Kidney-friendly diet to lower creatinine levels, promote overall kidney health | Health - Hindustan Times

Kidney-friendly diet to lower your creatinine levels, promote overall kidney health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Oct 13, 2023 02:13 PM IST

The best way to lower creatinine level is to treat the underlying kidney disease. Here are foods to lower your creatinine levels

Creatinine is a natural waste product produced by muscles during regular wear and tear and it exits the body through urine but in cases of impaired kidney function, it can accumulate in the blood. High creatinine level can be a sign of serious health condition but also be a temporary byproduct of certain lifestyle factors or conditions hence, any treatment or lifestyle changes undertaken for high creatinine levels should be under a guidance of healthcare provider.

Kidney-friendly diet to lower your creatinine levels, promote overall kidney health (Shutterstock)
Kidney-friendly diet to lower your creatinine levels, promote overall kidney health (Shutterstock)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Atit Dharia, Consultant - Nephrology at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, shared, “Creatinine is a muscle breakdown product, formed due to hydrolysis of creatine and phosphocreatine. Creatinine is endogenously produced in the human body and freely filtered by the kidneys. Therefore, serum creatinine concentration is utilized as an indirect measure of ‘kidney function’ and is the commonest biomarker used in estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)’. A normal level depends on the age, gender, race and body size (muscle mass). High creatinine levels may be a sign of kidney disease.”

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He explained, “Creatinine levels in the blood can temporarily rise after strenuous exercise and consuming certain medications like trimethoprim and should always be enquired if high serum concentration is noted. If temporary causes of high creatinine concentration are ruled out, then the best way to lower creatinine level is to treat the underlying kidney disease. Along with medications and other treatments, your healthcare provider can suggest certain lifestyle changes including dietary advice which are appropriate for you and can help in naturally lowering your creatinine levels.”

Dr Atit Dharia highlighted, “Creatine, which is a pre-cursor of creatinine is an oral supplement used by athlete and body builders for performance enhancement. Such supplements can increase creatinine level in patients with kidney disease and is best avoided till we have further research. High protein diet, esp. cooked red meat is known to increase creatinine levels. Patients with known kidney ailments in which they are losing protein in their urine, decreasing protein intake in their diet is known to decrease creatinine level and slow the progression of kidney disease. Foods rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables, legumes can help in reducing creatinine levels in people with kidney disease.”

He elaborated, “Over the counters medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may harm the kidneys if taken too often or in amounts over the recommended dosage, in particular if there is underlying kidney disease. Cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are known risk factors for chronic kidney disease. Fluid intake is a very tricky subject in patients with kidney disease. Dehydration can raise creatinine levels. Excessive fluid intake can also be an issue for people with kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about how much water and other fluids you should drink daily.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Sushma PS, Chief Dietician at Jindal Naturecure Institute, said, “Maintaining good hydration and making dietary adjustments can help lower creatinine levels. Reducing consumption of red meat and fish, along with incorporating a high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can effectively bring down creatinine levels.”

For individuals with elevated creatinine levels, she recommended the following foods -

  • Fruits: Antioxidant-rich options like cranberries, kiwi, apples and blueberries aid in lowering creatinine levels.
  • Vegetables: Including a variety of vegetables like bitter gourd, eggplant, carrot, cauliflower, red bell pepper, cucumber and onions helps regulate creatinine levels.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, known for its kidney-friendly properties, can be added to the diet to help manage creatinine levels.
  • Nettle Leaf Tea: Consuming 1-2 cups a day can serve as a powerful kidney tonic, potentially improving kidney function and reducing serum creatinine levels.
  • Plant-Based Proteins: Consider substituting some or all of your animal protein sources with plant-based options like beans, lentils, and tofu.

The nutrition expert revealed, “These foods not only provide valuable plant-based protein but are also recommended as part of a kidney-friendly diet to manage creatinine levels and promote overall kidney health. Research has indicated that high-quality protein sources like beans, lentils, and tofu can enhance kidney function and decrease the risk of kidney disease. Additionally, these options are low in potassium, which is crucial for individuals with kidney disease who need to monitor their potassium intake.”

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