What Do High-Creatine Levels Mean?


Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, high creatine levels can indicate severe kidney dysfunction or the presence of certain drugs in the bloodstream. Creatine levels can temporarily increase after consuming large amounts of meat or when dehydrated.

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Full Answer

To confirm the presence of abnormally high levels of creatine, doctors may perform a follow-up urine or blood test. Mayo Clinic cautions that if the kidneys are damaged or impaired in some way, it is important to manage blood pressure and prevent further damage. It is not possible to reverse kidney damage.

Although MedlinePlus lists creatine as a safe supplement when the recommended dosage is taking, it does warn that people with pre-existing kidney problems should not take creatine. Negative side effects are more likely to occur when the recommended dosage is exceeded and the supplements taken orally. Creatine can also react poorly with other medications to cause kidney damage.

MedlinePlus cautions that creatine sometimes reacts poorly with caffeine and other stimulants, increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Caffeine is also thought to decrease the effectiveness of creatine, making the combination counter-productive for most athletes. Because creatine works by drawing water from the rest of the body, athletes with high creatine levels also risk dehydration.

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