Kidney function test is a simple procedure where urine or blood sample is used to detect kidney problems. Different types of kidney function tests evaluate various aspects of kidney function.
Why is a kidney function test necessary?
Healthy kidneys eliminate excess fluid and wastes from the blood. A renal function test can tell how well the kidneys are doing its job, and how quickly the wastes are being removed. The test can also check if there is any leakage of proteins into the urine.
Early-stage kidney disorders do not always show clear signs and symptoms. The best way to detect the problem is to undergo a renal function test.
Types of the renal function test
To monitor healthy kidney functioning, your doctor might order a series of tests to estimate glomerular filtration rate or GFR – it reveals how fast your kidneys are removing wastes from your system.
Here is a look at the tests that are commonly used to monitor kidney functioning –
Urine protein test
A urine protein test requires a small amount of urine (dipstick test). This test is used to detect if there is protein in the urine.
If there is protein then the doctor will ask you to take the 24-hour urine test. A 24-hour urine test reveals how much protein is present in the urine.
This test checks for traces of blood and protein in your urine. This is a more comprehensive test compared to the urine protein test.
Urinalysis can help identify various other undesirable particles in urine, like –
- Epithelial cells that indicate cancer
- Kidney stone crystals
If the test results are positive for one or more of the above particles, chances are that you might have developed a serious illness, such as –
- Bladder or kidney infections
- Kidney stones
- Renal disease
Blood urea nitrogen
Blood Urea Nitrogen or BUN test checks for wastes in blood. It measures the amount of nitrogen in your blood. Urea nitrogen is a breakdown of protein.
BUN kidney function test normal range varies between 7 and 20mg/dL. If your test results are higher than the normal range, it could be an indication of an underlying health issue.
Serum creatinine test
The test requires a sample of your blood to examine whether creatinine has accumulated in the blood. Usually, healthy kidneys filter the creatinine from the blood. However, a higher level of creatinine can spell trouble for your kidneys. If kidney function test results are positive, your doctor will focus on treating the underlying causes.
Kidney problems can be dangerous and require an immediate diagnosis to be treated on time. With the kidney function test, you can predict renal problems and take action before the situation escalates.