Creatine is a substance found in muscles and its main function is to nourish them and fill them with energy . When creatine breaks down, due to the natural metabolism of the muscles, it is transformed into creatinine, a substance that is often produced by the body and that is filtered by the kidneys and released through the urine .
The level of creatinine in the body can be measured through a blood or urine test, and such a test is the most effective way to monitor kidney function. Therefore, high creatinine values could be related to kidney malfunction, while low values are associated with loss of muscle mass, among other conditions.
The production of creatinine depends exclusively on any variation in the muscle mass of each person, however, experts assure that the levels of this substance in the body do not vary frequently, so the values of a creatinine test should remain stable for long periods of time.
When we talk about abnormal creatinine values, high values are usually more frequent than low ones due to its relationship with kidney disease, but: what happens when there is not enough creatinine in the body? Are our muscles in danger? Find all the answers to these questions in this eHealth article on Low Creatinine : Causes and Risks.
Creatinine blood test: normal values
Creatinine is usually measured through a blood test . Given that women tend to have less muscle mass than men, creatinine levels in females tend to be lower. The values of a creatinine test can also vary according to the ranges of the clinical laboratory that prepares the analysis and the size of the person. That said, normal creatinine values are:
- For women : between 0.6 and 1.1 mg / dL.
- For men : between 0.7 and 1.3 mg / dL.
When the values of a creatinine test are below or above the reference levels mentioned above they are considered abnormal . In this case, it is important to see your GP to analyze the results and provide the steps to follow to discover the cause of the deficit or excess of creatinine in the blood .
Causes of low creatinine
In most cases, having low creatinine is not an alarming health problem , nor is it considered a disease. A person can present low cratinin for certain periods and then regulate the values of this substance without causing any negative consequences to the body. The causes of low blood creatinine are:
- Loss of muscle mass : the most frequent reason why the production of creatinine in the body decreases is the loss of muscle mass due to aging or a significant and sudden weight loss. Many people who lose weight due to gastroenteritis may have low creatinine after recovering from the disease. It can also lower creatinine in people who have undergone bariatric surgeries with the goal of losing weight. In any of these cases, this decrease does not represent a major problem.
- Muscular dystrophy : Among the conditions associated with low creatinine, muscular dystrophy stands out, an inherited disorder characterized by reducing muscle mass and causing chronic weakness in the muscles. In view of the fact that this disease is progressive, the more loss of muscle mass the individual experiences, the lower the production of creatinine in the body. There are at least 6 types of muscular dystrophy and depending on which the person suffers, the health of their muscles can be more or less compromised.
- Myasthenia gravis : It is an autoimmune and neuromuscular disease in which the immune system, by mistake, produces antibodies that attack muscle cells and prevent them from receiving messages from nerve cells. This condition, which can occur at any age and is more common in women than in men, results in loss of muscle mass and, therefore, those who suffer from it tend to have low creatinine.
- Unbalanced diet : diet plays a fundamental role in the health of the entire body. Eating a low-protein diet can directly affect creatinine levels by causing them to decrease. Proteins are vital for the health and nutrition of the muscles, therefore, doing without them affects your metabolism.
- Pregnancy : pregnancy represents many changes in the woman’s body, among which we find that a large part of the nutrients that she consumes are shared with the baby. If due to this the woman becomes nutritionally deficient during pregnancy, it is common for her creatinine production to decrease.
Is low creatinine a risk?
Presenting low values of creatinine does not represent any major risk to health, in fact, it is common for the elderly to produce less of this substance due to the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs with aging and also due to lack of physical activity.
However, it is important to visit our GP every time we receive an abnormal result in our blood tests, so if you have low cretinin it is best to make an appointment with your doctor to find the cause and receive the correct treatment.
Recommendations and Treatment if you have low creatinine
If you have low creatinine and you want to normalize the values of this substance in the body, we offer you the following tips that, together with the treatment offered by your doctor, will help you improve this condition:
- Increase the intake of anima protein in your daily diet. We recommend opting for healthy proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs, shellfish, turkey, pork, and dairy.
- Eating foods rich in potassium is also helpful for people with low creatinine. You can find potassium in oranges, watercress, nuts, bananas, spinach, celery, and potatoes.
- Proper hydration is vital for muscle health and helps treat low creatinine. Remember that the ideal is to drink at least 2 liters of water a day . If you exercise, you should drink up to 3 liters.
If you have low creatinine it is important that you do not neglect this condition and perform a blood test periodically to evaluate the levels of this substance in the body.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.