Creatinine is a by-product of muscle metabolism. The liver synthesizes creatine, which is used as a source of energy by the muscles. About 2 percent of creatine is transformed to creatinine and released into the bloodstream. The kidneys filter most of the creatinine from the bloodstream and eliminate these protein molecules from the body through urination.
The creatinine level in the urine is the most effective indicator of kidney function. A diseased kidney could not filter the creatinine from the blood, reducing the content of creatinine in the urine and elevating the creatinine level in the bloodstream. In healthy adult men, the creatinine level in the blood ranges from 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter. In adult women, the blood creatinine level between 0.5 and 1.1 milligrams per deciliter is considered normal.
Since creatinine is produced during muscle metabolism, it is normal for adults with greater muscle mass to have slightly elevated creatinine level. The creatinine level is usually low in senior citizens. The creatinine level tends to hover between 1.8 and 1.9 milligrams per deciliter in people with only one kidney.
Abnormally high creatinine level is a symptom of kidney disorder. Although, blood urea level is widely used as an indicator of kidney function, serum creatinine level is the most accurate test of kidney function. Dialysis is recommended when the creatinine level in the blood reaches 10 milligrams per deciliter.
Causes of high creatinine level
Elevated creatinine level is largely attributed to poor kidney function. Infection, cancer, reduced blood supply and trauma could impair kidney function. Dehydration, kidney stones, gout, heart failure, muscular dystrophy, excess bleeding and muscle problems could raise the creatinine level. Intense physical activities, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, carbon monoxide poisoning and burn could push up the creatinine level. High creatinine level could be the side effect of certain medications.
Causes of low creatinine level
Low muscle mass pushes down the creatinine level. The creatinine level usually falls in the late stage of muscular dystrophy. A low protein diet could even bring down your creatinine level. People suffering from liver diseases tend to have lesser creatinine in the bloodstream.
Maintaining normal creatinine level
Reducing intake of animal proteins could help to lower the creatinine level in the blood. Remember to prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water and fluids. Normalizing your blood sugar and blood pressure levels could reduce the creatinine level by improving the function of the kidneys.