What is Creatinine? Low and High Creatinine

What is Creatinine

What is Creatinine?

Creatinine amino acid is a by-product of muscle metabolism and is produced as a result of muscle activity in the body and is filtered and excreted by the kidneys. It is used as an important biochemical marker in the evaluation of kidney function.

Creatinine is naturally produced in the liver due to anatomy. It is distributed from the liver to the muscles. Creatinine released from the liver first reaches the brain center. Then it is sent to the muscles. Approximately 95% of the creatinine produced by your body is sent to the brain .

Creatinine is a waste product of the digestion of protein in food and the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. It is cleared from the blood by the kidneys . Everyone has some creatinine in their blood; too much can be a sign of possible kidney problems.

Creatinine values ​​indicate whether the kidney is performing its function.

It is an important compound for muscle function . After the necessary substances in muscle metabolism have fulfilled their function, creatinine is used in the final stage and excreted through urine .

Another substance that is filtered and excreted by the kidneys is urea. The amount of urea in the blood is measured by a system called BUN. This system is used to indicate values ​​in cases of excessive fluid loss. In cases of fluid loss, the BUN level increases while the creatinine value decreases.

Creatinine feeding experiments in animals conducted from 1913 to 1928 showed that most of the ingested or injected creatinine was found unchanged in the urine, but some was never recovered.

In addition to creatine being recognized as a product of human energy metabolism, researchers have made extensive efforts to determine whether creatine has another, perhaps unique, function in the human body.

Research has shown that creatinine undergoes changes in the human body. Amino-creatinine and dioxycreatinine derivatives are just two of many possible combinations. These and many other combinations have been confirmed in the urine of thousands of mentally retarded children, schizophrenic adults, and people with severe renal failure.

A serum (blood) creatinine test is a blood test used to check how well the kidneys are filtering blood. It’s often ordered with other tests as part of a package called a “basic metabolic panel” (BMP) or “comprehensive metabolic panel” (CMP) . It’s one of the most commonly ordered laboratory tests and is part of a routine health check-up.

Study: About Creatinine
Findings: Explains everything about Creatinine with its sources.
Source: Kidney.org

Study: Jeff Golini, The Dangers of Creatinine
Findings: What creatine is, how it comes about, the potential of creatine supplements to enhance muscle performance, and its use by athletes. However, it also offers varying views on the potential risks of long-term use or high doses.

For the most accurate information and healthy results, get support from a specialist doctor. The information in our content is not a prescription. We wish you healthy days…

What is Low Creatinine?

Creatinine levels are affected by a variety of factors, including muscle mass and how well the kidneys can filter creatinine. The ideal creatinine levels for women and men are often different because men tend to have more muscle mass.

The tissues with the highest creatine content are muscle and nerve (brain) tissue, while the lowest contents can be found in the kidney and liver. In this context, the normal value of creatine is around 0.50 mg/dL to 1.40 mg/dL . Low creatine is the presence of lower than normal levels of creatine in the body.

There is an ideal creatinine value that differs for men and women:

Gender Normal Creatinine Range (mg/dL)
Women 0.5 – 1.1
Men 0.6 – 1.3

*These ranges are standard creatinine levels for generally healthy individuals. However, creatinine levels may vary depending on individual health, age, muscle mass, and other individual factors.

What Causes Low Creatinine?

There are some conditions that cause low creatinine levels. Let’s examine these reasons:

  • In consuming too much liquid,
  • When there is a decrease in muscle mass,
  • When there is a protein deficiency,
  • In the 3rd, 4th and 6th months of pregnancy,
  • When old age is entered,
  • Creatinine deficiency is observed in people with liver problems.

In such cases, it would be a healthy decision to consult a doctor, perform the necessary tests, and start the appropriate treatment.

Low muscle mass can lead to low creatinine levels, as muscle breakdown produces creatinine. Older adults are at greater risk because muscle mass decreases with age. Poor nutrition can also lead to low muscle mass and therefore low creatinine levels.

Low blood creatinine levels can be caused by protein deficiency or low protein intake, which can reduce creatinine production. Conditions such as liver disease or serious muscle diseases can cause low creatinine levels.

Study: Jo Lewin RN – What should my creatinine level be?
Findings: Mentions low and high creatinine with references.
Source: Medicalnewstoday.com

Study: Jeff Golini, The Dangers of Creatinine
Findings: What creatine is, how it comes about, the potential of creatine supplements to enhance muscle performance, and its use by athletes. However, it also offers varying views on the potential risks of long-term use or high doses.

What is High Creatinine?

There are two ways to understand high creatinine levels. Blood is taken from a vein in the arm and then sent to the laboratory for detailed analysis. According to the results, normal creatinine values ​​​​of the blood (for adults) should generally be at the following levels:

  • US units: 0.84 to 1.21 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
  • European units: 74.3 to 107 micromoles per liter (umol/L)

The answer to the question of what level of creatinine in the blood is dangerous is hidden here. Creatine levels above these values ​​can be considered high and risky.

