Generated through our muscle metabolism, creatinine is a chemical waste molecule produced from creatine. Roughly two percent of the creatine in our bodies converts to creatinine every day, which transports to the kidneys through our bloodstream. Most of this creatinine is filtered by the kidneys and removed through our urine. Due to the relatively infrequent changes of muscle mass in our bodies on a daily basis, creatinine production remains unchanged most days, thanks to our kidneys. This makes the body’s creatinine levels a reliable way of identifying proper kidney function. High creatinine levels may highlight kidney disease or impaired kidney functions.
Factors that Contribute to High Creatinine Levels
When discussing how to lower creatinine levels fast, it is important to know what factors lead to higher creatinine levels. These factors include dehydration, medications such as ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, chemotherapy drugs, excessive exercise, kidney disease, high blood pressure, thyroid issues and excessive blood loss. Increased muscle building, taking creatine as a dietary supplement and eating increased amounts of red meat also result in higher creatinine levels.
Some symptoms that may result from higher creatinine levels are nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, tiredness, frequent urination at night, a darker color in the urine, itchy skin and difficulty breathing.
How to Lower Creatinine Levels Fast
If you are concerned about the creatinine levels in your body, here is a look at 7 ways to lower creatinine levels fast.
1. Drink Lots of Water
As dehydration increases in our bodies, creatinine levels begin to increase. Luckily, there is an easy way to prevent this from happening: drink more water. It is recommended that individuals drink between 8 to 10 classes of water every day. The best way to ensure you reach the daily recommended level is by drinking a few glasses of water in the morning, and one glass before going to bed at night. Drinking more water means more urination, which means more creatinine released from your body.
2. Limit Sodium Intake
Sodium is responsible for the body retaining more water, which leads to less frequent urination and higher creatinine levels in the body. It is advisable to stay away from foods with excessive sodium, such as fatty foods, fast foods and heavily processed items. It is also a good idea to limit the amount of salt you add to already prepared meals at lunch or dinner table.
3. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Long term control over the body’s creatinine levels is best accomplished by a healthy diet. Add lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, replace white grains with whole wheat, and include barley and oats in your daily diet. Instead of focusing on red meats for protein, turn to other foods, such as lettuce, cabbage, carrots, sprouts, radishes, cauliflower, cucumbers, turnips and cranberries.
It is also important to avoid foods with too many refined sugars. Make an effort to limit your intake of alcoholic beverages, coffee and sodas. Try to replace these beverages with water, fresh fruit juices, aloe vera juice or coconut water. Herbs such as dandelion, salvia, ginseng and cinnamon are also said to help control the body’s creatinine levels.
Foods to Avoid:
- Foods with High Protein: Individuals with kidney disease are instructed to follow a low-protein diet, due to the excessive renal burden protein places on the body. Beans, fish, milk, eggs, lean meats and red meats all contain high levels of protein and their intake should be limited.
- Meat Intake: The more meat we put into our bodies, the higher our creatinine levels become. Unless you are planning on gaining pounds of muscle every week, it is not advisable to eat so much meat.
- Foods with High Potassium and Phosphorus: If someone has a kidney disease, their potassium and phosphorus levels in the body are likely higher than normal. For this reason, avoiding foods that contain excessive potassium (avocados, cocoa powder, chocolates, prunes, nuts) and phosphorus (bran, pumpkin seeds, cheese, sesame seeds, tahini, bacon, nuts) to help lower our creatinine levels.
4. Avoid Vandium and Creatine Supplements
It is common for athletes and bodybuilders to consume high levels of creatine supplements when they are attempting to gain muscle mass. However, supplying extra creatine to the body is potentially dangerous, as it increases the pressure on our kidneys and may cause heart problems or muscle cramps. If you are worried about how to lower creatinine levels fast, stop taking creatine supplements immediately. In addition, the vanadium given to diabetics may also increase creatinine levels if taken excessively. While some people cannot avoid vanadium, it is important to limit the dosage.
5. Limit Strenuous Activities
When it comes to ways to lower creatinine levels fast, one tip everyone should follow is to limit strenuous exercises. When you exercise excessively, the body converts creatine into creatinine at higher levels. While it is important to exercise daily to remain in optimal shape, burning yourself out or over-training is not healthy.
6. Try Home Remedies
Home remedies that help lower the levels of creatinine in our bodies include chamomile tea, stinging nettle (adding dried nettle leaves to hot water), dandelion root tea, cinnamon, astralagus and ginseng. Astragalus refers to a traditional Chinese medicine that halts the progression of kidney disease in our bodies. It is a mild diuretic that lowers our creatinine levels and helps move fluids through the kidney. Astragalus is also good for our metabolism and digestion.
7. Use Medications
Medications such as diuretics, Ketosteril and calcium channel blockers also help with creatinine levels. Diuretics increase kidney output to help remove wastes from the body. However, it is important not to use diuretics excessively, with long-term use linked to higher creatinine levels. Ketosteril helps lower creatinine levels and potentially stalls the progress of chronic kidney disease. Calcium channel blockers work by expanding the blood vessels, which results in improved blood flow to the kidneys and lower creatinine levels.
There are plenty of other medications that help deal with elevated creatinine levels. It is important to speak with a doctor about your personal situation before starting any medication to lower creatinine levels.