When it comes to blood tests, most are aware of blood sugar, cholesterol or haemoglobin levels. In the current times, we also know about Vitamin B12, D, and Calcium etc. But, have you ever come across “blood/serum creatinine levels”?
Recently, I came across somebody I know well with high levels of high blood/ serum creatinine levels. And, observed there is a lot of confusion between “Blood/serum creatinine levels” & “creatinine” that one takes as a supplement while working out in the gym. These are two different things. In this blog, I am talking about –Blood Creatinine.
What does it means when you have high blood creatinine levels?
Creatinine is produced in the body constantly. It is a by-product of creatinine phosphate in the muscle. Its value depends on the muscle mass that one has. Creatinine is carried through the bloodstream to the kidneys. It is filtered out by the kidneys and thrown out of the body through urine. The kidneys maintain the creatinine levels in the blood to a normal range. A creatinine level is an indicator of kidney function. High creatinine levels is a warning for impaired kidney function.
High level of creatinine is found during:
- Impaired kidney function
- kidney disease like glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis
- Prostate disease
- Kidney Stones (urinary tract blockage)
- Heart disease
- Medicines like ACE inhibitor (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor antagonist (or angiotensin receptor blocker, ARB) taken.
Creatinine Blood Test should be done if following symptoms are seen:
- fatigue and trouble sleeping
- loss of appetite
- swelling in the face, wrists, ankles, or abdomen
- lower back pain near the kidneys
- changes in urine output and frequency
- high blood pressure
Normal Values of the Creatinine in Blood:
In male – 0.6 to 1.1 milligrams per dl of blood.
In female – 0.5 to 1.1 milligrams per dl of blood.
Infant – 0.2 milligram per dl of blood or above (due to less muscle mass).
A person with one kidney – 1.8 to 1.9 milligram per dl of the blood.
Lifestyle & Dietary modifications for high creatinine:
- Reduce water/fluid intake: Fluid intake needs to be monitored. Do not restrict fluids unless there is a fluid overload problem. If fluid retention is a problem, limit salt intake.
- Limit salt intake (Sodium): You should control the amount of salt going through the food. Add minimum salt as required. High sodium will cause water retention. Cut down on salt, cheese, pickles, instant soups, roasted and salted seeds and nuts & all types of fast foods. Specifically, avoid canned foods.
- Limit Potassium: Low-salt substitutes are not good either, as they contain high levels of potassium. Restricted eating high potassium containing such as tomato, potato, nuts and chocolates etc.
- Limit Phosphorus: Excess phosphorus can cause total kidney failure as well as bone disease and heart ailments. Reduce dairy products including milk, curd, and cheese. Cut down intake of foods like Shellfish, nuts, soya bean foods etc.
- Control Calcium: It is another concern for kidney patients, causing serious bone disease in later years if not controlled.
- Low protein diet: Low protein diet is recommended to reduce creatinine level. This avoids build-up of excess urea.
- Cigarettes and Alcohol: kill you anyway and, also does not help in the case of high Creatinine either.
- With diet control, the portion size also matters. If you eat in excess, the nutritional value changes considerably.
- Be active & Exercise regularly: High-intensity exercise could lead to impressive results. It may also help lower your risk for high blood pressure and diabetes which are the two main causes that lead to developing CKD (Chronic Kidney Diseases).
Fruits and vegetables that are advised/not advised in kidney diseases:
- It is advisable to take peaches, broccoli, onion, grapes, cabbage, pepper, cherries, cauliflower, apples, celery, berries, cucumber, pineapple, eggs, plums, green beans, tangerine, lettuce, watermelon and pears.
- Restrict the intake of oranges and orange juice, asparagus, avocado, kiwi fruit, raisins or other dried fruits, bananas, cooked spinach, potatoes, pumpkin, prunes, etc.