What Is a Creatinine Test?

Creatinine is a waste product that forms during the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. It is filtered by the kidneys and released from the body through urine. The creatinine levels in the blood is a relefection of how well the kidneys are functioning. More creatinine in the blood could point to an issue with kidneys. A serum creatinine test, along with factors such as age, weight, and medical history, can help doctors identify whether there is any issue with your kidneys. 


What is a creatinine test? 


A creatinine test is a simple blood test that finds out the amount of creatinine in your blood. Each kidney contains millions of blood-filtering units called nephrons, which constantly filter blood through a tiny cluster of blood vessels known as glomeruli. The waste products are filerted through this system and removed through urination. Your doctor may know how well your kidneys are filtering the blood, through a parameter called the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). 


The test can be used to screen, diagnose and monitor kidney (renal) disorders, including chronic kidney disease and acute renal failure. The screening helps identify any problem before there are signs and symptoms. Measuring creatinine also helps to monitor potential side effects when you have been prescribed medications that can affect the kidneys.


It is a routine test that can be done at any time of the day, irrespective of what you have eaten. In diagnostic facility, your blood sample will be taken and sent to laboratory for analysis. The test results will usually be available within the same day. 


When do you need a creatinine serum test? 


Your doctor may advise you to get your creatinine levels tested if you have symptoms of kidney disease, are at risk of getting kidney problems, or want to check your kidney health. Some of the symptoms that may suggest some issue with your kidney’s health include: fatigue, not attributed to any other cause, swelling in your feet and/or ankles, puffiness around the eyes, frequent and painful urination and foamy or bloody urine. This test is also performed to determine kidney function if you are scheduled to have a computed tomography (CT) imaging procedure with intravenous contrast. Its measurement is also taken as part of BMP or CMP during a regular health checkup. 


What is The Normal Level of Creatinine?


Under normal circumstances, creatinine levels are stable, showing the regular filtering and removal of creatinine from the bloodstream. In general, muscular young or middle-aged adults are expected to have higher creatinine in their blood as compared others. Likewise, elderly people may have lower creatinine. 




The creatinine serum test is an important tool in finding out any issue related to your kidneys. Dyusfunctional kidneys can lead to buildup of creatinine in the blood. It helps monitor kidney function and detect kidney disease at an early stage. 


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