Creatinine is produced by the molecule creatine, which supplies energy to muscles. In the process of muscle contraction, creatine breaks down and results in the production a chemical waste molecule that is creatinine. It is filtered from the body by the kidneys in the process of urination. Creatinine levels in the body are important determinants of kidney function. Unusually high creatinine levels may have a drastic effect on the kidneys and may even lead to kidney failure, because not enough creatinine is being excreted by the kidneys. It is therefore important to keep a regular check on its levels through blood and urine tests in order to prevent the occurrence of any kind of kidney diseases.
Normal creatinine levels differ on the basis of gender and the presence of muscle mass in the body.
- In adult males, normal levels range from 0.6 to 1.2 mg per deciliter (a deciliter is a unit of volume equal to one-tenth of a liter).
- On the other hand, in adult females, the range varies between 0.5 to 1.1 mg per dl.
- For those individuals with one kidney, the normal range is between 1.8 to 1.9 mg per dl.
- Body builders and middle-aged people may have higher creatinine levels than the normal range.
The following causes have been found to increase creatinine in the body:
- Creatinine levels can increase due to insufficient urine discharge from the body. Improper discharge of urine can be a direct result of any condition that affects the kidneys, such as a blockage or a specific disease.
- High levels of protein in the body also contribute to an increase in creatinine levels.
- Sometimes levels may increase as a side effect of the intake of certain types of medication.
- The presence of high blood pressure and diabetes can also increase creatinine levels in urine.
Sometimes, the symptoms of elevated creatinine levels may not be immediately visible. The body's response will depend on the degree of its excess in the body. Excessive creatinine in blood or urine does not always mean there is going to be a serious kidney problem, but it is important to keep a check on it before these levels escalate and go out of hand. Keep a watch for these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in mental stability - confusion or disorientation
- Low urine output
- Swollen hands and legs
- Pain in the lower back
How to Reduce Creatinine Levels
- Since high protein levels are one of the prime causes for increased levels of creatinine, it is important to avoid a high protein diet that includes all types of meat.
- Drinking enough water and other healthy fluids will regulate the process of urine discharge and thus, reduce the levels of creatinine in the blood and urine.
- The association of increased creatinine with diabetes makes it important to monitor blood sugar levels to be able to regulate it.
- Avoiding caffeinated products such as tea, coffee, chocolates and cola is necessary to be able to reduce creatinine levels in the body.
- Getting enough exercise and performing yoga will not only help in controlling excess creatinine, but will also help build immunity against and prevent other health problems.
- Consumption of herbs such as ginseng, cinnamon and dandelion have been found useful in controlling creatinine levels in the body.
- Lastly, keeping a regular check on creatinine levels by performing relevant tests of blood and urine will help keep them in control.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of an expert. Visiting your physician is the best way to diagnose and treat any health condition.