Creatinine is an excretory product formed from muscles and filtered out through kidneys and passed out in urine. The normal level of blood creatinine is 0.6 to 1.2 milligram per 100 ml of blood.
When the kidneys do not function properly, the blood creatinine level rises. Patients with diabetes or hypertension have greater chance of kidney damage. Many drugs are likely to induce kidney damage. These include antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, vancomycin: analgesics like acetomorphin, aspirin, ibuprofen: antiviral drugs like acyclovir: proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole and pantoprazole: arthritis drug like infliximab; anticonvulsant like phenytoin and chemotherapy drugs used during cancer treatment. This is recommended that a patients with progressive kidney damage must avoid using the above class of drugs.
When the creatinine level rises above 10mg/dl, dialysis is recommended. The main symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath, confusion and dehydration. Serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen tests are done during routine health check up. Nephrologists use these test to know about the kidney health and the assess the gradual progression of kidney disease, if any. However, the serum creatinine level may rise temporarily if the body is dehydrated, there is less volume of blood or the person eats large amount of meat or due to some medication.
If kidney damage is indicated, blood pressure must be under control to prevent further damage. The patient can be put on low protein diet to reduce load upon kidneys. This is not possible to reverse the already damaged kidney, but to prevent further loss is of course possible through medication and diet control.
Physical exercise and balanced diet are found to be very helpful in control of hypertension and in turn, prevention of further kidney damage.
This is suggested that all adult above 35 years of age must get serum creatinine level checked at least once every two years, as sometimes the kidney damage progresses silently and the symptoms appear at very advanced stage where the damage is no longer controllable and proves fatal.