What is a Creatinine Blood Test & Why Should You Get One?

Asian female and black male medical practitioners looking at a blood test tube sample for signs of kidney disease.

A creatinine blood test is an important health check measuring the creatinine in your blood. Creatinine is a waste product produced when your body breaks down muscle. It is usually filtered out of your bloodstream by your kidneys, so measuring the creatinine level in your blood is an excellent way to assess how well your kidneys are functioning.

Why is a creatinine blood test done?

A creatinine blood test is a typical diagnostic test healthcare providers use to evaluate kidney function. The kidneys produce the enzyme creatinine, and levels of creatinine in the blood usually indicate how well the kidneys function.

Creatinine levels can help screen for kidney disease and monitor kidney function in people with chronic kidney disease. This test is part of a routine physical examination to evaluate overall health in people without chronic kidney disease. Tests also help assess certain medications’ effects on the kidneys.

Creatinine levels are often combined with other tests such as blood urea nitrogen (BUN), comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), and basic metabolic panel (BMP) tests to determine present kidney diseases and to help monitor their progression. 


Early detection and treatment for any issues related to kidney function are critical. A creatinine test can help identify any conditions before becoming severe, allowing for timely and effective treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease can significantly improve prognosis and quality of life.

What are normal creatinine levels?

Creatinine is a waste product in the blood produced by natural breakdown and muscle deterioration. The kidneys usually clear it from the body, filter it out and excrete it in the urine. As such, creatinine levels in the blood can indicate kidney function. 

Normal creatinine levels in the blood range from 0.7 and 1.3 (mg/dL), or milligrams per deciliter, in healthy adults. Creatinine levels may vary slightly depending on factors such as age, sex, and muscle mass. People with more muscle mass usually have higher creatinine levels than those without.

In addition to age, sex, and muscle mass, creatinine levels may also be affected by other factors such as diet and hydration status. People who consume a lot of protein may have elevated creatinine levels than those who consume less protein. Similarly, dehydrated people may have lower creatinine levels than adequately hydrated ones.

What do abnormal creatinine levels indicate?

Creatinine is an essential indicator for diagnosing and monitoring the progression of kidney disease. Abnormal creatinine levels can indicate decreased kidney function, which can be caused by conditions such as infections, high blood pressure, or diabetes

Other factors contributing to abnormal creatinine levels include dehydration and certain medications, such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Lastly, creatinine levels may be outside the normal range if the liver isn’t functioning correctly.

Image depicting the impact of diabetes on the body, including blood sugar disruption and potential health complications.

How is a creatinine blood test performed?

A creatinine blood test is a simple process typically performed in a medical facility such as a hospital or doctor’s office. The patient will have a small sample of blood drawn from the arm and sent to a lab for testing.

Overall, obtaining a creatinine blood test is a straightforward procedure that can help provide important insight into the health of the kidneys. With minimal risks and potential complications, it is an essential step for anyone looking to monitor their kidney function.



A creatinine blood test is an essential tool in monitoring kidney function. It provides vital information on the amount of creatinine in the blood, assessing overall kidney health. Normal creatinine levels indicate healthy kidneys, while abnormal levels may suggest potential problems with kidney function. Regular testing is vital to detect and treat any potential issues early.

It is critical to discuss any concerns you may have about your kidney health with your healthcare provider. Talk to your doctor about a creatinine blood test if you experience reduced urination, fatigue, or swelling symptoms. Taking care of your kidney health is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

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