Creatinine is a blood test to evaluate for underlying kidney disease. The majority of creatinine from the blood is filtered by the kidneys and excreted in the urine. A creatinine test is used to measure the levels of creatinine in the blood.
Creatinine is formed from the metabolism of creatine and phosphocreatine, both of which are principally found in muscle. Thus the amount of creatinine produced is, in large part, dependent upon the individual’s muscle mass and tends not to fluctuate much from day to day.
Why does creatinine increase with age?
Serum creatinine concentration increases steadily with age; in females from the age of 40 years and 60 years for males. Advancing age affects serum creatinine levels, especially in the “vascular” age group of 60 to 80 years.
In addition to the structural changes in the kidney associated with aging, physiological changes in renal function are also found in older adults, such as decreased glomerular filtration rate, vascular dysautonomia, altered tubular handling of creatinine, reduction in sodium reabsorption and potassium secretion, and diminished renal reserve.
Why are blood creatinine levels checked?
The kidneys maintain the blood creatinine in a normal range. Creatinine has been found to be a fairly reliable indicator of kidney function. An elevated creatinine level signifies impaired kidney function or kidney disease. As the kidneys become impaired for any reason, the creatinine level in the blood will rise due to poor clearance of creatinine by the kidneys.
What is a good creatinine level?
Creatinine is a waste product created from the normal wear and tear of muscles. It is produced from creatine, a protein needed to generate the energy for muscle contractions. The consumption of cooked meat can also introduce it to the body.
Creatinine that comes from your blood is called serum creatinine, and it can be measured by administering a routine blood test. “When kidney function becomes impaired, less creatinine is able to be cleared, which results in a higher level of creatinine in the blood”
Normal range and lower levels
Elevated creatinine doesn’t necessarily mean your kidneys are in a downward spiral. Anything outside the normal range (0.9 to 1.3 mg per deciliter for adult males and 0.6 to 1.1 mg per deciliter for adult females) may cause a healthcare provider to investigate further, but doesn’t always spell danger.
Increased exercise: Have you been on a fitness kick? In the gym every day? This spike in muscle breakdown will increase the production of creatinine.
Increased protein consumption: Cooked meats contain creatinine, so if you’re feasting on steak and roast chicken every night, you could see higher levels.
Urinary tract blockage: If you can’t urinate, your body can’t eliminate creatinine, so kidney stones and other urinary disruptions will allow it to remain in your bloodstream.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test as part of your regular medical checkup. It’s often included in routine blood tests to check your overall health. You may need this test if you have signs or symptoms of kidney disease. Your risk for kidney disease is higher if you are an older adult, have high blood pressure, have a family history of kidney disease,
Symptoms of high creatinine levels
A high creatine level is more of an indication of a potential health problem, rather than a problem itself. If your creatine level increase is caused by kidney issues, you may experience related symptoms. Kidney conditions often cause bladder and fluid retention issues. If your kidneys aren’t working well enough to remove toxins and waste from your body, you could notice a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Chest Pain
- Muscle Cramps
- High blood pressure
- Swelling or fluid retention