What is Creatinine?
Creatinine is a chemical waste that the body produces when muscles are brought into action. Since it is a waste, kidneys excrete it through the blood and urine. But if you have a nephrological problem, your kidneys may have difficulty expelling this waste. So, higher than normal creatinine levels can be a telltale sign of an underlying kidney disorder.
That said, high creatinine levels may also result from a high-protein diet, intense workouts, and certain supplements. For instance, supplements taken by athletes to enhance their muscle performance might also result in increased creatinine levels, although it is temporary.
What is an Abnormal Creatinine Level?
Normal creatinine levels indicate healthy kidney function. However, abnormal levels for an extended period may indicate that your kidneys are not functioning well. According to healthcare providers, creatinine level  above 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in males and 1.0 mg/dL in females is considered abnormal.
A high creatinine level is not a problem but indicates other underlying health conditions, such as chronic kidney disease. Test yourself to analyse whether you have a good creatinine level or are at risk of kidney disease.
Some of the key signs of higher-than-normal creatinine levels include:
- High fever
- Chest Pain
- Muscle Cramps
- High blood pressure
- Changes in urination frequency and appearance
- Swelling due to fluid retention
Watching out for these symptoms can help you seek on-time interventions to reduce creatinine levels. However, suppose you are wondering how to reduce serum creatinine. In that case, you can opt for natural ways, home remedies and lifestyle changes based on the root cause of your high creatinine levels.
Causes of High Creatinine Levels
Elevated creatinine may manifest as a result of:
- Intense physical workout
- Protein-rich diet
- Kidney infection or blocked urinary tract
- Kidney failure
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- High blood pressure
- Certain supplements or medicines
By understanding these causes, your healthcare provider can recommend foods to reduce creatinine levels and other time-tested home remedies.
Home Remedies for Lowering Creatinine Levels
If you are wondering how to reduce creatinine levels, consult your doctor immediately. Your healthcare provider will rule out the underlying cause and develop a proper treatment plan to address any medical issues. Along with medicines, your healthcare provider may also suggest lifestyle changes or home remedies to reduce creatinine.
Some of the key home remedies for lowering creatinine levels include:
Consume fibre-rich diet
Suppose a high creatinine level is linked to chronic kidney disease. In that case, you may take a fibre-rich diet to reduce creatinine levels and improve kidney function . Many studies have found low creatinine levels in people who consume fibre-rich diets. Fibre aids in digestion. A study revealed that the consumption of foods enriched with additional fiber led to a notable 10.6% reduction in the average concentration of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and a decline in serum creatinine levels .
Elevating your fiber intake may lead to symptoms such as gas, bloating, and cramps. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a dietitian to discuss a gradual increase in fiber while also making appropriate adjustments to fluid intake.
You may get fibre from foods like legumes, whole grains, legumes, pulses, etc. Healthcare providers recommend eating these fibre foods to lower creatinine levels.
Reduce your protein intake
Eating a protein-rich diet can be potentially damaging to your kidneys . The waste generated has to be eliminated by the kidneys, decreasing its functionality over time. Red meat mainly affects creatinine because it has creatine, which converts to creatinine on heating. People who have abnormal creatinine levels are suggested to check their diet, including the dairy products they consume. Consuming excessive protein, particularly from animal sources and processed meats, places additional strain on the kidneys as they must work harder to eliminate creatinine. 
You may use vegetable sources instead, such as lentil soup, soya, etc., as foods to lower creatinine levels.
Did you know:
- People with poor kidney function should limit their daily protein intake to 45 grams, while those with moderate kidney function can have up to 60 grams of protein a day 
- Individuals diagnosed with CKD or kidney failure should adhere to a protein-restricted diet. Opting for lean protein sources like chicken and fish is preferable to fattier cuts for those with kidney disease. However, it is essential to reduce overall protein intake. Additionally, plant-based protein sources like tofu, beans, tempeh, lentils, and quinoa are highly recommended.
Dehydration can also result in elevated creatinine levels. In many people with reduced kidney function, dehydration is the leading cause. Talk with your healthcare provider to know how much water you should drink daily for better kidney function and how to reduce creatinine levels by monitoring your water consumption habits.
Did you know:
- Drinking enough water can help prevent kidney stones, which can cause high creatinine levels 
- Hydrating with water can aid in the elimination of surplus creatinine from the body.
Lower your salt intake
This is a potential home remedy to reduce creatinine levels. Sodium or salt-rich diets can shoot up blood pressure . For those who don't know, high blood pressure affects the arteries around the kidneys, hardening or weakening them. So avoid foods that may lead to high blood pressure. Processed or canned food is particularly rich in salt and sodium to increase its shelf-life. Avoid these foods and switch to fresh fruits and vegetables to reduce creatinine levels.
