Creatinine, values ​​and functions

Creatinine, values ​​and functions

How often do we read the term “creatinine” and the related parameterized values ​​on the analysis reports. But perhaps it is not clear in everyday language what creatinine is and above all what functions it performs and what information it provides regarding health.


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  • Creatinine, what is it
  • Creatinine, reference values
  • Why measure creatinine
  • Creatinine, how to detect it
  • High creatinine, remedies

Creatinine, what is it

Creatinine is a waste product deriving from the metabolism of phosphocreatine, a protein essential for the production of energy functional to muscle activity , in fact it is found in the musculoskeletal system and in the heart . 

Chemically it happens that while a portion of creatine is absorbed by the muscles, a part is instead degraded (creatinine) and released into the blood to be then eliminated, filtered by the kidneys, through the urine. 

The amount of creatinine processed in the body is functional to the build and muscle mass of the individual, therefore very different for children, men and women .

Creatinine, reference values

The creatinine values that represent the indicator parameters of the degree of renal function can be segmented by sex and age , since as mentioned they are proportional to body mass. The more specific ranges indicate:  


  • age 1-2 years 0.1-0.4 mg / dl
  • age 3-4 years 0.1-0.5 mg / dl
  • age 5-9 years 0.2-0.6 mg / dl
  • age 10-11 years 0.3-0.7 mg / dl
  • age 12-13 years 0.4-0.8 mg / dl
  • age 14-15 years 0.5-0.9 mg / dl
  • adults 0.8-1.3 mg / dl


  • age 1-3 years 0.1-0.4 mg / dl
  • age 4-5 years 0.2-0.5 mg / dl
  • age 6-8 years 0.3-0.6 mg / dl
  • age 9-15 years 0.4-0.7 mg / dl
  • adults 0.6-1.1 mg / dl

There are also further parameters related to body weight , should more specific problems arise related to overweight or particularly lean constitutions.

Why measure creatinine

What can be deduced from this indicator? As already mentioned the creatine catabolite, so creatinine is eliminated entirely through
the urine. If after laboratory investigations creatinine values ​​differing from the indicated parameters are ascertained, it means that there may be renal dysfunctions , filtering insufficiencies, or dietary imbalances, with excessive consumption of meat or animal proteins in general.

Taking certain medications such as pain relievers , life- saving cardiocirculatory and cancer therapies can also alter creatinine levels.

High creatinine values ​​must always be carefully investigated as they could be the signal of other pathologies in addition to renal dysfunction:
problems such as hypertension , diabetes , uremia and nephritis, dehydration and gout cause the increase in creatinine levels in the blood. But also very serious pathologies such as endocarditis, myeloma,  lupus , hyperthyroidism can be signaled by this value.

When the levels of this catabolite are high compared to the parameters, some symptoms may occur such as  dry skin and persistent itching, dehydration, fatigue , difficulty concentrating, inappetence, edema in the lower limbs and around the eyes, difficulty breathing, muscle cramps .

Creatinine, how to detect it

Creatinine can be measured in three ways:

  • blood tests
  • urine tests
  • creatinine clearance: performed on a urine sample, and measures the amount of blood purified in a unit of time by the kidney. 24-hour urine is then collected and creatinuria (urine creatine concentration) and serum creatinine (plasma creatinine concentration) evaluated.

High creatinine, remedies

To correct the creatinine indices if concomitant pathologies do not occur, it is necessary to change some eating habits :

  • drink a lot of water
  • reduce the consumption of red meats and dairy products
  • reduce the consumption of salt
  • moderate the consumption of cucurbinaceae, especially pumpkins and courgettes
  • moderate the consumption of fish and shellfish
  • reduce excessive physical training
Values ​​of creatinine

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