Kidney Health is in Your Hands
The kidneys regulate the amount of water and salts that we have in our bodies. They do this by filtering the blood through millions of structures called nephrons. The kidneys also pass out certain waste products from the body. Urine is made up of the excess water, salts and waste products passed out by the kidneys down to the bladder.
WHY HAVE KIDNEY FUNCTION TESTS?
Routine kidney function is one of the most commonly performed blood tests. It may be done:
1. As part of a general health assessment. Annual Physical/medical Examination.
2. If you have suspected low body water content (dehydration), when the urea level increases.
3. If you have suspected kidney failure. The higher the blood levels of urea and creatinine, the less well the kidneys are working. The level of creatinine is usually used as a marker as to the severity of kidney failure. Creatinine in itself is not harmful but a high level indicates that the kidneys are not working properly. So, many other waste products will not be cleared out of the bloodstream. You normally need treatment with dialysis if the level of creatinine goes higher than a certain value.
4. Before and after starting treatment and procedures with certain medicines. Some medicines occasionally cause kidney damage as a side-effect. Therefore, kidney function is often checked before and after starting treatment with certain medicines.
OTHER KIDNEY FUNCTION TESTS
The routine kidney blood test is a general marker of kidney function. If the blood test is abnormal it cannot say what is causing the kidney problem. Therefore, if you have an abnormal result you may need further tests to find the cause of a kidney problem. For example: urine tests, other blood tests, scans, X-rays, kidney biopsy, etc.