The creatinine levels in the blood are usually increased when there are problems with the kidneys or the urinary tract says MedlinePlus; in addition, eclampsia, preclampsia, rhabdomyolysis or dehydration also raises creatinine levels. Conditions such as muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis can cause creatinine levels to be lower.
Creatinine is a type of waste that is continually being created during the process of muscle breakdown says WebMD. Creatinine levels are important because they let a doctor know if a patient's kidneys are functioning properly. It is important to determine if abnormal creatinine levels are temporary or chronic. The two main conditions that cause long-term kidney problems are diabetes and high blood pressure. When an individual's elevated creatinine levels are severe, dialysis is needed.
Creatinine levels are also affected by an individual's age, size and muscle mass. Certain pharmaceutical drugs also increase creatinine levels; these drugs include aminoglycosides like gentamicin, chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, cephalosporins like cephalexin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as stated by MedlinePlus. Also, the drugs cimetidine and trimethoprim cause elevated creatinine levels. The creatinine levels of women are generally lower than the creatinine levels of men because women do not usually have as much muscle mass. Eating a large amount of meat causes creatinine levels to be temporarily increased says MedicineNet.