Creatinine Serum Test

The Creatinine Serum Test: Everything You Need To Know About It

What is Creatinine?

Creatinine is a molecule produced during muscle metabolism and excreted by the kidneys. However, if kidney function is impaired, creatinine can accumulate in the blood. High levels of creatinine in the blood are an indicator of kidney dysfunction.

What is the Creatinine Serum Test?

The creatinine serum test can identify kidney diseases. A creatinine serum test is conducted to measure the creatinine levels in your blood. This test also determines if the kidneys are functioning properly. Healthy kidneys filter your urine to remove creatinine from your blood. Thus, high creatinine signifies a problem, which can then be investigated.

The standard value of serum creatinine level will depend on the size and overall muscle mass. It is because the serum creatinine levels are proportional to muscle mass. Men typically have higher creatinine levels than women due to their propensity for having more muscle mass. Athletes may also have greater normal creatinine levels than non-athletes. Creatinine levels are often lower in elderly people than in other age groups. 

Who should undergo a Creatinine Serum Test?

Those over 60 have a significantly higher risk of impaired renal functioning. People who are at increased risk should regularly get their kidney health monitored.

Why is a Creatinine Serum Test required?

Numerous health issues can develop when your kidneys aren’t functioning properly. It is manifested as: 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Change in urine production
  • Swollen ankles and feet

Treating these health issues, that worsen kidney function, can be helped by early detection of dysfunctional kidneys. Most have few or no symptoms in the early stages of renal disease. Therefore, kidney damage frequently goes unnoticed and untreated until the disease has progressed. As a result, getting tested is the only method to determine whether your kidneys are healthy.

How does the test work?

The body continuously produces Creatinine as part of normal bodily processes. It is produced when the chemical Creatine, largely present in muscles, is transformed into energy. A result of that procedure is Creatinine. Healthy kidneys eliminate Creatinine from your body through urine. However, if kidneys are damaged, they cannot eliminate Creatinine, which starts building up in the blood. 

The levels of Creatinine in your blood and urine are measured using two different tests:

  • A blood test called Serum Creatinine (SCr) helps determine Creatinine levels in the bloodstream. Any changes above the predicted range are a reliable sign of renal impairment. It is because the rate of production and excretion is relatively constant.
  • Urine test is most effective. Creatinine clearance compares the SCr with the total quantity of Creatinine excreted in urine over 24 hours.

What does a test result for Creatinine serum mean?

The diagnostic range for blood creatinine serum test  is 0.84 to 1.21 milligrams per decilitre. It can, however, differ from lab to lab, between men and women, and according to age.

  • Lower than average range: In muscle conditions like myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy, the blood level of Creatinine may be lower than usual. It also indicates an iron deficit and low body iron stores. You might be anemic as a result of this.
  • Higher than normal range: It’s not good if serum creatinine levels are higher than usual. The body stores too much iron if your blood creatinine level increases, which shows you have a problem. A high creatinine content is a sign of chronic disorders. This diagnosis may call for additional investigations. 

How is the creatinine serum test conducted?

Blood is collected from a vein, typically the forearm, for the creatinine serum test. Before the test, no preparation is required. The patient does not need to fast. A lab receives the blood sample for clinical evaluation. You can instantly resume your regular activities.

What should I do after receiving my test results?

Regardless of your test findings, it is beneficial to ask your doctor the following questions:

  • What do the findings of my test mean?
  • What are other necessary tests?
  • When should I have another test?

You can also follow these steps to maintain the best possible kidney health:

  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure (generally less than 120/80).
  • If you have diabetes, manage your blood sugar levels.
  • Ensure daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Consume foods low in sodium and saturated fat.
  • Be active most days of the week. Exercise for at least 30 minutes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Consult your physician about possible kidney-protective medications.

Does the Creatinine Serum Test involve any risks?

Very minimal risks are associated with a blood test. Most symptoms go away quickly, although you can experience slight discomfort or bruise at the needle insertion site. A urine test is completely safe, as long as you maintain hygiene while providing the urine sample. Consult your doctor after receiving the test results for a comprehensive analysis and treatment.