What Causes Elevated Creatinine Levels?

Elevated creatinine levels may be the product of intense exercise, excessive intake of creatine supplements or the ingestion of cooked meat, explain Dr. Antoine C. Abcar and Dr. Manpreet Samra in a study published at PubMed Central. High blood creatinine levels may be a sign of kidney disease, warns WebMD.

Creatinine is an excretory product that results from the metabolization of creatine, explains DaVita. The chemical is typically filtered by the kidneys and excreted through urine. Blood creatinine levels in healthy males typically range from 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter, and the normal range for females is 0.5 to 1.1 milligrams per deciliter. Because of more muscle tissue, males usually have higher levels of creatinine in their blood.

While blood creatinine levels remain relatively constant, several factors can cause them to rise, explain Dr. Abcar and Dr. Samra. Intense physical exercise that increases muscle breakdown results in elevated blood creatinine levels. Ingestion of cooked meat also causes a rise in blood creatinine levels; this is because the creatine in raw meat is converted to creatinine during the cooking process. A variety of medications can cause an increase in blood creatinine levels by interfering with the excretory process, as can certain kidney disorders.