Creatinine is a blood chemical waste product generated when you use your muscles. Eating lots of protein may also produce small amounts.
Your bloodstream transports creatinine to your kidneys, where your body filters it out through your urine. But if your kidneys aren’t working properly, the level of creatinine in your blood can build up. This can lead to uremia, a life-threatening disorder.
Your body needs clean blood to function optimally. The best way to lower your creatinine levels is to treat the underlying cause. Dialysis is a common treatment for kidney issues. It’s an important medical procedure that’s used when your kidneys can’t remove waste products from your body. But you can complement these treatments with different remedies and lifestyle changes to lower your creatinine.
Talk to your doctor about ways to help lower your creatinine levels, including these eight natural options:
Exercise is usually a good thing, but overdoing it may spike your creatinine levels. Since muscle metabolism produces creatinine, overusing muscle groups through strenuous activity might raise levels.
One study indicates that intense exercise increases creatinine levels as a response to increased muscle breakdown, at least temporarily.
Talk to your doctor about how much and what type of exercise you should do. Try walking instead of running, or doing yoga instead of lifting weights.
Creatine is a natural compound made in your liver. It’s transported to your muscles where it’s used for energy. Unused creatine not used as energy converts into creatinine, a waste product.
In addition to its natural form, creatine is also available as an oral supplement. Some athletes use these supplements to help enhance athletic performance. Just like natural creatine, supplements containing this substance produce creatinine.
Anyone wishing to reduce creatinine levels should not take creatine supplements. There is limited research on creatine supplements and their overall safety.
Research shows eating large amounts of protein can increase creatinine levels, at least temporarily. Cooked red meat in particular can affect creatinine. The heat from cooking causes creatine found in meat to produce creatinine.
People with diets very high in red meat or other protein sources, including dairy products, may have higher creatinine levels than people who eat less of those foods. If you eat lots of red meat, switch to more vegetable-based dishes. Try swapping out beef burgers for vegetable patties, hearty vegetable stew, or lentil soup.
More research is needed to determine the effect dietary fiber has on creatinine levels. But one study showed significant reductions in creatinine levels in people with chronic kidney disease who increased their fiber intake.
Fiber can be found in many foods, including:
- whole grains
Dehydration can raise creatinine levels. Fluid intake can also be an issue for some people who have kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about how much water and other fluids you should drink daily and when is best to drink them.
Chitosan is a dietary supplement mostly used by people hoping to lose weight or reduce cholesterol. There is some research indicating that chitosan may also be effective in reducing creatinine levels in people with renal failure.
Before starting chitosan or any other dietary supplement, talk with your doctor. You’ll need to know how to take it and the appropriate dosage.
Many herbs are natural diuretics and may help some people reduce creatinine levels. However, conclusive scientific data is lacking on herbs and how effective they are in reducing creatinine levels.
One animal study showed improvement in creatinine levels in rats when they were treated with a Chinese herbal formula called WH30+.
In China people use salvia to treat renal failure. And a review of several studies indicated salvia may have a positive effect. But, salvia is a hallucinogen so it should be used very carefully.
Even common herbs can interfere with medications. It’s important to discuss your use of herbs, including herbal teas, with your doctor.
Other herbs to discuss with your doctor include:
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