What is creatinine? How to lower creatinine level? Why is high creatinine not good for your body? How is the blood-creatinine level studied? Is there a natural way of lowering high creatinine level? In this article, we will discuss all these questions and a lot more about high blood-creatinine level.
Creatinine is a type of waste product produced by the metabolism and use of your muscles. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering creatinine from your blood with other waste products—these filtered products exit from your body through urine. A creatinine test reveals very important information related to your kidneys. A serum-creatinine test is performed to measure the creatinine level in your blood. It gives insight into the glomerular filtration rate of your kidneys, which is a parameter of examining the kidneys’ filtration capacity.
Why Does Your Doctor suggest for A Blood-Creatinine Test?
Medically known as “serum-creatinine test”, it measures the creatinine level in your blood sample and indicates the proper or improper functioning of your kidneys. You may have to go for multiple blood-creatinine tests depending on various underlying conditions, including:
- Diabetes Type 1 or 2: Your doctor may suggest serum creatinine test at least once every year.
- Any kidney disease: Doctor may ask for frequent tests for proper monitoring of your health.
- An illness or disease, affecting your kidneys: Including diabetes, high blood pressure, or prolonged intake of medications that can affect your kidneys.
What Do High Creatinine Levels Mean?
Generally, a high creatinine level is an indication of unhealthy or slightly inefficient kidneys. It indicates that your kidney(s) is not working at its maximum capacity. Sometimes, creatinine levels are also increased due to very long and severe dehydration or certain medications, eating a lot of meat, or low blood volume. Intake of dietary creatinine supplement may also elevate the serum-creatinine level for a short period.
If you have a high serum-creatinine level, your doctor may recommend other blood and urine tests to confirm the underlying cause(s). If there is even a slight indication of kidney damage, it’s critical to check the possible contributory factors that can cause further damage. Undoing permanent kidney damage is not straightforward. However, a combination of certain medications and lifestyle adjustments, can control the damage to some extent.
Symptoms of high creatinine levels
Yes, a patient needs to go through proper medical investigations for correct diagnosis and treatment. Identifying the high serum-creatinine level at the right time can be immensely helpful to control possible damage to the kidney(s). Like proteinuria, an elevated creatinine level indicates certain health conditions and is not a condition itself.
You may develop certain symptoms of high creatinine level, as your kidneys may not be able to remove waste products, especially creatinine from your body. You may develop a combination of symptoms, including:
- Muscles Cramp
- Chest Pain
- Changes in appearance, frequency and smell of the urine
- Swelling or fluid retention
- High blood pressure
High creatinine levels causes:
- Temporary elevation of serum-creatinine levels due to various medications, supplements, and foods etc.
- Regular and frequent consumption of very high amounts of red meat and protein.
- Overexertion while doing heavy or strenuous exercises.
- Kidney infections and impairment.
Certain diseases may also cause an increase in serum creatinine levels, including:
- Muscular dystrophy or rhabdomyolysis is causing the abnormal breakdown of muscles.
- Continuous high blood pressure
- Urinary tract infections
- Goodpasture syndrome
- Shock causing a high amount of blood loss
- Autoimmune disorders like lupus
Are high creatinine levels life-threatening?
High creatinine level is not always life-threatening but can indicate serious health issues like chronic kidney disease. Yes, it may become life-threatening if increased seriously, and especially doesn’t managed properly on time.
Home Remedies to Reduce High Creatinine Levels
If you have high blood-creatinine levels, you need to talk to your doctor for a proper treatment plan to find and treat the possible causative factors harming your kidney functions and elevating the creatinine levels in your blood.
Along with proper treatment and lifestyle adjustments, you can include the following home remedies to reduce creatinine levels effectively.
1. First of All, Reduce Your Intake of Protein
According to researches, excessive intake of dietary proteins can cause an elevated creatinine level. More often than not, the elevation of creatinine due to high protein intake is temporary. High consumption of cooked red meat, in particular, can affect your normal creatinine levels. Red meat already contains creatinine, and the cooking heat may be responsible for a raise in blood-creatinine levels.
In addition to red meat, other protein sources, including dairy products, can also be responsible for an abnormally higher creatinine level. Hence, if you habitually eat a lot of red meat or other foods high in protein, you should substitute them with more fruits and vegetables. Try adding following recipes to your diet to keep a check on your creatinine levels naturally.
- Hearty vegetable stew
- Vegetable patties
- Lentil soups and other lentil curries etc.
2. Avoid Consuming Creatinine Supplements
Your liver forms creatine naturally, and creatine is then transported to the muscles and used for energy. Unused or left creatine is converted into a waste product as “creatinine”.
In addition to the natural form, people take creatine from oral supplements as well. Athletes, in particular, are known for taking creatinine-producing supplements to improve their performance. But medical experts don’t support this idea, as prolonged usage of creatine supplements can affect your kidneys in the long term.
So, if you want to improve your kidney function, you should avoid consuming creatine supplements, as there is not enough research backing the safety or efficacy of creatine supplements. If you wish to consume, talk to your doctor first.
