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Low Creatinine

What is and What does low creatinine mean?

It is a chemical waste product in the blood (by-product of normal muscle function), passes through the kidneys, and eliminated from the body in the form of urine. The more muscles you have, the higher the creatinine in the body.

The level of creatinine in the body indicates the amount of muscles a person has as well as the kidney functions. What is a normal level of creatinine in urine? Men with a normal kidney function have a creatinine of 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams/deciliters of creatinine.

Women with normal kidney function have 0.5 to 1.1 mg/deciliter of creatinine. The size of the body, level of activity, and medications can significantly affect the level of creatinine in the blood. (1, 2)

Exercises that help increase muscle mass and improve the level of creatinine.photo

Image 1: Exercises that help increase muscle mass and improve the level of creatinine.
Picture Source: netdoctor.cdnds.net

A geriatric patient who has the high tendency to suffer from low creatinine.image

Photo 2: A geriatric patient who has the high tendency to suffer from low creatinine due to aging and decreased muscle mass.
Image Source: img.aws.livestrongcdn.com

The significance of checking the level of creatinine

The kidney plays a very important role in maintaining blood creatinine in normal range. Checking the level of creatinine helps detect the functions of the kidney. The exact function of the kidney can be best measured using creatinine clearance test.

It is measured in two ways: serum creatinine level and patient’s weight and age. A 24-hour urine sample is also one of the reliable methods in checking creatinine level. (3)

A serum creatinine test measures the level of creatinine in the blood. It is an indicator whether the kidney is functioning properly or not. If you have an underlying disease condition, the more you need to measure your creatinine.

Ideally, the creatinine level should be measured at least once or twice a year. The doctor will also prescribe medications that will help treat the underlying cause of low creatinine. (4)

Causes of low creatinine levels

  • Muscle mass – Creatinine reflects the amount of muscles in the body. Low creatinine in the blood is linked with low muscle mass.
  • Diet – Nutrition can significantly affect the level of creatinine in the body. Severe malnutrition could lead to muscle loss, which in turn affects the level of creatinine. Those people who follow a strict vegetarian diet has low creatinine. (4, 5)
  • Pregnancy – pregnant women have low level of creatinine primarily because the kidneys are efficient in clearing creatinine and other waste products from the blood during pregnancy.
  • Advanced liver disease – Another possible cause of low creatinine is advanced liver disease. The liver manufactures and breaks down protein in the body. If the liver can’t function the normal way, the production and breakdown of protein will be affected significantly.
  • Kidney problems – Disease of the kidneys can affect the level of creatinine in the blood.
  • Age – The person’s age can affect the level of creatinine. Those who belong in the geriatric population has a low creatinine level primarily because as the person ages the muscle mass is reduced. It is also associated with a low basal metabolism. As you grow older, the body’s metabolism slows down. (6)
  • Protein deficiency – the production of creatinine takes place with the breakdown and metabolism of protein. If your body has a low creatinine level, it is an indicator that your diet lacks protein. (7)

Symptoms of low creatinine

What are the indicators that your body lacks creatinine? What is the effect of low creatinine in the body? The clinical manifestations for low creatinine primarily depends on the underlying condition. The common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Decreased mobility
  • Jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the skin)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool (7, 8)

Diagnosing low creatinine level

The doctor will conduct a series of test to check for the level of creatinine. One of the commonly used tests is serum creatinine test. It measures the amount of creatinine in the bloodstream. The doctor can also perform another test, which is called creatinine urine test.

If the level of creatinine is abnormally low, the doctor will exert the necessary measures needed to significantly bring the level of creatinine in its normal state. (9)

Low BUN (blood urea nitrogen) creatinine ratio

bun creatinine ratio low

How to increase creatinine levels?

How can you increase your creatinine levels? What you should do to normalize the level of creatinine? The treatment and management for low creatinine primarily depends on the underlying cause. If the cause of low creatinine level is muscular disease, the focus of care should be on reducing muscle pain, weakness, and muscular degeneration.

The patient is put on corticosteroid to significantly improve the strength of the muscles. If need, the patient should undergo therapy so as to improve the quality of life. In the case of low creatinine during pregnancy, do not worry as it will normalize after giving birth. (1, 10)

The patient is also advised to perform physical activities as it can significantly increase muscle mass and help normalize the level of creatinine in the blood. Brisk walking, biking, swimming, and aerobics can all improve muscle mass. The doctor will also work on your nutrition to ensure that you won’t be losing extreme weight. Ideally, the patient is advised to eat five to six healthy meals a day. The diet should contain protein-rich foods along with fruits and vegetables. (2, 3, 5)

Physical therapy is a must, especially for patients with severe muscle wasting such as in the case of myasthenia gravis. Physical therapy can delay the progression of muscular dystrophies.

If low creatinine level is caused by a liver disease, the patient is put on aggressive liver medications. Lifestyle changes are also recommended. The patient should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and refrain from doing things that can damage the liver. The underlying liver disease should be treated accordingly.

Prognosis for low creatinine levels

People who have low creatinine level have a positive prognosis for as long as they receive the necessary treatment and medical attention. Lifestyle and diet modification are strictly advised so as to normalize the level of creatinine in the body. (6, 7, 8)


  1. www.webmd.com
  2. www.healthline.com
  3. www.livestrong.com
  4. www.stylecraze.com
  5. www.netdoctor.co.uk
  6. mddk.com
  7. www.medicinenet.com
  8. www.onlymyhealth.com
  9. www.just-health.net
  10. https://medlineplus.gov

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