When do you need a Kidney Function Test?
The improper functioning of kidney causes several symptoms. These symptoms might not mean anything serious. But, if the symptoms keep occurring frequently, your kidneys might not be working properly. If you see any of the following symptoms, you definitely need to consult a doctor:
Pain while urinating ,Difficulty in urinating, Blood in urine,Increase in the frequency of urination,Swollen hands and feet (fluids get built up in the body),High blood pressure.
What are Kidney Function Tests?
Kidney Function tests are conducted to check if the kidneys are functioning efficiently or not. These can be simple blood or urine tests. Here are some of the Kidney Function Tests:
Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
To test the working of the kidney, your Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is calculated. GFR is the best method to find out the functioning of the kidney. Low GFR shows that the kidneys are not working well. GFR lower than 60 indicates signs of kidney disease.
It estimates how efficiently the kidneys are filtering waste out of the body. The test takes a look at factors like age, sex, height, weight, race, creatinine levels, etc.
This test looks out for blood and protein in the urine. If there is an infection, the amount of protein in urine increases. However, it is not a sure sign as there can be many reasons for the increased amount of protein in the urine. For example, a heavy workout can also cause increased protein in the urine. Usually, doctors conduct another test after a few weeks to see if the results are same.
For the test, a 24-hour urine sample is collected. This helps the doctor to determine how fast creatinine, a waste product that is the breakdown product of muscle tissue, is expelled from the body.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
The BUN test checks waste products present in the blood by calculating the amount of nitrogen (Urea Nitrogen is formed when the protein breakdowns). However, sometimes some medications can increase the content of nitrogen in the blood. So, before taking the test, make sure that your doctor knows about the additional supplements or medications that you are taking. The normal range for the BUN is 7-20. If it is any higher than that, it might be because of a health problem.
Serum Creatinine Test
This test is used to determine if creatine is building up in your blood. Kidneys are responsible for filtering out creatinine and if it is building up, then your kidney is not working properly. For women, creatinine level higher than 1.2 indicates a kidney problem and for men, the level is