Knowing how to lower creatinine levels in the kidneys is very important.
The amino acids methionine, arginine, and glycine are processed in the kidneys to produce guanidinoacetic acid, which is then sent to the liver where it is converted to another amino acid called creatine. Creatinine is a waste byproduct of metabolizing creatine.
The production of natural creatine is a protein building block that is stored in your muscles and used as energy. When your kidneys are healthy, creatinine is safely removed from the body.
The aim of normal creatinine levels in the blood should range between 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL for men, and 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL for women. Men are thought to have higher creatinine levels because they have greater muscle mass.
Those with chronic kidney disease or kidney problems in general will have a buildup of creatinine in the blood.
Other factors that lead to higher creatinine levels include strenuous exercise, low water intake and dehydration, diabetes, hypertension, excessive blood loss, thyroid disorders, and taking certain medications like chemotherapy drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
How to Lower Creatinine Levels Naturally
To determine the health of the kidneys, certain tests may be ordered including a comprehensive metabolic panel. The test measures the function of your organs such as the kidneys by screening for creatinine in the blood. The doctor may also recommend a creatinine clearance test to measure creatinine levels in the urine. It’s normal for creatinine to be low in the blood, but high in the urine. However, this only measures creatinine levels from the past 24 hours.
Many people with kidney problems use dialysis, which is an artificial elimination of waste and unwanted water from the blood. Dialysis is used when the kidneys are damaged and can no longer function properly. The following is how to lower creatinine level without dialysis.
1. Avoid Strenuous Physical Activity
Continuous exercise can lead to high creatinine levels, and eventually kidney disease. Avoiding over-exercising reduces how much creatine your body breaks down into creatinine.
2. Avoid Creatine-Containing Supplements
Creatine is a supplement often used by athletes to increase performance, as it generates cellular energy for muscle contractions. Since creatinine is a byproduct of creatine, it follows that creatine supplements will increase a person’s creatinine levels and therefore should be avoided, especially if they already have a high creatinine level. Creatine monohydrate is only recommended for high-level athletes for a three- to six-month period.
3. Limit Vanadium Consumption
Vanadium is a mineral found in many multi mineral and vitamin supplements, and it’s mostly recommended for diabetes and blood sugar issues, however, excessive vanadium is also associated with higher creatinine levels in the blood.
4. Take Chitosan
Chitosan is considered a helpful nutrient for weight management, but it can also reduce creatinine levels in kidney disease patients. A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology in 1997 suggests that chitosan may be effective for kidney failure patients.
5. Use Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid is also great for anyone with kidney disease. Not only does it lower creatinine levels, but it helps improve kidney function and provides energy. It also neutralizes toxins to prevent them from damaging the kidneys.
Diet to Lower Creatinine Levels
What is the best diet for elevated creatinine? There various factors in a diet to lower creatinine levels, as certain foods will lower creatinine levels and others will increase them. Foods high in creatine are converted to creatinine, so it’s recommended to limit your animal protein intake since creatine is found in meat. A plant-based or vegetarian diet is further recommended, to reduce kidney disease risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Here’s how to lower creatinine levels through diet:
Foods to Eat
- Vegetables such as cucumbers or bitter gourds
- Foods rich in vitamin C such as berries, lemon juice, parsley, and cauliflower
- Fresh and organic fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies
- When you’re eating meat, it should be lean, organic, grass-fed, and free-range
Foods to Avoid or Limit
The kidneys may have a difficult time processing certain nutrients, especially if you have elevated creatinine levels.
