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Kidney Function Tests
Overview of kidney function tests
One has two kidneys on either side of the spine that is approximately the size of a human fist. They are locating posterior to the abdomen and below the rib cage.
The kidneys play several essential roles in maintaining health. One of the most important jobs is to filter the waste materials from the blood and force them out from the body as urine.
The kidneys also help to control the levels of water and various essential minerals in the body. In addition, they are vital to the production of:
Red blood cells
Hormones that regulate the blood pressure
If the doctor thinks the kidneys may not be working correctly, one will need kidney function tests—these simple blood and urine tests will identify problems with the kidneys.
One will also need kidney function testing done if one has other conditions that will harm kidneys, like diabetes or high blood pressure. They will help the doctors to monitor these conditions.
Symptoms of Kidney problems
Symptoms that will indicate a problem with the kidneys are:
High blood pressure
Blood in the urine
Frequent urges to urinate
Difficulty beginning in urination
It is swelling of the hands and feet due to a buildup of fluids in the body.
A single symptom will not mean something serious. However, when coinciding, these symptoms suggest that the kidneys are not working correctly. Kidney function tests will help to find the reason.
Types of Kidney function tests
For testing kidney function, the doctor will order a set of tests to estimate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The GFR tells the doctor how quickly the kidneys are clearing waste from the body.
Urinalysis screens presence of protein and blood in the urine are many possible reasons for protein in the urine. Not all of which are relating to the disease. Infection increases the urine protein, but so does a heavy physical workout. The doctor will want to repeat this test after a few weeks to see if the same results.
The doctor may also ask one to provide a 24-hour urine collection sample. It will help doctors see how fast a waste product is called creatinine is clearing from the body. Creatinine is an action product of muscle tissue.
Serum creatinine test
This blood test checks whether creatinine is building up in the blood. Kidneys are usually completely filtering creatinine from the blood. High level of creatinine suggesting kidney problem.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, a creatinine level higher than 1.2 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) for women. For men, 1.4 mg/dL is a signing of kidney problems.
Blood urea nitrogen
The blood urea nitrogen test also checks for waste products in the blood. These tests measure the amount of nitrogen in the blood. Urea nitrogen is an action product of protein.
However, not all situating Blood urea nitrogen tests are due to kidney damage. Like large doses of aspirin and some types of antibiotics, common medications will also increase the difficulty. It is necessary to speak to the doctor about medications or supplements that one takes regularly. One may need to stop certain drugs for a few days before the test.
An average Blood Urea Nitrogen level is between 7 and 20 mg/dL. A higher value will suggest several different health problems.
This test estimates how well the kidneys are filtering waste. The test finds the rate by looking at factors, like:
Test results, specifically the creatinine levels
A result lower than 60 milliliters/minute/1.73m2 will be a warning sign of kidney disease.
How the tests are performing
Kidney function tests are usually requiring a 24-hour urine sample and blood test.
24-hour urine sample
It is a creatinine clearance test. The sample gives the doctor an idea of how much creatinine the body expels over a single day.
On the day one starts the test, urinate into the toilet as one usually would when waking.
Rest of the day and night, urinating into a particular container providing by the doctor. Keeps the container cap and refrigerate during the collection of process. Ensure to label the container clearly and tell other family members why it is in the fridge.
On the morning of the second day, it was urinating into the container when one gets up. It will complete the 24-hour collection process.
Follow the doctor’s instructions on where to drop the sample off. One may need to return it either to the doctor’s office or in the laboratory.
Blood Urea Nitrogen and serum creatinine tests require blood samples taken in a lab or doctor’s office.
The technician is drawing the blood first ties with an elastic band around the upper arm. It will make the veins standing out. Then the technician cleans the area over the vein. They were slipping a having a space needle through the skin and into the vein. The blood will be flowing back into a test tube, and that will send for analysis.
One may feel a sharp pinch when the needle enters the arm. The technician will place cotton and a bandage over the puncture site after the test. The area around the puncture will develop a contusion over the next few days. However, one should not feel long-term pain.
Treatment of early kidney disease
The doctor will be concentrating on treating the underlying condition if the tests show early kidney disease. The doctor will prescribe medications to control blood pressure if the tests show hypertension. They will also be suggesting lifestyle and dietary modifications.
If one has diabetes, the doctor may want one to see an endocrinologist. The type of doctor specializes in metabolic diseases and will help ensure that one has the best blood glucose control possible.
If other causes of the abnormal kidney function tests, like kidney stones and more use of painkillers. The doctor will take correct measures to manage that disorders.
Abnormal test results mean one will probably need regular kidney function tests in the months ahead. These will help the doctor to keep an eye on the condition.
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