Elevated Creatinine Levels: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
A creatinine test is requested in case of kidney-related health issues in a patient, as elevated levels of creatinine in the blood can indicate kidney dysfunction.
Creatinine is a natural byproduct of regular muscle activity, derived from creatine phosphate, which serves as a source of energy for the muscles. The kidneys play a crucial role in eliminating creatinine from the bloodstream. They filter it out and facilitate its excretion through urine.
Measuring creatinine levels is a relatively straightforward process that involves obtaining a blood sample. Unlike certain medical tests that necessitate fasting or specific preparations, creatinine testing can usually be conducted without any special requirements.
Creatinine levels can vary among individuals due to factors like age, race, gender, and body mass, which is considered a normal natural variation. In healthy adult males, the average range for creatinine levels is 0.7 to 1.2 ml/deciliter, while for females, it is 0.6 to 1.1 ml/deciliter. It is important to remember that these values are general averages and can differ based on the laboratory method employed.
Testing creatinine levels
To evaluate creatinine levels, doctors typically obtain a blood sample from the patient. They employ a formula to estimate creatinine clearance based on the results.
In certain instances, doctors may also instruct individuals to collect their entire urine output over a 24-hour period and deliver it to the laboratory.
By comparing the levels of creatinine in the urine to those in the blood, doctors can assess the efficiency of kidney function and determine the extent to which the kidneys are filtering creatinine out of the body.
Reasons for elevated creatinine levels
Elevated levels of creatinine generally signal impaired kidney function. Various factors that can contribute to this dysfunction include:
- Kidney infection - A condition where the kidneys are infected, leading to compromised functionality
- Glomerulonephritis - Inflammation of the kidney structures responsible for filtering the blood, resulting in impaired kidney function
- Urinary tract blockage - Kidney stones obstructing the urinary tract, hindering proper kidney performance
- Kidney failure - A severe condition where the kidneys lose their ability to function adequately
- Other temporary factors - Factors unrelated to kidney function can temporarily elevate creatinine levels. Examples include dehydration and high protein intake from either food sources or nutritional supplements
- Engaging in rigorous physical activity can also raise specific blood biomarkers, such as creatinine.
- Certain medications can temporarily elevate serum creatinine levels or harm the kidneys.
Additionally, certain health conditions can inflict damage on these organs, resulting in elevated levels of creatinine. These conditions encompass:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
Symptoms associated with elevated creatinine levels
- Retention of Fluid - Experiencing swelling or fluid accumulation in different parts of the body
- Weakness or Fatigue - Feeling excessively tired, lacking energy, or experiencing overall weakness
- Confusion - Experiencing mental fog, difficulty concentrating, or feeling disoriented
- Nausea - Feeling the urge to vomit or experiencing an unsettled stomach
- Shortness of Breath - Struggling to breathe normally or feeling breathless even during light physical activity
- Irregular Heart Rate - Noticing abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations
- Chest Pain - Feeling discomfort, pressure, or pain in the chest region
If a kidney infection is the cause of high creatinine levels, treatment typically involves the use of antibiotics to restore them to normal levels.
Similarly, if elevated creatinine levels are a result of high blood pressure, taking prescribed medication to manage blood pressure can also help lower creatinine levels.
In addition, healthcare professionals may suggest lifestyle modifications tailored to the specific cause. This can include reducing protein intake and increasing dietary fibre to help individuals better manage their creatinine levels.
Tips for maintaining kidney health
To ensure the well-being of your kidneys, it is crucial to adopt healthy lifestyle practices that are beneficial for overall health. Consider the following tips for maintaining healthy kidneys:
- Balanced Diet - A nutritious diet plays a vital role in kidney health. Consume a diet abundant in green vegetables and fruits, while minimising salt and fat intake.
- Hydration - Adequate hydration is key to kidney health. Proper fluid management can delay the onset of kidney disease.
- Regular physical activity - Participating in physical activities is crucial for enhancing blood flow and circulation. It is not necessary to engage in prolonged exercise sessions; instead, maintaining an active and physically involved lifestyle throughout the day can yield significant benefits.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol - Smoking independently increases the risk of various diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, and certain cancers. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on health.
- Minimise the use of over-the-counter medications, such as painkillers
Elevated levels of creatinine can signal the presence of significant medical conditions, but they can also arise temporarily due to certain lifestyle factors or circumstances. If your healthcare provider observes heightened creatinine levels, making adjustments to your physical activity, as well as modifying your dietary choices, fluid intake, and supplement usage, could assist in lowering them.Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.