What is creatinine?
Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine, which is an important part of muscles. In a healthy person, the kidneys remove the creatinine from the bloodstream and excrete it in the urine. Abnormal levels of creatinine could indicate a serious problem.
Clinical significance of serum creatinine test
The kidneys are filtering organs of the body. When the kidneys are functioning normally, they will filter out approximately 2 quarts of waste and excess water daily. This waste includes creatinine, and the waste is released through the urine. If kidney function is normal, creatinine levels will increase in the blood (because less creatinine is released through your urine).
A serum creatinine test, will help to diagnose kidney disease or monitor kidney status in those who have already been diagnosed as kidney disease. Creatinine test will be ordered when various symptoms and signs of kidney problems are present.
What is the normal range of serum creatinine levels?
A normal result of serum creatinine is 0.7 to 1.3 mg/dl for men and 0.6 to 1.2 for women.
Females have usually have a lower creatinine than males, because they have less muscle mass. Infant levels are much lower strictly due to size.
The reference levels of creatinine may vary slightly in different laboratories. So it is necessary that patients know their reference range to know if their results are abnormal.
What are the causes of elevated serum creatinine?
There are several reasons why your creatinine may be higher than normal. Some may wonder if what they eat raise their creatinine levels. Meat products that people eat can produce some extra creatinine to the individuals. If people have healthy functioning kidneys, this will not cause much problem because the kidneys can function to maintain normal creatinine levels. However, if people already have kidney damage, eating much meat can cause serum creatinine to raise and make kidneys work harder.
The main cause of elevated serum creatinine, thereby, is that the kidneys are malfunctioning. This can result from any condition that damages the kidneys, such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), Nephrotic syndrome, IgA Nephropathy, FSGS, Lupus Nephritis, Purpura Nephritis, etc.
Symptoms of elevated serum creatinine
The rise in serum creatinine means that there are many toxins as creatinine that builds up in the bloodstreams. Those toxins can cause a variety of problems in several systems of the body. People experience vomiting, nausea and poor appetite in their digestive system. In respiratory system, the toxins may cause ammonia or metallic odors. The toxins also cause skin itching or darkened skin colors. People may find themselves getting weak and frequently feeling tired. Retention of fluid can make patients swell up and shortness of breath. If the condition continues to get worse, it can damage heart and brain blood vessels. The kidneys that are not properly regulating electrolytes can cause high potassium, low calcium, high phosphorus, etc which further increase risks of bone diseases, arrhythmia, etc.
What’s serious for people with elevated creatinine is the symptoms and complications that come along. It is essential to manage the illness condition under proper treatments, and protect kidneys from further deterioration so as to prevent creatinine from rising.
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