Creatinine is the waste of creatine, a common nutrient in many meats and exercise supplements. Creatinine is always available in some level in the body, but if the body also struggles to break down creatinine it could cause damage to the kidneys and the rest of the body.
Interestingly, creatinine is actually used to test the function of healthy kidneys, because the kidneys generally do a great job of filtering creatinine out from the blood. Poorly functioning kidneys are more prone to creatinine spikes. Diabetes and exercise supplements can also increase the amount of creatinine in the body. It’s important to look at this from two perspectives:
- Lowering Creatinine
- Improving Kidney Health
Because healthy kidneys can generally remove most creatinine, the idea of maintaining “healthy” levels not only requires potential natural ways to stop the creation of creatinine, but also ensure that the kidneys are working effectively and efficiently.
Step 1 is to always make sure that you’re cutting out any creatine supplements from your diet. These supplements will always provide an unnatural amount of creatine in the body, and could create dangerous levels of creatinine. Talk to your doctor about your diet and supplement plan.
Other Ways to Lower Creatinine
Urine is necessary for a reduction in creatinine. Your kidneys require a healthy amount of water to remove some of these elements, so make sure that you are always drinking enough water throughout the day to give your kidneys the support they need.
Consider a Vegetarian Diet
Creatine is found in a variety of meats, but is fairly uncommon in vegetarian diets. So if you’re trying to lower creatine/creatinine levels, you should strongly consider trying a vegetarian diet, or at least cutting back on the amount of meat you consume dramatically. It’s unclear how much of a role dietary changes will make in your ability to control creatinine, but many people argue that a vegetarian diet is actually creatine deficient, so presumably the low creatine levels will be helpful. Remember to talk to your doctor first before making any dietary changes.
Talk to Your Doctor About Avoiding Exercise
Exercise is actually incredibly important for both mental and physical health, and ideally not something you should ever skip. But at the same time, exercise is known to cause a temporary increase in creatinine levels. You may want to discuss the idea of avoiding intense exercise. However, make sure you continue to stay active as best you can, taking walks and doing less intense exercises as needed.
Herbs for Kidney Health
After you’ve ruled out kidney disease (which can be very serious and may require a visit to the emergency room) you should consider herbs for improving kidney health. Some of the most popular herbal remedies include: green tea, uva ursi, and stonebreaker.
Chitosan is another type of supplement that studies have shown may reduce creatinine levels naturally. It was used on patients with renal failure in a study at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan, and did not appear to have any side effects in the study.
Creatinine treatments are tricky, because it’s important to first differentiate between kidney damage (which requires immediate treatment and could be deadly) and simply elevated creatinine levels. You’ll need to discuss these issues with your doctor, and make sure that you strongly consider cutting out creatine from your diet.