straightforward procedure. A medical professional will first ask you to raise your sleeves so that your bare arm is visible. After using an antiseptic to clean the injection site, they secure your arm with a band. They may locate a vein more quickly because the blood causes the veins to expand. They locate a vein and place a needle inside it to draw blood. A vein on the inside of the elbow is typically used. Although the test itself isn’t uncomfortable, you could feel a tiny prick when the needle is injected. The medical professional covers the puncture wound with a bandage after removing the needle.

Once sufficient blood has been collected, the sample is submitted to a lab for evaluation. Within a few days of the test, your doctor will inform you of the results.

It’s crucial to remember that different labs may use different measurements or test different samples, which can cause normal and abnormal ranges to change. To go through your test results in more detail, you should always schedule a consultation with your doctor. They’ll be able to let you know whether additional testing and/or treatment are required.

Urine Test

The level of creatinine in your urine is determined by a creatinine urine test. Your doctor can use the test to assess how well your kidneys are working. For diagnosing or excluding renal disease and other disorders affecting the kidneys, this is helpful. A random urine sample may be used by your doctor to test for creatinine. However, they often will request a urine 24-hour volume test. Although creatinine can be determined from a single urine sample, it is more reliable to collect pee over the course of a whole day to obtain that number. A spot check is not as informative because the creatinine in your urine can vary greatly depending on your diet, degree of exercise, and level of hydration. This creatinine urine test, as its name implies, quantifies daily pee production. There are no hazards involved in the test, nor is it painful.

People with diabetes or those who consume a lot of meat or other proteins in their diets may also experience abnormal readings. Independent analysis of the test findings is exceedingly challenging. Your doctor should be informed of your results. Your doctor might request a serum creatinine test in response to your test results. This particular blood test calculates the level of creatinine in your system. It could be used by your doctor to support a diagnosis.

Which therapies are available for both low and high creatinine levels?

The underlying reason for low creatinine will determine the best course of treatment. Treatment for muscular diseases concentrates on alleviating the underlying ailment as well as the discomfort, weakness, and degeneration of the muscles. Corticosteroids can increase muscle strength, and therapy can enhance the quality of life. After giving delivery, low creatinine levels brought on by pregnancy should return to normal. Ask your doctor about changing your dosage or switching to a different drug if you’re on a medicine that lowers the level.

Depending on the underlying cause, the treatment for elevated creatinine levels may vary. When a kidney infection is to blame for elevated creatinine levels, antibiotic therapy should help bring the levels back to normal. Similarly, if high blood pressure is the cause of elevated creatinine levels, using medicine to manage it should help lower creatinine levels. Depending on the underlying problem, medical professionals could also advise making adjustments to regular routines, including eating less protein and more fiber. Making these changes could assist someone in controlling their creatinine levels.

The Bottom Line

As long as any underlying medical conditions are properly treated, people with low creatinine levels generally have a good outlook. Your doctor might recommend dietary and lifestyle adjustments and then retest your level in the future if additional testing excludes a muscular illness. Your levels should return to normal with the appropriate modifications.

Creatinine levels might rise in the blood if the kidneys are not working properly. High creatinine levels can result from a variety of circumstances. These elements include dietary choices, prescription drugs, and underlying medical issues. Levels should return to normal once the underlying problem has been addressed.

Anyone exhibiting any symptoms of a high creatinine level should consult a doctor. Early intervention can lessen any potential kidney injury and improve the chances of a full recovery.


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