Low BUN/Creatinine Ratio

Low BUN and Creatinine Levels: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

July 22, 2019

Low bun/creatinine ratio: what is it, how to tell its initials symptoms and how can it be treated before the ailment worsens? First, to define BUN, it is the blood urea nitrogen in the human body. BUN is formed in blood after protein nutrients break it down. BUN level results can be obtained through a medical checkup and relate to BMP or the basic metabolic panel. These results will reveal significant information which usually points to a body chemical imbalance. These results are helpful to prevent potential worsening ailments in the future. Creatinine, on the other hand, is a serum or compound excreted through urine and is made by metabolism. It is also an important part of the muscles, specifically the creatinine metabolism muscle. These molecules get distributed in our body’s water system.

Did you know? Your body’s urea nitrogen average range in the human blood is 7 – 20 mg/dl and is affected by various factors such as hydration state, protein, and renal urea excretion. If you eat plenty of protein on a daily basis, you can attain the average 20 mg/dl BUN. On the other hand, a creatinine normal range is 0.7–1.2 mg/dL. Combining the two tests when checked by a laboratory-based on mg/dL units, the ratio will be able to determine conditions like dehydration or acute kidney injury. If you have tested low on blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine, it could be because of an underlying condition. A normal bun/creatinine ratio must be 10–20:1. Read about the possible causes of a low bun/creatinine ratio.


Low BUN/Creatinine Ratio Causes and Symptoms

A low BUN/creatinine ratio is mainly caused by a number of factors. These include malnutrition, an extremely low protein diet, cirrhosis, pregnancy, severe muscle injury (rhabdomyolysis), SIADH (a sickness in antidiuretic hormone secretion), or serious liver damage. Read about each specific symptom below.

BUN Decreasing Factors

A BUN test is normally conducted to check up on dehydration if your kidneys are functioning properly. A BUN test also checks up on the status of kidney disease. Below are factors that make blood urea nitrogen.

  • Very low protein intake
  • Malnutrition
  • Starvation
  • Poor liver activity
  • Urea cycle enzyme deficiency caused by genetic factors
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Unusually high IGF-1 and growth hormone
  • Too much water intake
  • Pregnancy (caused by plasma production increase)

Staying hydrated and consuming at least one liter of water daily helps with BUN level normalcy. Eating less meat or protein food groups also help, including eating ginger as it is found to remove urea from your blood. In fact, lab tests on mice that were fed some ginger extracts revealed decreased BUN levels.

Creatinine Decreasing Factors 

An individual’s creatinine levels vary with every individual and are dependent on factors such as gender, age, and body size. Did you know? Creatinine is now more available as a supplement and is growing in popularity. It has been recently discovered to grow body mass as well as improve short-term physical activity then help in recovery after extraneous exercise. Your kidneys are primary to keep creatinine at normal levels. 

Low creatinine symptoms are dependent on the condition behind it, but the following are mainly: 

  • Poor diet (weight loss or dizzy feelings)
  • Diet with very low protein or vegetarian diet 
  • Going on long periods of poor eating habits (causes less creatinine production)
  • Pregnancy
  • Low muscle mass (loss of strength, exercising challenge, thinness which decreases with illness or age, or muscular dystrophy)
  • Liver problems (an inflamed liver; you may experience upper right abdomen pain, nausea or fatigue that could lead to liver disease)
  • Chronic liver disease (50 percent less creatinine production)



  • Switching to a more healthy eating plan (healthier choices, more protein: fish, chicken, cheese, eggs, yogurt, milk; check with a dietician for professional advice)
  • Quitting alcohol consumption 
  • Creatinine supplements (for individuals engaging in intense workouts; however, if you normally eat a healthy and balanced diet and exercise moderately, creatinine supplements are not necessary)
  • Prescribed medication for muscles diseases
  • Physical therapy for muscles diseases
  • Surgery for muscle diseases

Lower creatinine levels are not a cause for alarm especially if you are getting older. The low levels can usually be resolved by doing a healthy diet switch. 


Serious Illnesses leading to low BUN/Creatinine Ratio

Learn about more severe cases to watch out for. Have a checkup immediately if you notice symptoms.

Pancreatic Insufficiency

Pancreatic insufficiency is an illness that causes low BUN levels. This illness comes about when a once high-functioning pancreas can no longer excrete the right amount of digestive enzymes and chemicals that aid in regular digestion. A declining pancreas usually caused by drugs, high amounts of fat in the blood, infections or medical procedures went wrong.

A serious case of pancreatic deficiency can result in poor-functioning absorption of nutrition inside your intestine, and this nutrient malabsorption will lead to nutrient deficiency as well as fat-filled stools.

Watch out for pancreatic insufficiency symptoms such as bloating, gas, food allergy, indigestion, diarrhea, undigested portions of food found in the stool, and feelings of fullness or drowsiness after eating food that is high in carb.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune illness in the body that breaks apart the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves and acts as its protectant. The condition usually occurs around ages 20 – 40 years. A disrupted or damaged myelin sheath interrupts the strong communication made by your bodily movements and brain which may debilitate you in time.

Gradually, if conditions worsen, your nerves may be affected and can cause more serious damage to your sensitive nerves. According to physicians, women can be affected with this condition more than men are. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis include fatigue, weakness/numbness in either of the limbs, pain and tingling all over the body, vision problems, dizziness, and weak coordination.


Fun Facts

  • Because urea is considered a diuretic, it allows us to lose water. 
  • Urea creams help with skin rehydration. 
  • Urea is also used as alternative medication.

Low BUN/creatinine ratio will be revealed after a thorough medical checkup and further tests will be advised by the doctor if it’s necessary.

Low BUN/Creatinine Ratio