Something to consider as part of your treatment plan for kidney disease or the prevention of kidney disease: foods to lower creatinine levels. Consuming foods that are high in fiber and avoiding foods loaded with protein have been shown to decrease the amount of creatinine in the blood.
A Creatinine Overview
Creatinine is the excess or waste created when creatine is broken down. What is creatine? According to HealthLinkBC, it's formed when protein is converted to energy through metabolization.
Once creatine is broken down into creatinine, it's transported out of the blood by your kidneys and into your urine. If you have kidney damage, blood creatinine levels will go up, while the amount of creatinine in your urine goes down. There are a few ways you can test your creatinine levels.
A blood creatinine level test will show how well your kidneys are functioning, while a creatinine clearance test will measure how well your kidneys get rid of creatine through blood and urine samples. Alternatively, you can get a blood urea nitrogen (BUN)-to-creatinine ratio test in which the amount of urea in your blood is tested.
High creatinine levels can very well be a sign of kidney disease, which, according to Better Health Channel is when your kidneys are damaged and failing to properly filter your blood. There are a number of symptoms, including changes in frequency and quality of urine, changes in the appearance of your urine, a loss of appetite and high blood pressure.
Foods to Lower Creatinine
There are a few foods or nutrients that have been found to lower creatinine levels, and certain nutrients that should be avoided for those with high creatinine.
One study from March 2013 in the Journal of Renal Nutrition found that foods with added fiber lower creatinine levels in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study, which had a small sample size of 13 patients with CKD, found the serum creatinine levels decreased only two weeks after fiber-containing food consumption.
While fiber-rich foods may lower creatinine levels, foods rich in protein, such as meat, fish, chicken, yogurt, milk, eggs and cheese, can increase creatinine buildup. This is because unused protein is broken down into creatinine and when the kidneys can't properly excrete creatinine, it accumulates in the blood, says Beaumont Hospital Kidney Centre.
A food list for creatinine patients may also include foods with chitosan, an ingredient found in weight loss supplements. Though there have been no human studies indicating its effectiveness in lowering creatinine levels, one April 2014 study in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules found that chitosan greatly reduced creatinine in rats with kidney failure.
Kidney Failure: What to Eat
If high creatinine levels are due to kidney disease or kidney failure, your diet should be altered accordingly. Nutrition and proper diet are essential to a kidney disease treatment plan. According to the National Kidney Foundation, you should cut out potassium and phosphorus.
That means choosing apples or berries over bananas or oranges. Though there's no fruit juice to lower creatinine or fruits to reduce creatinine level, the National Kidney Foundation does provide a list of fruits that are better to consume if you have kidney disease.
All vegetables contain potassium, though some contain more than others. Broccoli and cabbage for instance, are better options than potatoes and asparagus for those with kidney disease.
Moreover, the National Kidney Foundation recommends avoiding salt and salty foods, as they may increase blood pressure. You can replace salt with other spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases also advises managing your water intake as too much water can cause swelling, raise blood pressure and overwork the heart.
- National Kidney Foundation: "Apples are Okay, but Bananas are not...Top 10 Dialysis Diet Tips"
- International Journal of Biological Macromolecules: "Protective Effect of sulfated Chitosan of C3 Sulfation on Glycerol-Induced Acute Renal Failure in Rat Kidney"
- HealthLinkBC: "Creatinine and Creatinine Clearance"
- NIH: "Eating Right With Kidney Failure"
- MedlinePlus: "Creatinine"
- Journal of Renal Nutrition: "Foods with Added Fiber Lower Serum Creatinine Levels in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease"
- Better Health Channel: "Kidney Disease"
- Beaumont Hospital Kidney Center: "Dietary Advice For Kidney Patients"