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Interpreting Results
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Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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What is Creatinine?

A creatinine test is a measure of how efficiently your kidneys are performing their job of removing waste from your blood. Creatinine is a natural waste product which is present in the blood and urine.

Abnormally high levels of creatinine warn a possible malfunction, damage or failure of the kidneys. If a blood or urine test shows that a person has high creatinine levels, the doctor may order further tests to identify the cause. Creatinine levels can be naturally decreased by changing diet, lifestyle and reducing protein intake. If the levels are still high, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan.

Why is Creatinine done?

  • To evaluate the normal functioning of kidneys

  • To diagnose kidney diseases

  • To monitor treatment for kidney diseases

  • As a part of the metabolic panel


What does Creatinine Measure?

Creatinine is a waste product which is produced by the muscles due to the breakdown of a compound called Creatine. During the cycle of energy production which is required to contract muscles, creatine is produced. Kidneys remove creatinine from the body by filtering it from the blood and then releasing it into the urine. This test measures the amount of creatinine in the blood.

The body produces creatine and creatinine at a relatively same rate. Since kidneys filter most of the creatinine from the blood and release it into the urine, the blood levels can be used as an indicator to know how well the kidneys are functioning. The amount of creatinine produced depends upon the size of the person as well as their muscle mass. That is why levels of creatinine are higher in men as compared to women and children.

Interpreting Creatinine results






         0.6 - 1.2 mg/dL


         0.5 - 1.1 mg/dL


Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Creatinine

Frequently Asked Questions about Creatinine

Q. What is a creatinine test used for?
A creatinine test is used to measure the levels of creatinine in the blood that helps determine how well your kidneys are functioning.
Q. Is there any risk associated with a creatinine test?
There is usually no risk associated with this test. However, some people may feel a slight sting while the needle is pricked and may experience some bleeding that is normal and usually not bothersome. Rarely some people may experience slight swelling or bruising at the site of the needle prick. Applying ice 3-4 times a day for about a week may help reduce swelling and bruising. If it does not get better, consult your doctor.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms of abnormal creatinine levels?
The signs and symptoms that might indicate abnormal creatinine levels include belly pain, pain in the middle back, foamy or bloody urine, painful urination, swollen feet and ankles, puffiness around the eyes, and fatigue (tiredness).
Q. What are the possible physiological causes of high creatinine levels?
High creatinine levels are usually caused due to dehydration, increased protein intake, intense exercise, red meat consumption, or when taking creatine supplements, which are usually taken by athletes to enhance performance.
Q. What do high creatinine levels indicate?
Always consult your doctor if you have high creatinine levels as they might be an indication of acute or chronic kidney failure, urinary tract obstruction, hypothyroidism, nephrotoxic drugs, shock, and congestive heart failure.
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