Creatinine is a metabolite of muscle breakdown, and depending on muscle mass, is produced at a constant rate by the body. It is produced from creatine, which is important for energy production in muscles. The kidneys are responsible for filtering creatinine out of the blood and excreting it in the urine. Thus, if your kidneys are malfunctioning, blood levels of creatinine will rise. With that said, measuring blood creatinine levels are a good surrogate for kidney function.
Typical levels of creatinine in the blood range from 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dl in adult males and 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dl in adult females. Muscular adults may have more creatinine in their blood as a function of muscle mass, while elderly people often have lower levels. Creatinine levels in excess of 10 mg/dl in adults may be indicative of kidney impairment.
The most common cause of increased creatinine levels is kidney impairment or any disease causing kidney impairment, including high blood pressure, diabetes, dehydration, shock, congestive heart failure or bladder outlet obstruction. Creatinine levels can become falsely elevated due to certain medications (including ibuprofin and some blood pressure drugs), after the ingestion of large amounts of dietary meat or creatine supplements and during strenuous exercise. Reducing your protein intake and increasing your fluid intake are two easy ways to lower your creatinine level. Furthermore, management of diabetes, high blood pressure and urinary tract health can also help lower your creatinine levels.
Being that creatinine levels are a measure of kidney function, focusing on lowering your creatinine level should not be of utmost importance. You should consult your physician, discuss options and establish and accomplish a plan for the treatment of elevated creatinine levels.