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Expert Q&A

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Is it possible to reduce blood creatinine level?

Asked by Yvette, Jacksonville, Florida

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I have high blood pressure. I was just told that my creatinine was at 1.8, an indicator of chronic kidney disease.

I am making huge changes in the things that I eat. I also am going to the gym to help bring down my blood pressure.

Can you come back from this? Can I heal? Can I bring that creatinine down?

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Conditions Expert Dr. Otis Brawley Chief Medical Officer,
American Cancer Society

Expert answer

Dear Yvette:

The serum creatinine is a common blood test that gives us an estimate of kidney function. The normal value of creatinine is linked to muscle mass. A very muscular person is allowed to have a higher normal creatinine compared with the average individual. A 1.8 is generally high for even a very muscular athlete. A 1.3 to 1.5 would not be for many patients. Serum creatinines over 2 are generally reason for real concern. Also, simple dehydration can cause some elevation. Prolonged high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the most common cause of kidney damage. We treat high blood pressure to prevent kidney disease, cardiac disease and stroke.

I encourage you to work with a physician as you try to bring your blood pressure under control. It may be brought under control through exercise and diet (especially salt avoidance). It may need drug treatment. Your doctor can best guide you in this. If you improve your blood pressure, your serum creatinine may go down, but more importantly, it is less likely to go up, meaning your kidney function is less likely to worsen.

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