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Kidney Function and their Interpretation

Kidney function and their interpretation
HWC Team
December24/ 2015


Both your kidneys play a vital role in maintaining your health; one of the primary functions is to filter waste materials from your blood stream and expel them from your body as urine. However, when you develop a chronic kidney disease and the functions are not being conducted as it should be, it is mandatory to conduct certain tests. GFR or glomerular filtration rate is closely associated with any kidney test.

It measures how effectively your kidneys are filtering the blood. So a GFR higher than 60 is normal, below 60 suggests some disease and below 15 is a failure. There are some more tests that effectively measure if your kidney health is fine or you need some added medications. It is important to understand the lab values to gauge the exact status of your kidneys. Below given is the list of the important kidney function tests –

Serum Creatinine

A muscle activity generates this waste product in the blood. The kidney helps to remove this waste product from your body and when this organ function slows down, the level of creatinine rises and this test is used by doctors to calculate GFR.

GFR or Glomerular Filtration Rate

It denotes the kidney function  and is estimated with the creatinine level. When the GFR falls below 30, you need to consult a nephrologist who will assist you with treatments like a transplant or a dialysis.

BUN or Blood Urea Nitrogen

Your own body metabolism and breakdown of protein from the foods eaten gives rise to BUN which is a waste product normally removed by the proper functioning of the kidneys. BUN level rises when the kidney is not functioning well or when too much of protein is consumed.

Urine Protein

With the damage of kidneys the protein gets leaked into the urine which can be diagnosed with a simple test. Too much of protein in urine signifies a chronic kidney failure.

Microalbuminuria

This test can detect even a very small quantity of protein in the urine.

Urine Creatinine

The concentration of urine is determined to provide a correct protein result. This protein and creatinine ratio identifies the quantity of protein excreted .

Serum Albumin

Albumin is a body protein that is made from protein which is consumed daily and a low level of Albumin is caused when enough protein is not consumed through diet. When the albumin level is low there could be health problems as immunity to fight off infections decreases.

nPNA (Normalised Protein Nitrogen Appearance)

This test identifies if your protein intake is correct or not. It is a combination of blood study and urine collection in the laboratory.

Subjective Global Assessment

SGA tracks signs of nutrition issues and you are asked about your daily diet, weight gain/loss and fat and muscle stores. A low SGA score needs improvement.

Haemoglobin

This level should at least be 11-12 as it is that part of RBC that carries oxygen from lungs to other body parts. A low level causes anaemia and results in tiredness and lack of energy. Iron supplements and an EPO called erythropoietin needs to be injected to raise the level of haemoglobin.

Kidney tests are important for all and even more for those suffering from diabetes, heart disease or high BP. As soon as you come to know about the issues in kidney test, consult a doctor and start the treatment.  The treatment goals are to prevent the GFR from going down and lowering your urine albumin.

HWC Team

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