What to do if creatinine in the blood is elevated
Everything will depend on the reasons. But to do without a doctor is unlikely to succeed.
What is creatinine
Creatinine is a substance produced in the muscles after producing energy. During work, muscle tissue is destroyed, creatinine enters the bloodstream, and then it is filtered by the kidneys and excreted as waste in the urine.
Why can creatinine be elevated in the blood?
There may be several reasons.
Certain eating habits or lifestyle habits increase creatinine levels. So, it will be more for those who train intensively (after all, loads accelerate metabolism, muscle growth, and breakdown) and those who love meat (because meat is a muscle that also contains creatinine).
And the percentage of creatinine will increase if you do not drink enough water, although its absolute amount will remain the same. It’s just that against the background of thicker concentrated blood, many indicators seem overestimated.
What to do
Do not eat at least 12 hours before the analysis, do not abuse barbecue, exercise the day before, and drink enough. For half an hour, eliminate physical and emotional stress.
Taking certain medications
Usually, creatinine rises due to drugs interfering with absorption and excretion or damaging the kidneys or muscles. It:
- mercury compounds;
- antibiotics such as aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, tetracyclines, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole;
- antiulcer agents such as cimetidine;
- vitamin D;
- antirheumatic drugs, such as leflunomide;
- some chemotherapy drugs;
- propofol and others.
What to do
When doctors prescribe medications that could theoretically affect muscles or kidneys, they usually recommend monitoring blood counts and periodically getting tested. So with changes in the analysis, you need to go to your doctor. If suddenly the analysis was prescribed for another reason, and creatinine is suddenly elevated there, just in case, report all the medications you take.
As we have said, the kidneys filter creatinine from the blood and excrete it in the urine. Therefore, as soon as something in their work is disturbed, the level of creatinine changes. It can be increased in any diseases of the excretory organs: acute and chronic renal failure, amyloidosis (a condition when a special amyloid protein replaces organ tissue), bacterial pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis (a disease in which blood vessels are damaged) and many others.
What to do
An additional examination is needed to rule out kidney disease. Increased creatinine only sometimes means that the kidneys perform poorly as a filter. Its amount depends on age, race, gender, and other parameters, so it is best to evaluate the kidneys with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) calculator. It is available on the Internet in medical applications and programs for doctors. This indicator is more accurate because it considers more characteristics of a particular person.
The more intensively the muscles are destroyed, the more creatinine enters the bloodstream. Therefore, if a person begins to have myositis (inflammation) or rhabdomyolysis (destruction) of the muscles, the creatinine level rises. Because many muscle breakdown products immediately enter the bloodstream, the kidneys are overloaded and suffer. In mild cases, changes will only be in the analysis. In serious cases, this will be manifested by muscle pain, weakness, and darkening of the urine.
What to do
Treatment will depend on the reasons why the muscles are affected. Sometimes it’s an infection, and sometimes it’s an autoimmune process. Therefore, the doctor must first make a diagnosis.
Shock is the body’s response to extreme injury. There are different types of shock depending on the cause. For example, with the loss of a large blood volume, hypovolemia occurs, with a sudden heart disruption, cardiogenic disruption, and so on. The body throws all its strength into the blood supply to the brain and heart, and the rest of the parts begin to starve. Therefore, the ability of the kidneys to filter urine is reduced, and muscles can break down. This increases the level of creatinine in the blood.
What to do
Shock is always a life-threatening condition. He is usually treated in intensive care. Treatment regimens will vary depending on the cause, but the main goal is to prevent organ failure and death.
Diseases of the cardiovascular system
Examples of these are myocardial infarction, myocarditis, and cardiogenic shock. Creatinine can increase both due to the destruction of the heart muscle and the development of shock, which can be with a massive heart attack, thrombosis, and other emergencies.
What to do
In case of a heart attack, it is necessary to restore blood circulation in clogged vessels as soon as possible. To do this, you can insert a stent or dissolve the clot with medication.
Myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle – is more difficult to notice because it is not so acute, but because of it, irreversible changes in the myocardium can develop. Because of them, the heart can no longer work normally. By the way, this is one of the reasons to get a flu shot since myocarditis is one of the complications.
The endocrine system regulates the work of the whole organism with the help of produced substances. For example, if the thyroid gland does not work effectively enough, the kidneys shrink, the vessels narrow, the absorption of ions worsens, and the receptors become less sensitive. All this does not allow the kidneys to remove creatinine efficiently, and its level rises. With severe hypothyroidism, muscle diseases develop, their destruction begins, and therefore, even more creatinine enters the bloodstream. But treatment helps to bring the indicators back to normal.
Problems can also be with an excess of growth hormone, which occurs with acromegaly and gigantism and leads, among other things, to an increase in the kidneys. The grown organs begin to work not better but worse because the kidney tissue is replaced by a denser one.
The hormone insulin does not directly affect the kidneys, but it regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. In a person with diabetes, small blood vessels throughout the body are damaged. In the kidneys, this leads to a violation of filtration, so the amount of creatinine will increase.
What to do
If you suspect an endocrine disease, you need to contact a therapist who will refer you to an endocrinologist. It will help keep hormone levels under control. In hypothyroidism, additional thyroxine is usually prescribed. With acromegaly and gigantism, the cause is most often in the tumor, so they try to remove it. And patients with diabetes control the amount of sugar with insulin and hypoglycemic drugs.