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Do Blood Tests Detect Kidney Problems

General Tests For Kidney Function And Disease

How do you check for kidney disease?

Renal panela group of tests that may be used to evaluate kidney function and/or screen for, diagnose or monitor kidney disease. While the tests included in the panel can vary by laboratory, they typically include:

  • Electrolytes: sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate
  • Urea
  • Creatinine
  • Calculated values may include eGFR, urea /creatinine ratio and anion gap.

Alternatively, each of the above tests may be ordered individually.

Cost And Health Insurance

The serum creatinine blood test costs around $25, while the creatinine clearance urine test can run from $35 to $65, depending on the lab and its location. While insurance pre-authorization is generally not required, you may want to call in advance to find out how much your copay or coinsurance costs will be.

If you are uninsured, shop around for prices. Generally speaking, independent labs have lower costs. Some of the larger labs may even offer tiered pricing if you meet certain income qualifications. Ask about patient assistance programs designed to help low-income families.

What Causes Kidney Malfunction

A major culprit of kidney problems is an acidic diet . A brand-new study sheds light on the renal problems that can be caused by a high-acid, meat-rich diet.

The study followed 1,500 people with kidney disease for a period of 14 years. Participants who ate a diet high in meat came very close to experiencing complete kidney failure, while those who ate more fruits and vegetables did not even come close to kidney failure. Researchers estimate that an acidic diet can make it three times more likely for your kidneys to fail.1

Says lead study author Dr. Tanushree Banejee,

Patients with chronic kidney disease may want to pay more attention to diet consumption of acid rich foods to reduce progression to kidney failuredialysis treatmentsmay be avoided by adopting a more healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.1

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Sexually Transmitted Disease Tests

Many sexually transmitted diseases can be diagnosed using a blood sample. These tests are often combined with urine samples or swabs of infected tissue for more accurate diagnoses.

The following STDs can be diagnosed with blood tests:

Blood tests arent always accurate right after contracting an infection. For an HIV infection, for example, you may need to wait at least a month before a blood test can detect the virus.

When Is A Kidney Function Test Done


A kidney function test may be requested as a routine blood test to find out about your general health. It is also requested for a variety of other more specific situations, eg:

  • to assess if you have any sign of acute or chronic kidney disease
  • to assess for;dehydration
  • to check how your kidneys are functioning before and after starting certain medicines.

Chronic kidney disease is common as you get older. It has no warning signs until too late. Therefore a kidney function test at various stages can be helpful to find problems sooner. Read more about chronic kidney disease.;

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan

MRI scans;may be done when a person cant have the CT contrast dye because they have an allergy to it or they dont have good kidney function. MRI scans may also be done if theres a chance that the cancer has grown into major blood vessels in the abdomen , because they provide a better picture of blood vessels than CT scans. Finally, they may be used to look at abnormal areas in the brain and spinal cord that might be due to cancer spread.

How Is The Test Done

Usually, your doctor will ask you not to eat excessive amounts of meat or other protein for 24 hours before a kidney blood test. During the test, your doctor will extract blood from your veins into a tube, which will then be sent off for testing at a laboratory. Test results are usually available within a few days, or even on the same day if youre having the test in a hospital.

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The Incidence Of Kidney Disease Is Rising Screen Your Kidney Function With These Simple Blood And Urine Test

Written by Shraddha Rupavate | Updated : August 27, 2014 11:10 AM IST

Kidney problems do not develop overnight. Your kidney function naturally starts declining after you cross your 30s. And whether you will develop a kidney problem later in life is largely dependent on your lifestyle habits and diet. In most cases, kidney problems are caused as a result of a primary condition like diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol levels. Because the symptoms of kidney diseases are not evident unless the kidneys are deteriorated to a great extent , you should regularly screen your kidney function . Here are some kidney function tests that can determine whether you are at a risk of kidney disease.

1. Blood pressure: Your kidneys perform the function of filtering blood under pressure to eliminate waste products through the urine. If your blood pressure is higher than normal it will increase the load on your kidneys and may lead to kidney disease. Alternatively, a person is suffering from kidney disease is also likely to have high blood pressure. Read more about the medication for high blood pressure.

2. Blood creatinine test: Creatinine is a waste product that is produced by your muscles. It enters the bloodstream and is filtered by the kidneys to get excreted through the urine. A blood creatinine test will measure the amount of creatinine in your blood. A higher level may indicate that the kidneys are not functioning properly.