Another method is a urine sample. Normal urine creatinine ranges in a 24-hour urine sample are as follows:

  • US units: 955 to 2,936 milligrams per day (mg/day) for men; 601 to 1,689 mg per day for women
  • European units: 8.4 to 25.9 millimoles (mmol/day) per day for men; 5.3 to 14.9 mmol per day for women

Urine creatinine levels above these ranges are considered high and may require additional testing or retesting.

Symptoms of High Creatinine

When the creatinine value that should be in women and men increases for a long time, high creatinine occurs. This situation can first manifest itself with fatigue and thirst in the person. Shortness of breath and mental confusion can also be added to these symptoms. Mental confusion is also known as confusion. A problem in the kidneys can cause the creatinine level to increase.

Symptoms of high creatinine levels can commonly be observed as follows:

  • Fluid retention, especially in the lower body
  • Urinating small amounts
  • Feeling of weakness or tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood in the urine (this may turn the urine pink or brown)
  • Foamy urine due to high protein levels
  • Fluid retention in the face, hands and feet
  • Don’t feel tired
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased appetite

Drug toxicity can also damage the kidneys and impair their function. Examples of these drugs include chemotherapy drugs, diuretics, lithium, and proton pump inhibitors .

Study: Valencia Higuera – Low Creatinine: What You Need to Know
Findings: Mentions low and high creatinine with references.
Source: Healthline.com

What Causes High Creatinine?

The factors that cause creatinine to rise are examined by the doctor. If there is a problem with your kidneys, appropriate medication treatment is started. When additional factors that trigger the disorder are seen, your doctor will apply the most appropriate treatment and medication for you. Therefore, it would be a logical step to seek expert help when symptoms are seen.

What is Creatine Used For? What are its Benefits?

The benefit of creatine is that it helps provide energy for your muscles to continue working while you exercise. About half of the creatine source comes from red meat, seafood, and dairy (such as cow, goat, and sheep milk). The answer to the question of how to lower creatine levels may be to include these foods in your diet less.

The other half is produced naturally in your liver, kidneys and pancreas. These organs deliver about 95% of the creatine produced to your skeletal muscles , which use it during physical activity. The rest goes to your heart, brain and other tissues.

Subject: Creatine Supplements
Findings: Discusses Creatine side effects, benefits, and possible risks.
Source: Orthoinfo.aaos.org

Subject: Creatine
Findings: Creatine side effects, benefits and possible risks are mentioned with references.
Source: My.clevelandclinic.org

Study: Bougioukas KI, et al. Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Cognitive Function of Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
Findings: This systematic review examined the effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function in healthy individuals.
Source: Experimental gerontology, 108, 166-173

Before you start taking creatine supplements, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to confirm that it is safe for you.

How to Use Creatinine?

Creatine is a compound that exists in every human being. An average of 2 grams of creatine is secreted during the day. This rate will increase when a protein-based diet is consumed. In some cases, the amount of creatine needs to be a little higher. Supplements are taken for this. These supplements can be taken before, after or at any desired time. You can take supplements as recommended by your doctor . Your age and weight will affect the conditions of use.

If creatine is not taken naturally, but rather as a supplement, there may be an initial loading phase that causes a rapid increase in creatine stores. A healthcare professional should be consulted to find out what product and dosage may be most appropriate for a particular situation.

Supplements are often taken by those who do intense and heavy sports. Athletes over the age of 18 (weightlifting, bodybuilding experts) can take creatine, which is not sufficient to be obtained from red or white meat, with external supplements after a doctor’s approval.

There are many types of creatine that are beneficial for weight gain, fat loss, muscle building and exercise. These are as follows:

  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine anhydrous
  • Micronized creatine
  • Creatine hydrochloride (creatine HCl)
  • Creatine ethyl ester
  • Buffered creatine
  • Cre-Alkaline
  • Crea-Trona
  • Creatine magnesium chelate
  • Liquid Creatine
  • Creatine phosphate

Your doctor or nutritionist can help you choose the type of creatine supplement that is best for your workouts.

Study: Gufford, BT, Ezell, EL, Robinson, DH, Miller, DW, Miller, NJ, Gu, X., & Vennerstrom, JL (2013). pH-dependent stability of creatine ethyl ester: Relevance to oral absorption.
Findings: Types of creatine are described.
Source: Journal of dietary supplements, 10(3), 241-251.

Subject: Creatine – Uses, Side Effects, and More
Findings: Explains how to use creatine.
Source: Webmd.com

Study: Awdishu, L., & Mehta, R. L. (2017). The 6R’s of drug induced nephrotoxicity.
Findings: An in-depth approach to classify and analyze the toxic effects of drugs on the kidneys.
Source: BMC nephrology, 18(1), 124.

