Creatinine is a chemical compound which is normally excreted in the urine. It is a product of muscle metabolism in the body. This substance does not stay in the body and it is eliminated by kidneys. This is why improper excretion of creatinine instantly points to the presence of certain kidney disorder which features with inability to excrete many other waste substances from the body. Elevation of urine creatinine levels in the body and the reduction of creatinine in the urine is a sign of serious damage to the kidneys. Due to the fact that creatinine levels do not depend on any other process in the body such as increased physical activity, infections etc. this substance is highly reliable and routinely used in assessment of the kidney function.
Normal Levels of Creatinine in Urine
There is a slight difference in creatinine levels between two genders and its levels also depend on the age of the patient. Men have a bit elevated creatinine levels comparing to women. This can be easily explained by the fact that men feature with more muscle mass than women. As for the difference regarding age, the rate of muscle metabolism reduces in age and this is why elderly people normally have lower urine creatinine level comparing to younger people. A 24 hour urine sample normally contains between 500 and 2000 mg of creatinine. There are variations which are related to gender and the age of the patient and they are taken into consideration every time during interpretation of the results.
In women the blood creatinine levels are between 0.5 and 1.0 mg/dL and in men between 0.6 and 1.2 mg/dL. In children this number ranges from 0.3 to 0.7 mg/dL while in teenagers it goes from 0.5 to 1.0 mg/dL. And finally, in people who have only one functional kidney normal blood level of creatinine is around 1.8 or 1.9 mg/dL.
Abnormal Levels of Creatinine
Any abnormality of creatinine levels especially its elevation points to the presence of some kidney disorder. This is why if elevation of creatinine in blood or urine is accidentally found it requires further tests and examinations to determine the underlying cause. In people who are already suffering form kidney disorders elevation of creatinine levels in blood points to the progression of the current disease or recurrence of the previously cured illness.
Low creatinine levels in urine points to the presence of glomeluronephritis, kidney failure, urinary tract obstruction, kidney infection and many other kidney disorders which affect proper excretion of creatinine.
Creatinine in urine is increased in many conditions in which there is an increased degradation of muscle tissues. They include muscular dystrophy, rhambdomyolisis, strenuous exercise, muscle injury, crushing injuries and burns. Elevation of creatinine in urine may also occur in acromegaly, gigantism, dehydration, and pregnancy. And finally, increased creatinine levels in urine may also be a consequence of high meat intake diet.