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What Is Creatinine?
Creatinine is a waste product produced by the body after the breakdown of a compound called creatine. Creatinine is constantly produced by muscular activity and converted into creatinine. Since creatinine is a by-product, it is carried by circulating blood to the kidneys from where it is excreted in the urine. In a normal person, creatinine is filtered by the kidneys and released into urine, therefore its presence greater than normal limits in a given sample of blood is a reliable indicator of how the kidneys are functioning. Under normal conditions, creatinine levels are slightly higher in men than in women and children as its level in the blood depends upon each individualâ€™s muscle mass and size of the body. You can reduce creatinine levels in your body by following a healthy diet, by eating fruits as fruits help to reduce creatinine levels and by doing regular exercise. Read more to know the list of fruits to reduce creatinine levels in the body.
Normal Reference Range
0.6 â€“ 1.3 mg/dl
A creatinine level beyond the upper limit of the normal reference range is considered abnormal and needs immediate treatment. Higher the creatinine levels in the blood, the greater the depletion of kidney function.
High creatinine levels are a clear indicator of renal failure which may be acute or chronic depending upon the onset and duration of complaints.
This article will give you an insight into what causes high creatinine levels along with natural home remedies and also know the benefits of eating fruits to reduce creatinine levels.
What Causes High Creatinine Levels?
Creatinine is being constantly produced and excreted by the body at the same rate. Any alteration or obstruction in the normal rate of production and/or excretion of creatinine can result in high serum creatinine levels.
Apart from chronic renal failure or chronic kidney disease, some common causes of high creatinine are enlisted below;
Cooking meat converts creatine into creatinine. Therefore, excess consumption of meat especially red meat accounts for high creatinine levels.
2. Creatine Supplements
Prolonged consumption of creatine supplements of more than 10 grams/day may cause an increase in the level of serum creatinine.
Fall in blood volume due to loss of body fluids as in dehydration, excess diarrhea, and vomiting, plasma loss as in burns, or as a result of sepsis (widespread infection in the body) and cardiac failure or a heart attack can cause high serum creatinine levels.
4. Cardiac Surgery
This may reduce blood supply to the kidneys and causes an increase in serum creatinine as the kidneys are unable to excrete it.
5. Renal Artery Lesions
Thrombus (clot formation within the artery) or narrowing of the artery reduces blood supply to the kidneys which makes it difficult to excrete creatinine.
6. Causes Within The Kidney
These are also called renal causes of high serum creatinine, which are;
- Diabetic Nephropathy â€“ Diabetic neuropathy is when high blood sugar leads to inflammation within the kidneys with subsequent damage to the kidneys hampering its ability to excrete waste products
- Hypertension â€“ This causes damage to the glomerulus and reduces renal excretion of creatinine.
- Post-infectious Glomerulonephritis â€“ This is damage to the glomeruli following infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, leprosy, and so on.
7. Renal Replacement Surgery
High creatinine levels may be observed following renal replacement surgery and even after partial or complete removal of the kidney.
8. Obstructive Causes
Any obstruction to the flow of urine causes accumulation of waste products and their subsequent rise within the blood. Some causes of obstructive uropathy are;
- Enlarged prostate in men
- Tumor of the urinary bladder
- Obstructive renal stones
9. Drugs And Medications
Some medicines which increase serum creatinine levels are;
- ACE inhibitors (a type of anti-hypertensive)
- Angiotensin receptor blockers increase
- Cyclosporine group of antibiotics
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Fruits To Reduce Creatinine Levels
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition claimed that eating fruits rich in dietary fiber helped to reduce creatinine levels significantly in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Fresh fruits are a rich source of dietary fiber. Nonetheless, seasonal fruits also offer a variety of antioxidants and flavonoids which helps to reduce oxidative stress within the body.
Fruits that may help to lower creatinine levels and also aids in proper digestion. On the other hand, it is also found that fruits that are rich in potassium are beneficial for patients with chronic kidney disease as potassium helps to improve cardiac and muscular function.
[Also Read: Causes of potassium deficiency]
Certain fruits to reduce creatinine level that and are rich in both dietary fiber as well as potassium include;
Patients can either consume whole fruits or in the form of juices or smoothies.
Special precautions must be taken by patients who have very high creatinine levels and are on dialysis. In such patients, eating fruits high in potassium can do more harm than good as potassium levels tend to spike in such patients, and eating potassium-rich fruits may worsen the condition resulting in cardiac arrhythmias.
Other Ways To Lower Creatinine Levels Naturally
Once creatinine levels are high, a specific diet needs to be followed in order to bring back the creatinine levels to normal naturally along with the help of medications. However, creatinine levels greater than 3 mg/dl require urgent medical attention and management.
Some ways in which you can lower creatinine levels naturally are;
1. Cut Down On Proteins
A patient with high levels of serum creatinine must refrain from eating foods rich in protein such as chicken, red meat, and eggs. This is because creatinine is formed due to the breakdown of proteins. Proteins from plant sources such as beans and lentils can be consumed but in a limited quantity.
2. Water Intake
If you are already suffering from chronic kidney disease, you might want to consider speaking to your doctor regarding the daily water or fluid intake that suits you. On the contrary, if creatinine levels are high due to an acute event like severe diarrhea or dehydration, then drinking plenty of water may help reduce creatinine levels naturally.
3. Avoid Creatine Supplements
People who work out at the gym frequently or are into bodybuilding tend to consume creatine supplements which help them to shed fats faster. If creatinine levels are high, these supplements must be stopped.
4. Avoid Strenuous Exercise
Muscular activity converts creatine into creatinine and may cause a spike in serum levels of creatinine. Therefore people who have high creatinine levels must avoid any strenuous activity until the levels drop back to normal.