Creatinine and Diabetic Kidney Disease

Creatinine and Diabetic Kidney Disease

Creatinine is a by-product of normal muscle breakdown. Measuring the levels of creatinine in the bloodstream and in the urine can be practical for tracking the development of diabetic kidney disease.


Diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease) brought on by high blood glucose levels and high blood pressure, is the leading reason for kidney failure in the United States. Kidney failure develops within 10 years in 50% of people with Type 1 diabetes and obvious kidney disease. In people with Type 2 diabetes and overt kidney disease, 20% progress to kidney failure in 20 years. Thankfully, taking a variety of actions, such as controlling blood glucose levels and blood pressure, can decrease the risk of kidney failure. It’s also crucial to catch diabetic nephropathy as early as possible.

One of the best screening tools for the earliest stages of diabetic nephropathy is the microalbuminuria test. Once the kidneys end up being harmed, tiny amounts of protein leak into the urine, a condition called microalbuminuria. Presently, the American Diabetes Association suggests beginning to screen for microalbuminuria in individuals who have had Type 1 diabetes for 5 years and at the time of medical diagnosis in individuals with Type 2 diabetes (since Type 2 diabetes may have been establishing and causing problems long prior to it was identified). All individuals with diabetes should be evaluated yearly thereafter (or within six months if a test outcome is positive for microalbuminuria).

While microalbuminuria is an extremely sensitive test in people with Type 1 diabetes, testing for microalbuminuria alone might miss out on many cases of diabetic kidney disease in those with Type 2. Because of that, some kidney professionals now suggest also testing the glomerular purification rate (GFR) yearly in people with Type 2 diabetes. GFR is a procedure of how well the kidneys are able to filter waste from the blood. A persistently low GFR indicates kidney disease.

See also: Kidney Function Tests

Presently, GFR can not be measured straight, but it can be closely estimated using the blood concentration of creatinine. Given that healthy kidneys excrete creatinine in the urine, a buildup of creatinine in the blood stream is a cautioning sign that kidney function is starting to decline. By determining the concentration of creatinine in the bloodstream and using it in an equation that takes into consideration the individual’s weight, age, sex, and race, doctors can approximate the GFR to evaluate kidney function. The greater the blood creatinine level, the lower the GFR and the even worse shape the kidneys remain in. Some physicians likewise use the blood creatinine level and GFR computation to track the decrease of kidney function and to determine any advantages of treatment.

Kidney function is also sometimes examined utilizing a test called creatinine clearance, which likewise estimates GFR. A blood sample is taken and urine is collected over a 24-hour period to determine the quantity of creatinine cleared from the blood stream over that time period.

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