What Causes Elevated Creatinine?


Creatinine is a waste product created by the metabolic process in a body’s muscles. While most people have never heard of creatinine, many are familiar with creatine. Creatine is the molecule that is used in muscle energy production, which is why it is a popular supplement for athletes and bodybuilders. Creatinine, on the other hand, is the waste that exists after creatine is used by the muscles. Excess creatinine can be causes by a number of factors, some of which denote serious medical conditions.

Muscle Mass Percentage

Obviously, having more lean muscle mass is not a serious medical condition. Rather, this is a desired and highly advantageous state to be in. However, since creatine and creatinine production is related to muscle metabolism, many people who have highly developed muscles are also subject to higher levels of creatinine in their blood. In these situations, there are no serious long term effects of the elevated levels, and there is no cause for worry.

 Dehydration and Insufficient Water Intake

Water is the fuel for our body’s circulatory system. Any chronic deficiency in water intake can cause reduced blood flow to the kidneys, which serve as the blood’s filtration system. When blood is not freely circulating through the kidneys, creatinine levels remain elevated. Also, medical conditions such as fever, sweating and diuresis can cause a similar effect on creatinine levels. Therefore, it is important to make sure that adequate water intake is maintained, particularly when experiencing a condition that increases the likelihood of a dehydrated state.


Diet can impact creatinine levels in two different ways. First, the consumption of large quantities of meat can cause a temporary spike in creatinine levels. This is due to the fact that when eating meat, people are actually eating animal muscle. Muscle and creatinine are directly related, so this consumption can cause a rise in creatinine. Also, an improper diet can also lead to high blood pressure. When blood pressure impacts the circulatory system, the kidneys are not nearly as efficient at filtering blood as they are normally. Therefore, people who consume a diet that causes blood pressure increases are also likely increasing their creatinine levels.


Sleep is absolutely necessary for people to give their body a chance to repair and recharge. During this time, the entire body has time to adjust levels and return to an optimally functioning state. When the body is deprived of this sleep over an extended period of time, body function is compromised. This impacts all areas of the body, including the circulatory system. Also, if creatinine levels are elevated due to diet and other factors, sleep phases are the best time for the body to help counteract the imbalance. Regardless, a lack of sleep can sometimes result in excess creatinine in the blood stream.

 Kidney Failure

Obviously, if kidneys are the primary agent for filtering creatinine from the blood, it is logical to assume that an impaired kidney would result in less filtration. When people experience kidney disease or kidney failure, creatinine is not filtered as intended. This causes a build up of the molecule in the blood stream. Often, when kidney disease is difficult to control, patients require dialysis or other artificial filtration to remove creatinine from their blood.

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