Imaging Tests For Kidney Disease

What are the tests for Chronic Kidney Disease? – Dr. Vishwanath. S

Tests that create various pictures or images may include:

  • x-rays to check the size of the kidneys and look for kidney stones
  • cystogram a bladder x-ray
  • voiding cystourethrogram where the bladder is x-rayed before and after urination
  • ultrasound sound waves are bounced off the kidneys to create a picture. Ultrasound may be used to check the size of the kidneys. Kidney stones and blood vessel blockages may be visible on ultrasound
  • computed tomography x-rays and digital computer technology are used to create an image of the urinary tract, including the kidneys;
  • magnetic resonance imaging a strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to create a three-dimensional image of the urinary tract, including the kidneys.
  • radionuclide scan.

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Know Your Kidney Numbers: Two Simple Tests

Did you know one in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease? Anyone can get kidney disease at any time. If kidney disease is found and treated early, you can help slow or even stop it from getting worse. Most people with early kidney disease do not have symptoms. That is why it is important to be tested. Know your kidney numbers!

Your kidney numbers include 2 tests: ACR and GFR . GFR is a measure of kidney function and is performed through a blood test. Your GFR will determine what stage of kidney disease you have there are 5 stages. Know your stage.ACR is a urine test to see how much albumin is in your urine. Too much albumin in your urine is an early sign of kidney damage.

Blood Tests For Kidney Disease

The best measure of kidney function is the glomerular filtration rate , which can be estimated from a blood test that checks the blood for creatinine .;

A normal GFR result is higher than 90 mL/min/1.73 m2. If the result is persistently less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 for at least three months, this confirms that the person has chronic kidney disease.;

Blood tests can reveal other abnormalities of kidney function, such as:;

  • high levels of acids
  • anaemia
  • high levels of potassium
  • low levels of salt
  • changes to the levels of calcium and phosphate.

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Why Is It Important To Check Kidney Function

When your kidneys do not work as they should, waste can build up in your blood. This can make you sick. If you have long-term kidney disease, you may not have any symptoms until your kidney function is very low.

Blood and urine tests can help show how well your kidneys are working. They can help your doctor know:

  • If the disease started all of a sudden or if you have had it a long time.
  • The cause of the kidney damage.
  • The best type of treatment to slow the damage.
  • How well treatment is working.
  • When to begin dialysis or have a kidney transplant.

Test To Assess The Kidney Function

Chronic Renal Failure â Peter Tan â The Digital Awakening

It is very essential to know the function of kidney and also the process of urine formation to know the rational behind these test and also to interpret the result of these test.

Glomerular Function- Clearance test

The best test to assess glomerular function is Glomerular filtration rate , which is the rate in milliliters per minute at which substances in plasma are filtered through the glomerulus; in other words, the clearance of a substance from the blood. The normal GFR for an adult male is 90 to 120 mL per minute.

GFR cannot be measured directly so various substances are used to assess GFR. There are various exogenous and endogenous substances that are used for clearance test. The characteristics of an ideal marker to measure GFR are as follows:

  • Constant rate of production
  • Freely filterable at the glomerulus
  • No tubular reabsorption
  • No extrarenal elimination or metabolism
  • Availability of an accurate and reliable assay
  • For exogenous marker: safe, convenient, readily available, inexpensive, and does not influence GFR

Clearance is the rate at which an indicator substance is removed from plasma per unit concentration; specifies a volume from which all of a substance is removed per unit time. For a substance Z cleared by renal elimination:

Cz =UzxV â Pz

Where Cz is the clearance rate of Z substance, Uz is urinary concentration of z, Pz is plasma concentration of Z, and V is urine flow rate.

Inulin Clearance Test
Creatine Clearance test

Factors affecting serum creatine are:

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How To Diagnose Kidney Failure In Cats

This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 35,793 times.

In cats over the age of 7 years with kidney disease, having the disease is part of the natural aging process. In animals less than 4 years of age, kidney problems are more likely to be the result of a genetic predisposition. The kidney has many jobs to do, but most important of these is filtering natural toxins out of the bloodstream and reclaiming water that would otherwise be lost in the urine. Therefore, it is important to be sensitive to the signs of kidney failure so the cat can be diagnosed and treated as efficiently as possible.

New Test For Detecting Onset Of Kidney Disease In Dogs And Cats

The discovery of this biomarker has made it possible for a screening test to be developed to diagnose kidney disease in its earliest stages. IDEXX Reference Laboratories has developed such a diagnostic tool which is to be included on all the routine blood chemistry panel testing for dogs and cats.

This test will help veterinarians recognize the potential for kidney disease in dogs and cats much earlier. Monitoring and treatment protocols at this stage will potentially add several months to years to a pets lifespan.

