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A creatinine test analyses how efficiently your kidneys are performing their job of removing waste from your blood. Creatinine is a natural waste product that is present in blood and urine.
Abnormally high levels of creatinine indicate a possible malfunction, damage, or failure of the kidneys. If a urine or blood test shows that a person has a high creatinine level, the doctor may recommend further tests to identify the cause.
Creatinine values can be naturally decreased by changing diet and lifestyle to reduce protein intake. If the values are still high, then the doctor will recommend a treatment plan.
The other names are Serum Creatinine and S.Creatinine.
There is only one parameter.
Creatinine blood test analyses the level of creatinine in the blood. Creatinine is a waste bi-product that forms when creatine, which is found in the muscles, breaks down. These creatinine levels in the blood can provide the doctor with information about how well the kidneys are working.
Kidney has millions of small blood-filtering units that are called nephrons. These nephrons constantly filter blood through a very small and tiny cluster of blood vessels known as glomeruli. This type of structure filters the waste products, excess water, and other impurities out of the blood. There are toxins stored in the bladder and then they are removed during urination.
Creatinine is the main component of the substances that the kidneys normally remove from the body. The doctors monitor the level of creatinine in the blood to check the kidney functions. High value of creatinine might indicate that your kidney is damaged and is not working properly.
Usually, the creatinine blood tests are done along with several other laboratory test parameters, including a blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test and a basic metabolic panel (BMP) or comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP). These tests are performed during routine and physical exams to help diagnose certain diseases and to check for any problems with kidney function.
Female: 0.5-1.1 mg/dL
This creatinine test is a routinely prescribed test when your active symptoms or overall health history reflect an elevated risk of kidney problems.
A creatinine test may be part of the diagnostic process if you have any symptoms that could be caused by an underlying problem that is affecting your kidneys.
If you don’t have any symptoms, your doctor can still suggest a creatinine test to screen for kidney problems if you have an increased risk of kidney disease. Some risk factors for kidney disease include:
A family history of kidney problems
High blood pressure
If you take any medication that may disrupt kidney function, you can receive periodic creatinine testing to check for any side effects.
Creatinine testing can also be used to check kidney health if you have had an abnormal kidney function test before or if you have already been diagnosed with kidney disease. A creatinine test can be taken as a part of the basic or comprehensive metabolic panel during regular health checkups. Although there might be small evidence showing the benefits of this kind of screening in otherwise healthy people, some doctors may prescribe these panels during routine patient care.
Since this is a very simple test, there is no preparation required for it, and fasting is not required.
This test requires a blood sample.
The healthcare provider, who is called a phlebotomist, usually performs blood draws, including those for creatinine tests, but any healthcare provider trained in drawing blood can perform this task. The samples are sent to a lab where a medical laboratory scientist prepares the samples and performs the tests on analysers or manually.
You may expect to experience the following during the blood test or a blood draw:
You have to sit comfortably on the chair, and a healthcare provider will check your arms for an easily accessible vein. This is the inner part of your arm on the other side of your elbow.
Once the vein is located, they will clean and disinfect the area with an alcohol swab.
They will insert a needle into your vein to draw a blood sample. You may feel a small pinch.
After they insert the needle, the required amount of blood will be collected in a test tube.
When they have collected enough blood for the test, they’ll remove the needle and hold a cotton ball or gauze on the site to stop any bleeding.
They will apply a band-aid over the pricked site, and the blood collection is finished.
This process takes less than five minutes.
Once the healthcare provider has collected the blood sample, it will be sent to the laboratory for testing. Once the reports are ready, your healthcare provider will share the results with you.
These blood tests are common and don’t carry any significant risks. You might have a slight pain like an ant bite when the needle gets inserted, and a small bruise may develop there.
These test reports are available via email or WhatsApp within 6 hours of the collection of the blood sample.
Creatinine tests are generally done as a way of assessing kidney function. Under normal circumstances, creatinine values are stable and reflect the typical muscle activity and the filtering and removal of the creatinine from the bloodstream.
There is no single normal range for all of the creatinine tests or for all people. These measurements can vary from lab to lab, so it is important to look carefully at the test report to see the listed reference range for the lab that is conducting the test.
This reference range for creatinine also depends on whether it has been analysed in the blood or urine. The American Board of Internal Medicine has listed the following reference ranges for blood and urine creatinine:
Blood Creatinine: 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for males and 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL for females.
Urine Creatinine: 15-25 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) per 24 hours
When creatinine values increase to abnormal levels, it can be an indication that the kidneys are not functioning properly and not filtering the blood properly. These creatinine levels can be used to calculate the estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR), which is a way of assessing kidney function. Elevated creatinine may also be linked to dehydration, diseases that can cause muscle problems, and some complications during pregnancy.
If creatinine values are lower than expected, it can be a sign of malnutrition or conditions that provoke the loss of muscle mass.
Normal creatinine levels will not guarantee the health of the kidneys. Moderate kidney impairment can not cause creatinine to increase to abnormal levels, so creatinine tests cannot identify some cases of early kidney disease.
There are a number of individual factors, such as age, diet, and muscle mass, that can affect creatinine levels, so it is important to remember that your test should be interpreted with the help of the doctor in the context of your specific situation. This interpretation will also depend on why the test was recommended and whether you have any symptoms.
When the creatinine test is analysed in a panel of tests, it can be interpreted in conjunction with other test findings. For example, the level of creatinine is related to the blood urea nitrogen (BUN), another waste product, which may provide useful information for the doctor about the cause of kidney issues.
Male:0.6 - 1.2
Female: 0.5 - 1.1
Normal ranges can vary slightly among different laboratories. Usually, some labs use different measurements or might test different samples. Speak to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Creatinine Test
A creatinine test analyses how well your kidneys are working. The kidney's job is to filter out waste from your blood. Creatinine is a chemical compound left over from energy-producing in your muscles. Healthy kidneys will filter creatinine out of the blood. It is filtered out in the form of urine.
A normal creatinine test result is 0.66 - 1.25 mg/dl for men and for women it is 0.52 - 1.04 mg/dl. Usually, women have a lower creatinine value than men.
The first signs of kidney problems are
You are more tired and have less energy
Trouble in sleeping
Feel like the need to urinate more often
You see blood in your urine
Swollen ankles and feet
Experiencing persistent puffiness around eyes
A creatinine value is defined as anything over 1.8 mg/dL considered high.