Formal name: Creatinine
Serum creatinine is a form of test done to ascertain how well the kidney functions. Creatinine is a by product of waste that builds up in the blood from muscle usage.
How is it used?
An s-Creatinine test is a carried to evaluate the kidney’s health. Kidney functions as a waste (creatinine) removal that the body produces at a fixed rate daily. Determining the amount of creatinine present in the blood and comparing it with the standard amount would enhance your healthcare personnel to know how good your kidneys are. Kidneys have nephrons which help to filter waste products present in the blood and they do this via a tiny cluster blood vessel called glomeruli. They filter impurities/toxins from the blood and store them in the bladder where they are being discharged through urination.
Creatinine is constantly eliminated from the body through the help of the kidney. When a high level of creatinine is discovered in the blood, it indicates that the kidney is damaged and not functioning properly.
Why get tested?
This test is very important to determine the working condition of your kidneys; to detect any form of disease associated with the kidney and to monitor treatment stages if being treated for kidney disease. This test is also carried out to determine your overall health status.
When to go for a test?
If you experience symptoms of kidney disease such as swelling in your feet or ankles, dry/itchy skin, blood in your urine, painful urination, muscle cramps, frequent loss of appetite, high blood pressure or lower back pain near the kidneys.
How do I prepare for a creatinine blood test?
Undergoing a creatinine test does not involve much preparation. Fasting is not paramount but prior to the test, you might be asked to refrain from eating cooked meat and taking some drugs that could increase the level of creatinine in your body thereby altering your test results.
A blood sample would be obtained through your vein into a specimen tube or a urine sample within the range of 24-hours.
What do my test results mean?
The results obtained vary with gender, health history, age and the method through which the test is been carried out. Your result does not necessarily indicate you have kidney dysfunctions as your healthcare provider is the only one who could interpret the results for you.
The level of creatinine for a man tends to be of higher concentration than it is for a woman due to the muscle composition present in the body but found in lower concentration in children.
If you have a high concentration of creatinine, it could indicate the presence of muscle disease, kidney disease, dehydration, diabetes or shock. While a lower concentration might be as a result of muscle loss, protein deficiency in your diet or liver disease.
What else to know?
The s-Creatinine test is important to evaluate renal function because it entails several interesting properties. This test could sometimes be performed with other tests such as comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test or a basic metabolic panel (BMP) to check and correct problems associated with the kidney.