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What To Watch For

Kidney disease gets worse over time as waste and fluid build up in your body. Here are the warning signs:

  • Changes in your urine. You might pee more or less than normal. Or you could notice a change in color or that your pee is foamy. This means that protein is seeping out of your kidneys. Blood in the urine is another sign.Â;
  • Dry and itchy skin. This can happen when your kidneys are no longer able to balance the minerals and nutrients in your blood.
  • Swelling. Your kidneys help even out the amount of sodium in your body. When theyâre not working well, your body hangs on to extra salt. This can cause puffy skin around your ankles and feet. You may also notice it in your hands or around your eyes.
  • Upset stomach. Built-up waste in your blood can cause nausea and loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue. Your kidneys produce a hormone that tells your body to make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. If theyâre not working right, this doesnât get done, and you can have a health problem called anemia. You may feel tired, even after you rest. Your sleep quality may suffer, too.

How Is The Sample Collected For Testing

How can I be tested for kidney disease?

A blood sample taken by a needle placed in a vein in your arm.;An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch. The blood sample is collected in a tube, which is sent to the laboratory for analysis.

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Test Results And Stages Of Ckd

Your;test results can be used to determine how damaged your kidneys are, known as the stage of CKD.

This can help your doctor decide the best treatment for you and how often you should have tests to monitor your condition.

Your eGFR results is given as a stage from 1 of 5:

  • stage 1 ;a normal;eGFR above 90ml/min, but other tests have detected signs of kidney damage
  • stage;2 ; ;a slightly reduced;eGFR of 60 to 89ml/min,;with other signs of kidney damage
  • stage;3a ;an eGFR;of 45 to 59ml/min
  • stage 3b; ;an eGFR;of 30 to 44ml/min
  • stage;4; ;an eGFR of 15 to 29ml/min
  • stage;5 ;an eGFR below 15ml/min, meaning the;kidneys have lost almost all of their function

Your ACR result is given as a stage from 1 to 3:

  • A1 ;an ACR of less than 3mg/mmol
  • A2 ;an ACR of 3 to 30mg/mmol
  • A3;;an ACR of more than 30mg/mmol

For both eGFR and ACR,;a;higher;stage indicates more severe kidney disease.

Research Into New Methods Of Diagnosis Of Kidney Disease

Recent research conducted at Oregon State University has led to the discovery of an indicator produced by cats and dogs with kidney disease. This biomarker is called symmetric dimethylarginine .

SDMA is a form of amino acid created through the breakdown of protein and released into the bloodstream to be sent out of the body through the kidneys. An increased level of SDMA in the blood can be seen much earlier than an increase in other indicators of kidney disease . SDMA is important because it is not affected by other conditions that may cause elevated creatinine levels in a sick animal .

It was determined that SDMA levels could be used approximately 17 months earlier to indicate the presence of kidney disease than by measuring creatinine levels . Another study conducted in dogs with chronic kidney disease showed that SDMA could be detected approximately 9.5 months earlier than elevated creatinine levels .;

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Are There Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease

Yes, there are five stages of kidney disease. The stages are based on how well your kidneys are able to do their job to filter out waste and extra fluid from your blood. The stages range from very mild to kidney failure . Healthcare providers determine the stage of your kidney function according to the glomerular filtration rate . Your GFR is a number based on the amount of creatinine, a waste product, found in your blood, along with other factors including your age, race and gender.

Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Are African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian.
  • Are over 60 years of age.
  • Have a long history of taking painkillers, including over-the-counter products such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

How Is Chronic Kidney Disease Treated

kidney failure â Peter Tan â The Digital Awakening

There is no cure for chronic kidney disease , but steps may be taken in early CKD to preserve a higher level of kidney function for a longer period of time. If you have reduced kidney function:

  • Make and keep your regular healthcare provider / nephrologist visits.
  • Keep your blood sugar under control .
  • Avoid taking painkillers and other medications that may make your kidney disease worse.
  • Keep your blood pressure levels under control.
  • Consult a dietitian regarding useful changes in diet. Dietary changes may include limiting protein, eating foods that reduce blood cholesterol levels, and limiting sodium and potassium intake.
  • Exercise/be active on most days of the week.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.

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Why Wait Until Your Kidneys Are Diseased

While the study was conducted on people with kidney disease, we could safely extrapolate the recommendations to those who want to avoid kidney disease and achieve optimal kidney function now, especially as we age.

In fact, additional research points to the actuality of physiological changes in the kidneys as we age. The research notes that a progressive reduction of the glomerular filtration rate and renal blood flow are observed in conjunction with aging. The reason for these phenomena is a decrease in the plasma flow in the glomerulus, a bundle of capillaries that partially form the renal corpuscle.2

In addition, the aging kidneys experience other structural changes, such as a loss of renal mass, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli that constrict or dilate blood vessels. The study concludes with a notable summation:

age-related changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, such as reduced cardiac output and systemic hypertension, are likely to play a role in reducing renal perfusion and filtration. Finally, it is hypothesized that increases in cellular oxidative stress that accompany aging result in endothelial cell dysfunction and changes in vasoactive mediators resulting in increased atherosclerosis, hypertension and glomerulosclerosis.2


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