Creatinine and Renal health

What is Creatinine?

When the muscle and protein metabolism take place, creatine phosphate is broken down resulting in the formation of creatinine. This creatinine is released by our body at a constant rate at regular intervals.

Creatinine level in Serum is an important indicator of renal health as it is excreted directly without any changes in the levels by the kidneys. Creatinine is synthesized by the involvement of creatine, creatine phosphate, and ATPs (Adenosine triphosphate).

Creatine synthesis takes place in the liver as a result of methylation of guanidinoacetate which is synthesized in the kidney. Arginine and Glycine undergo Transamination to form Guanidinoacetic acid and it undergoes methylation along with S-adenosylmethionine resulting in the formation of Creatine. Creatine is then converted into creatinine phosphate by Creatine kinase by the use of ATP. Also, muscle contraction forms Creatinine. The synthesized creatinine is then transported to the other organs like the brain and muscles via the blood. Kidneys are the major contributor to the removal of creatinine from the blood. This involves glomerular filtration and proximal tubular secretion. Low filtration level in the kidney results in the rise of blood creatinine levels. High protein intake, intense workout, medication or supplement dosage, or if a person has a kidney problem results in the creatinine to build up in the blood. In healthy kidneys, the creatinine is filtered from the blood and excreted through urine. But impaired kidneys don’t have the ability to do this process automatically resulting in a rise in the levels of creatinine and waste materials.

How to determine Creatinine levels?

A blood test and a urine test can be carried out to determine creatinine levels. The blood test is a preliminary test that helps to determine the kidney’s health.  An increase in the creatinine levels in serum affects the kidney’s function.

What is the normal Creatinine range?

Serum creatinine level can be measured in mg/dL (milligrams of creatinine per decilitre of the blood).

The normal level of creatinine in the blood is given below:

  • For Men it ranges from 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL; 53 to 106 mmol/L
  • For Women it ranges from 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL; 44 to 97 mmol/L
  • For Teenagers it ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 mg/dL
  • For Children it ranges from 0.3 to 0.7 mg/dL

The creatinine clearance level is measured in ml/min (millilitres of blood filtered per minute). Creatinine clearance level measures the amount of creatinine that you can excrete in a day. The normal level of creatinine clearance is given below:

  • For males, it ranges from 97 – 137 ml/min
  • For females, it ranges from 88 – 128 ml/min

What are all the factors that lead to the rise in Creatinine levels?

  • Consuming food products that are rich in animal fiber
  • Intake of medicines including some antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • The excessive physical workout will also lead to the rise in creatinine level
  • Stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Consumption of excessive dairy products
  • Smoking or consuming alcohol at a high level
  • Excessive intake of pain-killers
  • Dehydration
  • Impaired kidney function and low blood flow
  • Consumption of high amounts of Protein Supplements, and many more


Medications to reduce Creatinine Levels? 

There are a variety of drugs available to treat renal disease, but none that particularly reduce blood creatinine levels. It is advised to consult your nephrologist for proper medications to reduce your blood Creatinine levels. nephrologists will prescribe the necessary drugs and they include:

  1. Trimethoprim- sulfamethoxazole (1:5): Cotrimoxazole It is a fixed combination of 2 drugs that are found to block the folate metabolism. Trimethoprim is an antimalarial drug and sulfamethoxazole is used as an antibiotic.
  2. Histamine receptor 2 blockers like cimetidine: Histamine 2 blockers are widely used for reducing gastric acid secretion. Because of the anti-androgenic effect, it is not widely used now. But it can be used to reduce creatinine levels.  


Drugs that can increase creatinine levels:

Angiotensin inhibitors – It is a protein that promotes aldosterone secretion resulting in a rise in blood pressure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as enalapril, captopril, etc., along with Angiotensin receptor blockers such as losartan, telmisartan, etc., is used to manage high blood pressure. These are the commonly prescribed medicines for blood pressure. Angiotensin II receptor blockers are also helpful in reducing the amount of protein present in the urine. Reduction in the dosage of Angiotensin inhibitor results in an improvement in the hemoglobin count and creatinine clearance levels which then results in the decrease of creatinine levels.

Some Diet and health tips to reduce Creatinine levels

  • Avoid Protein rich foods – Eating cooked red meat which has a high amount of protein results in an increase in the levels of creatinine. Red meat naturally contains Creatine and cooking applies more heat on the red meat which makes the creatine break down which results in the formation of Creatinine. Then the body absorbs the creatinine more. It is advised to eat less red meat and fish products which are rich in protein. 
  • Consume more fibre rich foods – Fibres widely help in maintaining the creatinine levels. Consuming fruits, vegetables, seeds, and whole grains which are rich in fibre helps in reducing the creatinine levels.
  • Stay Hydrated – Keep yourself hydrated. Consume more water and you can also add a handful of mint and a slice of lemon or cucumber try fizzy water which is more effective. 
  • Reducing the intake of supplements – Bodybuilders and Athletes consume supplements that contain high creatinine. So, it is advised to avoid such supplements. 
  • Avoid Intense exercise – Exercising is good for health but it is advised to approach your nephrologist to check your exercise levels as excessive and intense exercise may result in kidney disease and a rise in creatinine levels. 
  • Switching to Sage tea and Chamomile tea – Sage team and chamomile tea helps in reducing the creatinine levels.

 Is there any medication that can reverse chronic kidney disease?

Simply, there is no cure for chronic kidney disease. If the patient is in stages 3, 4, or 5, he/she should undergo dialysis until he/she gets a kidney transplant. But some of the ACE inhibitors have been shown to decrease the progression of CKD.

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