Creatinine is a waste product that is formed in the body during the process of energy production in the muscles. Creatine phosphate is a component of the skeletal muscles which is broken down to supply energy to the body cells, and creatinine is formed. The creatinine thus obtained then enters the bloodstream to reach the kidneys, from where it is discharged through the urine.
The rate of this metabolic process where creatine is converted into creatinine is fixed or constant, and approximately 2% of the total creatine content of the body is used up everyday. Therefore, in the normal course, there is no chance of increase in its daily production.
Normal Blood Creatinine Levels (in milligrams/deciliter)
- Adult Women: 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL
- Adult Men: 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL
- Individuals With Only One Kidney: 1.8 to 1.9 mg/dL
Causes for the Rise in Creatinine Levels
Its level gets elevated when the kidneys fail to excrete this waste product properly. It could be triggered by major underlying health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, heart diseases, excessive blood loss, etc. Sometimes, it has some less serious causes as well, like dehydration, side effects of medicines, etc.
No Visible Symptoms
There are no specific symptoms with which one can identify high creatinine levels in the blood. It is diagnosed during a laboratory test involving blood and urine samples.
Doctors prescribe medicines to treat the underlying cause which is responsible for the malfunctioning of the kidneys. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause extensive damage to the kidneys. Therefore, diabetic patients are prescribed with insulin and other medicines to control blood sugar levels. They also have to strictly follow a diabetic diet.
People with High Blood Pressure
Due to high blood pressure, the kidneys are unable to filter out waste material properly. Therefore, people with cardiovascular diseases are given suitable medicines for lowering blood pressure. Moreover, there are certain dietary restrictions that they need to follow, besides remaining stress-free. Nevertheless, these levels need to be reduced naturally.
Drink Plenty of Water
When our body gets dehydrated, the creatinine levels tend to increase. You can reduce the chances of any further elevation by consuming about 8 - 10 glasses of water per day. In the morning, start your day by drinking 2 - 3 glasses of water. This will increase the frequency of urination, and as a result, more creatinine will get eliminated from the body.
Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, barley, oats, etc., into your daily diet. The protein requirement of the body can be met with lettuce, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, sprouts, radish, cucumber, cranberries and turnips. Caffeine, alcoholic and carbonated beverages are bad for this condition, as they have a diuretic effect, and may cause dehydration. Replace them with fresh fruit juice or aloe vera juice, which will keep you hydrated and at the same time provide you with good nutrition. Intake herbs like dandelion, ginseng, salvia, and cinnamon, which are known to be useful in controlling creatinine levels. Foods with refined sugar as a component should also be avoided.
Avoid Protein-Rich Food and Dairy Products
You must stay away from foods like red meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, etc., because of their high protein content. Creatine, being a type of amino acid, is found mainly in such high protein foods. If you are looking to lower creatinine levels, then foods like chocolate, almonds, peanuts, beer, egg whites, seaweed, spirulina, sesame seeds, and gelatin should also be avoided. Dairy products will only increase the creatinine level, so avoid cheese, milk, and other dairy-based products. When less amount is supplied, then production of creatinine will also be lowered automatically by the body.
Reduce Sodium Intake
Sodium tends to promote water retention. Therefore, it would be better if you can stay away from all such foods that supply extra sodium to the body. Salty foods, processed foods, packaged foods, etc., should be avoided in this condition.
Avoid Creatine Supplements and Vanadium
Athletes and bodybuilders often consume creatine as a dietary supplement, in order to fuel their skeletal muscles and enhance their performance. But this could be dangerous, as by supplying extra creatine, the kidney's not only swell or increase in size but could also cause heart problems or muscle cramps. Therefore, to ensure faster reduction of creatinine levels in the blood, one must avoid creatine supplements. Vanadium is often consumed by diabetic patients, and an overdose could easily increase the creatinine levels in the blood, so one must consume it only in small amounts.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
Strenuous exercises only promote the creatine to convert into creatinine more quickly than normal. Therefore, one must avoid overtraining or doing similar strenuous physical exercises, and opt for less intense exercises. Healthy exercising is more beneficial than over-exercising, and this is a fact for everyone.
As you can see, reducing levels of creatinine in the blood involve both the use of medicines to treat the underlying cause as well as some dietary changes. However, if all these efforts fail to bring about any improvement in the condition, then it is considered as a sign of kidney failure. In such cases, the patient may have to undergo dialysis.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.