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Should I worry if my creatinine is high?


Most people are not sure about when to worry about high creatinine levels. High creatinine levels can be a sign to focus on your kidney health. Abnormally high levels of creatinine thus warn of possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys.

Generally speaking, high levels of creatinine can indicate that your kidneys aren’t working well. There are many possible causes of high creatinine.

Symptoms of kidney failure

Kidney failure is a condition in which one or both of the kidneys can no longer work on their own. This condition is also called renal failure. Treatments for kidney failure include dialysis and kidney transplant. The kidneys have several jobs. One of the most important is helping your body eliminate toxins. The kidneys filter your blood and send waste out of your body in urine.

When the kidneys don’t work effectively, waste products build up in your body. If this happens, you might feel sick. In the most serious situations, kidney failure can be life-threatening. However, many people can manage kidney failure with the right treatment.

Factors affecting the kidneys are :

High blood pressure

High blood pressure can damage blood vessels surrounding the kidneys, affecting kidney function and, in turn, causing high creatinine.

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Heart disease

Atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, and other conditions that affect the heart can also affect kidney function.

The symptoms of heart disease include:

  • swelling in the legs or feet
  • chest pain
  • fatigue and weakness
  • shortness of breath
  • irregular heartbeat
  • nausea

Home treatment of high creatinine

Kidney failure is a condition when your kidneys lose their ability to function to filter waste from your blood. Kidneys are a pair of organs responsible for filtering your blood and removing toxins from your body.

  • Reduce protein intake

As per research, it has been proved that eating too much protein can increase creatinine levels, even if it is for a short time period. For example, cooked red meat can affect creatinine levels. The heat from cooking makes the creatine present in the meat produce more creatinine.

  • Avoid smoking

Cigarette smoking is injurious for your overall health and can hamper creatinine levels as well. Another home remedy to lower creatinine levels is avoiding smoking. Smoking cigarettes can be harmful to the body in numerous ways and it can also increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. Quitting smoking can be a good natural way to reduce the risk of kidney problems that can increase creatinine levels.

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  • Drink plenty of water

Creatinine levels can increase if a person is dehydrated. Common symptoms of a dehydrated body are thirst, dizziness, and fatigue. Severe dehydration can put cardiovascular and other systems under stress, which can even prove to be fatal. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is the best way to prevent and treat dehydration. Staying hydrated can effectively help in lowering creatinine levels.

What is a creatinine test?

This test measures creatinine levels in the blood and/or urine. Creatinine is a waste product made by your muscles as part of regular, everyday activity. Normally, your kidneys filter creatinine from your blood and send it out of the body in your urine.

Its production essentially reflects lean body mass, and because this mass changes little from day to day, the production rate is fairly constant. Women, children, and older people tend to have lower levels of creatinine compared to adult men because they have less muscle mass.

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Risk for High or Low Creatinine Levels

Certain individuals may have higher than normal levels of creatinine:

  • Young or middle-aged adults who are muscular or athletic may have higher creatinine levels due to greater muscle mass
  • Elderly people who are dehydrated or have infections may have elevated creatinine levels
  • Chronically ill and/or bedbound patients

If creatinine levels are elevated from dehydration, rehydration is needed either via oral fluids or intravenously.

Medications that cause high creatinine levels may need to be changed or stopped. Talk to your doctor before altering or stopping any medications.