- High-sodium foods such as processed foods with added salt
- High-potassium foods such as bananas, spinach, celery, and broccoli
- High-phosphorus foods such as pumpkin, fish, squash, nuts, pork, soybeans, shellfish, and cheese and other dairy products
Diet to Lower Creatine Levels
|Foods to Eat||Foods to Avoid or Limit|
|Certain vegetables such as
cucumbers and bitter gourds
|Limit sodium-rich foods, and stay
away from salty drinks and foods
such as canned soups or sauces
|Eat foods rich in vitamin C
such as berries, parsley,
cauliflower, lemon juice,
|Avoid phosphorus-rich foods such
as squash, pumpkin, shellfish, fish,
dairy products, pork, nuts, and
|Eat and drink fresh and
organic smoothies and
juices with vegetables and
|Limit potassium-rich foods such as
spinach, potatoes, beans, and
|Eat grass-fed, free-range,
organic, and lean meats
when eating protein
|Limit protein-rich foods such as red
meat and dairy products
|Increase your water intake
to eight to 10 glasses of
water (eight ounces each) daily
|Avoid creatine supplements|
Herbs to Lower Creatinine Levels
Want to know how to lower creatinine levels with herbs? The following are herbs (and one spice) to lower creatinine levels in blood naturally:
- Stinging nettle: Stinging nettle contains diuretic properties that help remove metabolic waste products. The herb will also purify the blood and boost the immune system.
- Salvia: Salvia may increase glomerular filtration rate. This helps facilitate creatinine elimination. The lithospermate B in salvia will also promote kidney function.
- Chamomile tea: Studies have found that chamomile tea can lower creatinine levels. To make the tea, steep two to three teaspoons of chamomile flowers in hot water for five minutes.
- Cinnamon: While not a herb, cinnamon is a good spice that can lower serum creatinine and improve kidney problems by promoting kidney filtration. Cinnamon can also prevent further kidney damage by regulating blood sugar levels.
- Dandelion root: Dandelion root is another natural diuretic that flushes out toxins and reduces creatinine levels. To make a dandelion root tea, steep a tablespoon of the herb in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes.
- Siberian ginseng: The eleutheroside compounds in Siberian ginseng are thought to effectively rid the body of excess creatinine by promoting kidney circulation.
- Astragalus: In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is used to slow the development of chronic kidney disease. It contains a diuretic compound called asparagine that reduces creatinine levels and eliminates fluid in the kidneys.
Making Lifestyle Changes
There are also certain changes you can make to your life that can help lower serum creatinine. Here is how to lower creatinine levels in urine with lifestyle changes:
- Increase fluid intake: Dehydration can also increase creatinine levels. When there is less fluid in the body, there is less urine. This makes it difficult to remove creatinine from the body. It’s a good idea to drink between eight to 10 glasses of water (eight ounces each) daily.
- Restrict activity level and reduce stress: The body converts food into energy more quickly after intense exercise, and as a result, more creatinine forms in the blood. But exercise is still important and shouldn’t be eliminated altogether. Instead, replace vigorous workouts with yoga, tai chi, or walking.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation can put stress on the kidneys, and as a result, the kidneys are unable to effectively filter creatinine from the body. Good, restful sleep slows down the body’s processes, including metabolism, so creatine will convert to creatinine slowly, which in turn allows creatinine to filter out of the body before it can build up. Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Other Tips and Key Points to Remember
It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking medications when you have kidney problems, especially since ACE inhibitors, cyclosporine, and NSAIDs can increase creatinine levels and further damage the kidneys. Also, since high creatinine levels and diabetes cause kidney damage, it’s a good idea to eat a low glycemic diet. Massage therapy can also help blood circulation and decrease stress, which in turn helps to improve sleep.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Jing, S.B., et al, “Effect of chitosan on renal function in patients with chronic renal failure,” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 1997; doi:10.1111/j.2042-7158.1997.tb06099.x.
“How to Bring Down High Creatinine Levels,” WikiHow web site; http://www.wikihow.com/Bring-Down-High-Creatinine-Levels, last accessed April 8, 2016.
“Home Remedies to Reduce High Creatinine Levels,” Top 10 Home Remedies web site; http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-reduce-high-creatinine-levels.html, last accessed April 8, 2016.
“7 Easy Ways to Lower Creatinine Levels Naturally,” Cahava Wahyu web site; https://cahayawahyu.wordpress.com/life/back-to-nature/7-easy-ways-to-lower-creatinine-levels-naturally/, last accessed April 8, 2016.
Aubri, J., “How to Reduce Creatinine Levels,” Livestrong web site, last updated July 24, 2015; http://www.livestrong.com/article/508890-how-to-reduce-creatinine-levels/, last accessed April 8, 2016.