Many people have two kidneys which are strategically located on each side of the spine. A normal person’s kidney has almost the same size as that of your fist to effectively carry out its functions. The kidneys have a very key role in your body especially when it comes to maintaining the condition of your health. A kidney helps in removing waste products and toxins from your blood in the form of urine thus cleansing your body. The kidneys are also involved in maintaining the fluid levels of your body while at the same time regulating the levels of important minerals and nutrients which are consumed in food. Furthermore, the kidneys are very essential when it comes to:
- Producing new red blood cells
- Manufacturing important hormones that are tasked with the responsibility of regulating blood pressure
- Help in the production of vitamin D.
When the kidneys are not carrying out their functions as required, your doctor may recommend a kidney function test. These are basically urine and blood tests performed on your body to find out the problems that are affecting your kidneys. A kidney function test may also be performed when a doctor wants to figure out any other medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes which may have adverse effects on your body. With the results obtained from a kidney function test, it becomes easier for your doctor to prescribe a medication that will completely take care of the condition.
Symptoms of Kidney Problems
Some of the symptoms that may signify a problem in your kidneys include:
- Presence of blood in urine
- High blood pressure
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of the feet and hands
- Loss of appetite
When you start experiencing a kidney failure symptom, it is recommended that you seek medical attention before the condition reaches adverse levels. This will help in treating the condition during its earlier stages since it will have done less damage to your kidneys.
Types of Kidney Function Tests
To determine whether your kidney is performing all functions required, a doctor will carry out a kidney function test that will determine the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) of your kidneys. Through GFR, a doctor is able to figure out the rate at which your kidneys are removing wastes and toxins from the body. If the GFR is slow, then your doctor will give you a medication that will treat the problem at hand.
Serum Creatinine Test
A doctor will carry out this blood test to determine if the levels of creatinine in your body are way up the normal levels required. When the levels of creatinine in your body will be high, it may signify a potential problem in your kidney since they are involved in getting rid of them from your blood.
According to the various researches conducted, a normal man should have a creatinine level that is below 1.4mg/dl while women’s creatinine levels should be below 1.2mg/dl. Any levels that is higher will signify the presence of a kidney problem.
A urinalysis is mainly done to find out whether there is blood or proteins in your urine. Proteins in the Urine may be caused by other factors other than kidney diseases and thus a urinalysis will be able to determine the real cause of this condition.
Kidney infections and physical workouts are known to increase the presence of proteins in your urine. Your doctor may need to rethe peat a urinalysis after some time to check whether the results obtained are similar. During a Urinalysis, your doctor may need you to give a 24 hours urine collection sample that makes it easy for him to determine the rate at which your kidneys are removing waste products like Creatinine.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
Blood Urea Nitrogen test is done by a doctor the to check the waste products which are present in the blood. This tests mainly assists in checking the levels of nitrogen contained in blood as a result of protein breakdown. It is important to notify your doctor about any drug that you may be taking since they may play a role in increasing BUN. A normal human being is supposed to have a BUN that ranges between 7-20 mg/dl. Any figure that is higher than this will signify the presence of a medical condition in your body.
This test is performed to check whether your kidneys are filtering wastes and toxins in the correct manner. The test conducted is used to find out your GFR rate by checking factors like:
- Results obtained from other tests such as testing creatinine levels.
A result that is lower than 60 milliliters per minute may be a symptom of kidney diseases or kidney infections.
How Kidney Function Tests are performed
Kidney function tests are mainly performed using two types of methods i.e. Blood tests and 24 hours urine sample.
24 Hour Urine Sample
Through a 24 hours urine sample, your doctor is able to determine the rate at which your body is removing Creatinine for a given day. Once someone is staring kidney function test using this method, it is advisable that you go to the washrooms when you wake up just like you do on a normal day. During the entire day, you should urinate into a container that was given to you in a Centre. After above all these repeated within 24 hours for the time frame, one is supposed to drop of the sample according to all instructions given by a doctor.
Creatinine tests and Blood Urea Nitrogen tests are performed using blood samples obtained by a doctor in a laboratory. This is done by first tying an elastic band around your arm in order to easily see the veins. The area is then cleaned before blood is drawn using a needle that stores blood in a test tube. The collected blood is then to a laboratory from where analysis is done to determine the real reason behind symptoms experienced in your body.