Creatine Harms and Side Effects

Although creatine is generally considered safe, it can cause serious side effects, such as kidney damage, when taken in high doses. High doses can also shut down the body’s own production of creatine.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), side effects include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps,
  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting,
  • Dizziness and drowsiness,
  • Muscle cramps and diarrhea,
  • Kidney disease and respiratory complaints,
  • It may be observed as excessive weight gain.

According to Dr. Roberts, an expert in this field, the clearest known side effect of creatine is weight gain. He stated, “It’s hard to generalize, but most people gain about five pounds when they consume creatine supplements.” However, Roberts also states that this weight gain is water weight and adds: “…there’s actually a benefit here because water is in the muscle cells, so it helps hydrate your muscles.

Study: Beck TW, Housh TJ, Johnson GO, Coburn JW, Malek MH, Cramer JT. Effects of a drink containing creatine, amino acids, and protein combined with ten weeks of resistance training on body composition, strength, and anaerobic performance.
Findings: Evaluates the combined effects of creatine supplementation with supplements and exercise programs.
Source: J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(1):100-104.

Study : Wax, B., Kerksick, CM, Jagim, AR, Mayo, JJ, Lyons, BC, & Kreider, RB (2021). Creatine for exercise and sports performance, with recovery considerations for healthy populations.
Findings: The findings of this study evaluate the potential side effects and risks of creatine supplementation.
Source: Nutrients, 13 (6), 1915.

Study: Justin Roberts, Creatine supplements: what the research says about how they can help you get in shape, Anglia Ruskin University and Henry Chung, University of Essex
Findings: Creatine supplements have been widely studied for their potential benefits in improving physical performance and promoting muscle growth.
Source: Theconversation.com

How to Test Creatinine?

A creatinine test is a measure of how well the kidneys are filtering waste from the blood. Healthy kidneys filter creatinine from the blood and pass it out of the body in the urine. A standard creatinine blood test (serum creatinine) is used to measure creatinine levels . Your doctor may ask you to fast (fast) the night before the test. For a creatinine urine test, urine is collected for 24 hours in containers provided by the clinic.

For both tests, you may need to abstain from eating meat for a certain period of time before the test. Likewise, if you are taking creatine supplements, you should stop taking them. For a serum creatinine test, a member of your healthcare team (usually a nurse) will place a needle in a vein in your arm to collect a blood sample. For a urine test, you may be expected to provide a single sample in the clinic or collect samples at home over 24 hours and bring them back to the clinic.

The clearance test is performed by taking both urine and blood samples. Urine is collected for 24 hours. Blood samples are also taken continuously. The samples are calculated according to the person’s body size and the results are examined by the doctor.

Subject: Creatinine test
Findings: Provides detailed information on how to perform a creatinine test.
Source: Mayoclinic.org

When you go to an internal medicine doctor for any complaint, you can see the creatinine rate in your blood values. Your doctor will inform you about your value in a disturbing situation. When it is deficient or seen too much, the necessary treatment begins.

Frequently Asked Questions About Creatinine

What is High Creatinine?

High creatinine levels indicate a condition related to kidney function. Creatinine levels may increase when the kidneys’ ability to excrete creatinine from the body is impaired or when there is an increase in muscle mass.

What Does Low Creatinine Mean?

Low creatinine levels are associated with decreased muscle mass or decreased muscle activity. This is associated with conditions such as muscle diseases, inadequate protein intake, serious liver diseases, or certain hormonal disorders.

What Should Creatinine Be?

Creatine levels can vary depending on an individual’s age, gender, and muscle levels. Adults should have levels between 0.5 and 1.4 mg/dL . However, creatinine levels can vary depending on laboratory methods and standards.

What is the Creatinine Level That Indicates Kidney Failure?

If the creatinine level is above 1.2 mg/dL in adults, kidney function should be evaluated and treatment should be initiated if necessary. A healthcare professional should be consulted for a detailed evaluation regarding the diagnosis and treatment of kidney failure.

What Foods Contain Creatine?

Creatine is found naturally in meat (beef, veal) and seafood (fish and shellfish), especially. Milk and dairy products such as cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk can also provide creatine for the body.

At What Creatinine Level Should I Start Dialysis?

Dialysis is considered necessary when the creatinine level is 8-10 mg/dL or above or if there are other signs of kidney failure. In fact, the creatinine blood test result alone does not provide a result for dialysis. Get a doctor’s opinion.

Does Creatine Cause Kidney Pain?

Creatine does not cause kidney pain. However, in some cases, very high doses (especially years of use by athletes) or in individuals with kidney problems may cause changes in kidney function associated with the use of creatine supplements.

Does Drinking Water Lower Creatinine?

Creatinine levels are not directly affected by drinking water. Creatinine is produced in the body by the kidneys and is found in the blood as an indicator substance. Drinking water regulates water balance in the body and may support kidney function, but it does not directly lower or increase creatinine levels.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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