A creatine serum test is a test used to reveal the condition of your kidneys. Creatinine is just a waste molecule which is generated due to the metabolism of muscles and even by eating to a minuscule extent. It is produced from creatine, a molecule that plays an integral role in the energy production process of the muscles.
Around 2% of the total amount of creatine in your body is converted into creatinine every day. Once converted, it reaches to the kidneys through your bloodstream. The kidneys filter most of the creatinine and dispose of the same through urine. However, if the kidneys are not able to function properly, creatinine can accumulate in the blood. It is with the help of a creatine serum test that the filtration ability of the kidneys can be estimated.
Why is Creatine Serum Test Done?
A creatine serum test measures the amount of creatinine in your blood to indicate how well the kidneys are functioning. This test is done along with many other tests, like Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP), Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) and Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN). The test is done when a patient is showing signs of kidney-related diseases, like-
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in color of urine
- Swelling on wrist, abdomen, ankles or face
- High blood pressure
- Pain near the kidney area
These symptoms can be related to many different types of kidney-related conditions, like-
- Prostate disease
- Urinary tract blockage because of kidney stones
- Reduced blood flow to kidneys because of diabetes, dehydration or congestive heart failure
- Death of kidney cells
How is the Creatinine Serum Test Done?
Creatine serum test is very simple and only requires a blood sample. A phlebotomist will sterilize the area which will be injected with antiseptic followed by tying a band on your arm. Due to this, the blood swells in the veins, making it easier for them to find a vein to take a blood sample. When a vein is found, they will insert a needle for collecting blood. Once the sample is taken, the punctured wound will be bandaged. The test is not painful, and at the most, you’ll feel a prick when the needle is inserted.
While there are no significant risks involved with this procedure, there are some minor risks which too are very rare. They include-
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Redness or soreness at punctured wound
Once the sample is taken, it is sent for analysis to a laboratory and the report will then be made available in 2-3 days.
Reading Your Creatine Serum Test Results
Milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) is the unit used to measure the amount of creatine. The amount of creatine is the body depends on some factors, like muscularity, gender, and age. Men have higher levels of creatinine as compared to women.
In men, the normal creatinine levels range between 0.7 and 1.3 mg/dL and in women, it can range between 0.6 and 1.1mg/dL. Levels higher than this mean that the kidneys are not able to function as they should.
The creatinine serum levels can be higher due to some reasons, like-
- Urinary tract blockage
- Kidney infection or damage
- High-protein diet
- Reduced flow of blood to the kidneys
Lower creatinine levels are very rare and nothing to be worried about. By analyzing all the different reports, a healthcare practitioner would be able to help you understand the condition of your kidneys.
Role of Creatine Supplement in Damaging Kidneys
Creatine supplements are widely criticized by many people as it is believed that the supplement puts intense stress on the kidneys and can damage it. However, there is no scientific evidence which suggests that consuming creatine dosages even for very long durations damages the kidneys in any way.
While it can temporarily increase the amount of creatinine in the body and result in minor side effects, like diarrhea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, or heat intolerance, there is no connection between kidney damage and high doses of the supplement. As a matter of fact, as compared to all the other types of supplements, creatine supplements are the most researched. But it is also very important to make sure that you only consume creatine supplement as per the recommended dosage of the manufacturer.
Also, if you are looking to buy a creatine supplement, make sure that you only buy it from a reputed company, like Optimum Nutrition, MusclePharm, or MuscleTech to further minimize the chances of developing any side-effects. Just consume the supplement as per the recommended dosage, consume a lot of water when you consume creatine supplements, and you are sure to experience a host of benefits. If at all, you experience any severe side-effects after starting a creatine supplement, make sure that you consult with a medical professional to know the actual cause of the problem.
Creatine serum test is one of the simplest and most common types of test to know how well the kidneys are functioning. Professional bodybuilders and athletes who regularly consume creatine supplements are advised to go for creatinine serum tests at regular intervals to make sure that their kidneys are working as they should.
And if you are looking to buy the best creatine supplements, make sure that you visit other pages of our website as we have reviewed some of the most popular products.