3. Lower your Creatinine Levels Naturally by Adding More Dietary Fibers
We need more studies to conclude the effects of dietary fibers on blood-creatinine levels. Nevertheless, according to the study, there were notable reductions in creatinine levels in people suffering from chronic kidney diseases which started to take more fibers through their diets.
Fruits, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains are some of the best sources of healthy fibers.
4. Reduce Your Salt Intake
Reducing your salt intake can also help you lower your creatinine levels naturally because recipes containing excess salt can cause increased blood pressure. And, processed foods, in particular, contain a lot of phosphorus and sodium, overconsumption of which can potentially cause various renal problems.
Instead of eating salted foods, try adding more unprocessed, spices, herbs, and other whole foods to your diet.
5. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol consumption can adversely affect your kidney’s function. If you are habitual alcoholic, moderate alcoholism can help reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease.
Excessive alcohol intake can severely damage your kidneys and cause conditions like alcohol dependency and high blood pressure. If you consume alcohol regularly, try to cut down the quantity slowly and regularly. Sudden withdrawal of alcohol may cause other lifestyle and habitual disorders, so that’s not the best idea at all.
6. How to lower creatinine levels by food?
A healthy diet can be very helpful to reduce the high creatinine level. Following are some effective food habits you can adapt with other treatment options to bring the elevated creatinine level back to the normal, healthy level.
- Cucumber: Adding cucumber to your diet can give surprising effects on your creatinine levels and reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Consuming cucumber can help you stay hydrated, as well as keep the high blood sugar levels in check. Cucumber is not only a delicious option for your salads; it is low in calorie and is a very powerful antioxidant. They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, silica, magnesium, and potassium etc. and that’s why also known as “natural kidney cleanser”. Cucumber can remove the debris and tiny stone particles from kidneys and the urinary bladder as well.
- Onion and Garlic: If you are looking for an effective high creatinine level treatment, both garlic and onion can be the answers. Garlic protects your kidneys from potential radical medicated damage. On the other hand, thanks to its PGA prostaglandin content, onion can reduce high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a massive risk for kidney patients, increasing the chances of kidney failure. Kidney patients, especially those with a high creatinine level, should increase onion and garlic intake to protect their kidneys.
- Carrots: Carrots can be very good vegetables if you have both heart and kidney problems. A carrot is packed with a lot of nutrition, including vitamin A, C, D, and calcium. Regular intake of carrots can protect your kidneys and can also reduce the risk of kidney infections.
- Green Leafy Vegetables like cabbage and lettuce can also reduce high levels of creatinine in the blood. Not only that, but leafy green veggies are also good at preventing the formation of kidney stones.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: If you are looking for highly effective home remedies to reduce high creatinine levels, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be surprisingly helpful. Eat foods like salmon, walnuts, sardines, and tuna etc. to ensure good health of your kidneys and keep a check on high creatinine levels.
- Soy Products: Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and removing metabolic wastes from your blood can be highly effective in maintaining kidneys’ health and serum-creatinine levels. Soy foods can be especially beneficial for people having prolonged kidney disease. Soy milk, tofu, and soy nuts etc. should find a place in your kitchen if you want to check creatinine levels.
How to reduce creatinine level by yoga?
There is less evidence of the effect of yoga on the creatinine level. However, certain yoga postures can help to maintain your kidneys’ overall health. You can combine following yoga postures and your medicinal treatment and other lifestyle adjustments to ensure good health of your kidney. Not only kidneys, these yoga postures positively affect other parts of the body as well. So, by targeting your kidneys with yoga, you are helping other body parts too. In short, good health starts here with yoga.
- Sphinx Pose: In addition to boosting your immunity, sphinx pose or Slamba Bhujangasana also strengthens your kidneys and other abdominal organs.
- Sitting Half Spinal Twist: Ardha Matsyendrasana stimulates liver and kidneys and also works positively on your immunity.
- Two-Legged Forward Bend: Paschimottanasana stimulates the kidney, relieves menstrual discomfort, as well as improves digestion.
- Bridge Pose: Setu Bandhasana stimulates various abdominal organs, reduces high blood pressure, and reduces physical and mental stress.
How to lower creatinine level fast?
- Avoid alcohol, beer, caffeine, wine, and other carbonated drinks
- Avoid excessively salty and sugary foods.
- Reduce the consumption of legumes from your diet.
- Control the intake of white bread, white flour, dairy products, and red meat etc.
- Completely avoid junk foods to control sodium intake.
- Avoid oranges, chocolates, potatoes, tomatoes, and nuts etc.
- Avoid frozen meals, canned soups, canned vegetables, salted potato chips, and cheese etc.
When it comes to answering an all-important question like “how to lower creatinine level”, we have to focus thoroughly on many different aspects, including causative factors, underlying diseases, and the timeline from which patient has high serum-creatinine level.
These home remedies or tips are only for “supporting” other medical treatments and management. Suppose you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms of high creatinine level. In that case, we recommend you to talk to your doctor – consulting a specialist of renal diseases will be more beneficial.
We don’t back the idea of relying only on these or any other home remedies or any other “self-treatment” for elevated creatinine level. Sometimes, it is an indication of a serious kidney-related problem(s). Getting proper medical guidance from a practicing healthcare provider is advised.