Creatinine is a byproduct of regular muscle protein metabolism. Under normal circumstances, creatinine is filtered by the kidneys and expelled from the body during urination.
However, impaired kidney function or chronic kidney disease can cause creatinine to accumulate in the body and become apparent in blood and urine in higher than normal levels.
According to the National Kidney Foundation(1), 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. There are, however, ways to lower creatinine and improve kidney health. Check out this article to find out how to lower creatinine.
CURE 1: Diet
If your creatinine levels are higher than normal, it is critical to incorporate diet strategies and good nutrition as a part of your treatment plan. Here’s how you can lower your creatinine levels naturally by modifying your diet:
Foods to Include
1. High-fiber Foods
Studies show that consuming foods with added fiber may help to reduce serum creatinine levels. It is important, therefore, to try and increase your fiber intake. You should include at least one serving of about 25-30 grams of fibrous food in your daily diet.
2. Green Tea
Green tea extract and certain herbal teas have also been found to be effective in lowering creatinine levels. The health benefits of green tea are derived from polyphenols that are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Despite the beneficial effects of green tea, it should only be drunk in moderation. You can drink about 8oz or 250 ml of green tea or herbal tea a day.
[Read: Herbs and Foods for Kidney]
Foods to Avoid
1. High Protein Foods
Foods that are high in protein can increase the stress on your kidneys as they are hard to metabolize. It is, therefore, advisable to eliminate high protein foods such as red meat and dairy from your diet. This does not, however, mean that you need to cut out protein completely. Plant-based sources such as nuts and legumes(2) are nutritional powerhouses and can be consumed in moderate amounts to keep your energy levels stable and maintain other bodily functions.
Too much sodium can wreck the health of your kidneys as it reduces its ability to remove water, and can lead to high blood pressure. Your average daily sodium intake should not, therefore, exceed 2 to 3 grams.
[Read: Treat Kidney Infection Naturally]
3. Potassium and Phosphorus Rich Foods
Other foods that you generally want to avoid include those that are high in potassium and phosphorous. The amount of potassium and phosphorus in the blood is controlled by the kidneys. People with kidney disease may, therefore, be prone to the dangers of potassium and phosphorus buildup in their bodies.
4. Creatine Supplements
Additionally, creatine supplements can exacerbate existing kidney conditions and should be cut out completely.
Did You Know!
Chronic Kidney disease is estimated to be more common among women than men.
CURE 2: Herbs and Supplements to Lower BUN naturally
Certain herbs and oral supplements have shown immense promise in promoting kidney health and lowering creatinine levels. The following are the specific supplements and herbs that are recommended for high creatinine levels:
1. Chitosan Supplements
Chitosan is a dietary fiber that is extracted from crustacean shells(3). In an open study, involving 80 people with kidney failure who were undergoing hemodialysis treatment, researchers have found evidence that chitosan supplements helped in significantly reducing creatinine and urea levels in the blood.
Recommended Dosage: 3 to 6 grams per day, to be taken along with food.
2. Aqueous Garlic Extract
Aqueous Garlic Extract has been widely researched for its potential to reduce urea and creatinine levels. Its active components such as allicin and its derivative Sulphur compounds are believed to help in activating liver enzymes that can help the body flush out toxins and decrease the serum concentration of creatinine.
Recommended Dosage: Dosage can vary from 300 to 1,000 milligrams. To be taken with food.
3. Bentonite Clay
Bentonite Clay is another inexpensive natural remedy for treating BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen). Its poly-cationic nature can help in the absorption of negative charge toxins which is important for the regulation of renal blood flow and glomerular filtration.
[ Read: Natural Ways to Reverse Kidney Disease ]
Recommended Dosage: Take ½ to 1 teaspoon of bentonite clay powder mixed with 8 ounces of filtered water daily. To prevent constipation, you can also add 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk to this.
4. Cassia Auriculata
Cassia Auriculata, also known as ‘Avartaki’ in Ayurveda, is another herb that has great medicinal value for chronic renal diseases. The ethanol extract of the roots of this plant is believed to reduce elevated serum creatinine and blood urea.
Recommended Dosage: The safe daily doses of cassia auriculata is normally determined on the basis of the patient’s age, weight and health etc. It is, therefore, best to consult your physician or any other healthcare professional before using this herb.
CURE 3: Lifestyle Changes
1. Increase fluid intake
If you have been trying to find out how to lower your creatinine levels naturally, here’s a quick home remedy-drink more water! Dehydration is one of the reasons for high creatinine. Ensure that you stay hydrated, therefore, and drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. If you suffer from chronic kidney disease, however, too much liquid can result in edema and high blood pressure.
2. Get adequate sleep
Wondering how to lower creatinine levels overnight? Just get a good night’s sleep! Most of your bodily functions slow down while you are asleep. This means that the rate of creatinine production in your body will also slow down and your kidneys will have more time to heal.
3. Avoid over-exercising
While regular exercise is definitely important, rigorous physical activity when you have chronic kidney disease will only elevate your creatinine levels further. Since creatinine is a byproduct of muscle metabolism, strenuous activity will result in increased muscle breakdown and thereby, higher creatinine levels. Try yoga or walking to stay active and healthy instead.
You can try one or more of these home remedies for a few weeks or until your creatinine levels are under control. Talk with your doctor or a healthcare professional before you try out any of these home remedies, however. Some of the dietary tips and herbal remedies may not be suitable for patients with pre-existing medical conditions and a few suggested remedies could also interfere with certain prescription drugs.
1. What Can Cause High Creatinine Levels?
Kidney failure or kidney disease is one of the most common causes of high creatinine levels. Other causes may include high-protein consumption, certain medications, pregnancy, vigorous exercise or kidney obstruction.
2. What Are the Early Symptoms of High Creatinine Levels?
Symptoms of high creatinine may include vomiting, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling or edema, feeling dehydrated, urinating in low amounts and high blood pressure.
3. Can Cutting Back on Alcohol Help to Lower Creatinine Levels?
Although few previous studies indicate that alcohol may be harmful for the kidneys, recent studies indicate that the reverse might actually be true. It was found that men who drank alcohol in moderation, had a 30% lower risk of having high creatinine levels.