Kidney 551


What is Creatinine?



Creatinine is a waste product normally produced in our muscles, excreted in urine and used in medicine to monitor and evaluate kidney function. Creatinine is born out of the breakdown of something called creatine phosphate, an energy reserve for the muscles, especially during high-intensity exercise.

Showing normal creatinine levels mean that your kidneys are well functioning and are not taking hits from factors that may overload the kidney function such as drugs, medications and certain medical conditions.

Since creatinine is filtered out of the blood by the kidneys to then be excreted in urine, it acts as an important biomarker to assess and monitor kidney function. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, filtration of waste products is not functioning properly, resulting in increased levels of creatinine levels in your blood.

There are therefore three main reasons to measure creatinine:

To diagnose and reveal kidney disease
To monitor and evaluate kidney function
To adjust dosages of medications eliminated or secreted by the kidneys

Measuring creatinine is most often part of a routine procedure in monitoring those conditions that may damage the kidneys if not treated right. The three most common conditions are:

Kidney disease
High blood pressure



High levels of Creatinine



High levels of creatinine indicates decreased kidney function, since malfunctioning kidneys fail to excrete creatinine in urine -> the levels of creatinine in blood build up.

Important note: There are several causes for increased creatinine levels that are not due to a loss in kidney function. Read more about it in what can increase levels of creatinine?



Low levels of Creatinine



Low levels of creatinine in blood most often has a low clinical significance. This implies that there is no need for concern.

If you show very low levels of creatinine, it can have to do with either very low levels of muscle mass, caused by malnutrition, immobilization or muscle disease, medications such as corticosteroids.

In less common cases, liver disease may result in low creatinine levels since the liver plays an important part in the metabolism of creatinine.