Did you know:
- In place of salt, a person could use spices and herbs to enhance the flavor of their meals 
Smoking cigarettes can increase your risk of kidney damage. The toxins cigarettes produce are hard to process by the kidneys, reducing their function. Over time, your kidney may not perform well, leading to high creatinine levels. Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of abnormal creatinine levels due to decreased kidney function.
Did you know:
In men, creatinine clearance appears to be slightly elevated among current smokers, even when assessing normotensive and hypertensive individuals separately. However, this difference is modest, particularly in women. 
Limit your alcohol consumption
Alcohol wears off your kidney function. Many studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption may help decrease the risk of kidney disease. Other studies have shown that binge alcohol consumption may potentially damage the kidneys. Excess alcohol consumption can also lead to conditions like hypertension and chronic kidney disease. If you consume alcohol, you may talk to your healthcare provider about the ways to bring it down.
Avoid creatine supplements
Creatine is normally made in the liver. It is transported to the muscles to be used as energy. When we do strenuous exercise or bring our muscles to action, creatine is used and converted into creatinine. If you take creatine supplements , as some athletes do, the creatinine levels may rise even more. So, to reduce creatinine levels, you should avoid taking such supplements.
Avoid overusing NSAIDs
Over-the-counter painkillers may put your kidneys at risk of losing function. Taking too many NSAIDs, such as painkillers or antibiotics, especially if you have impaired kidney function , can lead to high creatinine levels. You may talk to your doctor about the right dosage for pain relief. Avoid NSAIDs as much as possible.
Leveraging these home remedies to reduce creatinine levels can help you achieve a good creatinine level for your holistic well-being.
Foods You Should Eat to Reduce Creatinine Levels
Diet plays a significant role in managing creatinine levels and supporting overall kidney health. If you're looking to lower your creatinine levels naturally through dietary choices, consider incorporating the following foods into your meals:
List of vegetables to reduce creatinine levels:-
- Cucumber : low in potassium and rich in antioxidants
- Bitter Gourd: rich in antioxidants
- Red Bell Pepper: It is low in potassium and high in fiber
- Onions: contain sulfur compounds that help reduce high creatinine levels, also are great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
- Green leafy vegetables: Cauliflower, Cabbage and lettuce
Did you know:
- It's crucial to be aware that specific vegetables, including leafy greens, broccoli, bananas, potatoes, oranges, and apricots, are rich in potassium and may need to be restricted or excluded from your diet if you have elevated creatinine levels. Furthermore, a diet high in protein can lead to elevated creatinine levels. Therefore, reducing protein intake is a primary step to address elevated creatinine levels. 
List of fruits to reduce creatinine level:-
- Cranberries: contain detoxifying compounds like antioxidants and phytochemicals, such as proanthocyanidins
- Blueberries: rich in antioxidants
- Kiwi: is a great source of vitamin C and fiber
- Apples: Apples are a great source of antioxidants and fiber, and are low in potassium and phosphorus
- Pineapple: Bromelain reduces kidney swelling, and antioxidants may lower creatinine
- Strawberries: rich in polyphenols, also a great source of vitamin C and fiber
- Avocado: great source of healthy fats and fiber, and is low in potassium
- Grapes: Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, grapes are known to lower creatinine levels, with red grapes being highly recommended for those with elevated creatinine.
These foods to reduce creatinine levels can help you lead a holistic and healthy lifestyle.
Foods You Should Avoid to Lower Creatinine Levels
- Canned foods
- Processed meats, foods, hot dogs, bacon, and sausage.
- Pickle foods
- Milk and dairy
- Pretzels, chips, and crackers
Understanding Creatinine Blood Test and Kidney Function Test
In addition to adopting these home remedies, monitoring your creatinine levels is crucial. A creatinine blood test is a common diagnostic tool used to measure the concentration of creatinine in the blood. Normal creatinine levels are indicative of healthy kidney function, while elevated levels can be a red flag for potential kidney problems. Regular at-home blood tests can help detect kidney issues early.
For a more comprehensive assessment of kidney function, consider a KFT blood test that evaluates various factors, including creatinine levels and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Abnormal results may prompt further investigation to determine the root cause of kidney dysfunction.
Remember, staying informed about your creatinine levels and working with your healthcare provider to address any concerns is a proactive step towards maintaining good kidney health and overall well-being.
A Note From HealthcareOnTime
Abnormal creatinine levels may indicate some serious health concerns. Still, sometimes, temporary creatinine levels may also result from lifestyle changes or conditions. Talk to your doctor about the cause of elevated creatinine levels and how you can address it. The above-mentioned home remedies to reduce creatinine levels are also beneficial.
The information listed here is strictly for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. Do consult your physician for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. It's not advised to disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information listed here. The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products.