Creatinine is a waste product in your body. Normally, your kidneys filter creatinine out of your bloodstream. If you have high creatinine levels, this indicates a problem with your kidneys. Kidney function can become impaired from chronic kidney disease or acute kidney failure. If your diagnosis is acute kidney failure, you may be able to recover full kidney function. Chronic kidney failure requires ongoing treatment. To treat impaired kidney function, you'll have to treat the underlying cause of your kidney problems. Kidney function may diminish due to hypertension, diabetes and possibly high cholesterol.
With increasing creatinine levels, some possible signs may include a low-grade fever, fatigue, lethargy or a generalized sense of malaise. Loss of appetite and changes in weight may be identified. Dehydration may be present as well as headache complaints, and shortness of breath or problems with breathing. Also, a change in mental state may be noticed, for example, the individual may appear confused or disoriented.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that taking creatine in high doses may elicit some unpleasant symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, dehydration, cramps, dizziness and seizures. More serious side effects of high doses of creatine include high blood pressure and liver and kidney damage. Kidney failure and skeletal muscle breakdown have been reported in at least one individual taking a high dose of creatine for several weeks. Long-term effects of creatine supplementation are not well understood.
An individual may present with decreased output of urine (oliguria) and urine may appear dark in color. Edema or puffiness such as in the face and around the eyes or other areas may be found upon examination. Additionally, the individual may report pain occurring in the lower back or lumbar region.