High Creatinine Levels: Know Symptoms, Treatment Options And Tips To Keep Kidneys Healthy
Creatinine is one of the easiest available tests for checking kidney health. It is widely used to determine how well the kidney is functioning and to check for signs of any kidney disease.
Drinking adequate amount of water can help keep kidneys healthy
Creatinine is a waste or byproduct of the metabolism that occurs within the muscles of our bodies. This substance is formed as a result of the natural wear and tear that takes place in the muscles on a daily basis. Once produced, this creatinine enters the bloodstream and is ultimately eliminated from the body by the kidneys as part of urine.
Testing for creatinine levels is a relatively simple and involves taking a blood sample. Unlike some medical tests that require patients to fast or take other precautions beforehand, creatinine testing can usually be performed without any special preparation. Doctors generally order a creatinine test if they suspect that a patient may be experiencing kidney-related health issues, as high levels of creatinine in the blood can be indicative of kidney dysfunction.
Creatinine levels can vary from person to person depending on their age, race, gender, and body mass. While the fluctuation is normal, the average level for a healthy adult male should be between 0.7 to 1.2 ml/deciliter, and for females, it should be between 0.6 to 1.1 ml/deciliter. However, these values are just an average and may differ based on the laboratory method. Typically, labs provide a range, indicating what is normal for a particular individual.
What is the use of testing creatinine?
Creatinine is one of the easiest available tests for checking kidney health. It is widely used to determine how well the kidney is functioning and to check for signs of any kidney disease. It is primarily tested to make a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease and its monitoring. Creatinine testing is also used when a patient is starting on a new medication or on certain medications which can influence kidney health. Furthermore, it is also used for monitoring patients who have undergone a kidney transplant and as screening test in certain conditions which pose high risk of development of chronic kidney disease like diabetes mellitus, hypertension and chronic heart disease.
There are various other ways of determining kidney function but some of these are very cumbersome and may take time to determine the value. On the other hand, Creatinine test is easy to perform. In summary, while creatinine may not provide a precise measurement of kidney function, it is a straightforward tool for monitoring kidney health and detecting potential kidney problems.
When a person has high levels of creatinine, it could be indicative of kidney disease. Although many a times this may not show any symptoms patient can experience symptoms such as swelling in the legs, breathlessness, fatigue, itching, reduced sleep at night, nausea or vomiting. These symptoms can occur in both acute and chronic kidney disease cases. It's essential to note that the common mistake by most patients is to expect certain symptoms, like abdominal pain or passing blood in the urine, which may not happen in most cases related chronic kidney disease apart from few specific conditions.
Kidney disease can be acute or chronic in nature. It is generally accepted that acute kidney injury is reversable and the treatment will be directed in most instance to treat the primary problem. For example, if a patient is suffering from infection and dehydration, kidney failure can set in fairly quickly. In such a case, treating the infection and simple hydration measures might be sufficient to correct the kidney injury.
However, in a patient with chronic kidney disease, treatment is primarily focused on preserving the left over kidney function and treating the patient predictable side effects due to chronic kidney disease itself. The appropriate treatment for high levels of creatinine will depend on the phase of the disease. If you have concerns about your kidney health, it's best to consult a nephrologist who can evaluate the problem and recommend the best course of treatment.
Tips for a healthy kidney
To maintain healthy kidneys, it is essential to follow general steps for healthy living. These steps are similar to those recommended for preventing other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. For patients with diabetes or hypertension, it is essential to manage these conditions properly by seeking advice from the right specialist and adhering to appropriate treatments. This approach can help prevent the onset of kidney disease.
Here are a few tips
1. Healthy diet: Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for kidney health. A diet rich in green vegetables and fruits, low in salt and fat can help to promote overall health and support kidney function.
2. Hydration: It is important to drink around 1.5 to 2 liters of water every day. If the individual can manage their fluid status well then onset of kidney disease can be delayed. If the patient already has advanced chronic kidney disease or heart disease, then we would suggest consulting with a nephrologist because too much fluid in this state might not be good for the patient.
3. Physical activity: Engaging in physical activities is essential to promote blood flow and circulation. Long periods of exercise are not compulsory; simply remaining active and physically engaged throughout the day can be beneficial.
4. Avoid smoking and alcohol: Smoking is an independent risk factor for many diseases, including heart disease, kidney disease, and cancers. Therefore, quitting smoking is highly recommended. Excessive drinking can be harmful.
5. Avoiding over the counter medicine like pain killers
(Dr. Vinod S Dibbur, Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant Physician, SPARSH Hospital)
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