How Do Doctors Test For Creatinine Levels
Doctors take a blood sample to test creatinine levels. They then use a formula to estimate creatinine clearance.
In some cases, they may also request that the individual collects all of their urine over 24 hours and brings it to the laboratory.
The doctor can then compare the urinary creatinine level with that of the blood. These results show how much creatinine the kidneys are filtering out of the body and how well they are functioning.
High creatinine levels usually indicate that the kidneys are not working as they should. Possible causes of this dysfunction include:
- a kidney infection
- glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the kidney structures that filter the blood
- kidney stones that block the urinary tract
- kidney failure
Outside of kidney function, several other factors can temporarily raise creatinine levels above normal. These include dehydration and consuming large amounts of protein either through food sources or nutritional supplements.
High intensity exercise can also increase certain blood biomarkers, including creatinine.
A person undergoing a creatinine test should let the doctor know if they are taking any medications, fasting, or adhering to a protein-rich diet.
Certain can cause a temporary increase in serum creatinine levels or damage the kidneys.
Some health conditions can also damage these organs, leading to increased creatinine levels. These conditions include:
- numb or tingling hands and feet
Tips To Naturally Treat And Improve Liver Function
Regardless of the cause of liver damage in your body, there are several steps that you can take to improve liver function and perhaps impact your liver enzyme levels.;
If you aren’t sure where to start then you can consider following these guidelines.;
The #1 cause of elevated liver enzymes in the United States is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is caused by obesity and insulin resistance.;;
It’s also one of the most treatable causes of liver damage.;
Find the Root Cause
Whenever possible your main goal should be to find the source and cause of your elevated liver enzymes.;
Once you know the source you can direct your treatment to that specific problem.;
The root cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease = insulin resistance and obesity .;
The root cause of alcoholic fatty liver disease = alcohol intake.
The root cause of iron overload syndrome = inability to get rid of iron adequate ).;
You should never “ignore” elevated liver enzymes because they indicate something wrong in your body!
I also recommend keeping an eye on your AST and ALT levels with a goal to try and get both to less than 20 IU/l.;
Take inventory of Supplements and Medications
Make sure you are only taking those medications and supplements that are absolutely necessary for your body.;
Supplements AND medications must be processed through the liver which can increase demand on your body.;
Taking supplements such as B12, a multivitamin, fish oil, etc. should not be an issue.;
Measure Of A Heart Attack
Ben Shepple, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, explains that when cardiac enzyme levels are elevated, additional blood tests may be done to keep an eye on the numbers.
“If cardiac enzymes are elevated, then they are typically followed over time to see if they increase, decrease or stay the same,” Dr. Shepple says. “Rapidly increasing cardiac enzymes are typically due to a heart attack.
“Cardiac enzyme tests are a lagging indicator and can take hours to show up in the blood after a heart attack has started,” he adds. “If a patient has cardiac enzymes tested soon after a heart attack starts, levels are often normal. For this reason, cardiac enzyme tests are typically repeated four to six hours later.”
Depending on the symptoms, a doctor may recommend additional tests, says the American Heart Association. These may include an echocardiogram, stress test or coronary angiography.
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Elevated Liver Enzymes In Dogs And What It Means
If your dog has just been diagnosed with high liver enzymes, you may be wondering what it could mean for your furry friend.
The liver has several important jobs in canine body function, leading to complications if their liver is ever compromised. So what could cause a dog to experience elevated liver enzymes?
In this article we will discuss the details of liver enzymes in dogs, and what could cause a change in these levels.
How Our Dog Laboratory Processes Blood Work
In addition to having veterinary staff on duty extended hours to handle pet health emergencies, Lombard Veterinary Hospital;also has its own in-house laboratory. Although this means we can process all kinds of lab work for dogs quickly and reliably, it is in emergency situations, when time is of the essence, our in-house dog laboratory is most helpful.
After all, if we can draw, process and analyze dog blood work on the premises, then we can have the results we need immediately. This increases the chances that we can determine what the issue is, and then implement a successful medical intervention based on the results. In this way, our dog laboratory allows us to be a proactive and timely partner in your dog’s health and care.
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What Happens During The Creatinine Clearance Test
You will do the creatinine clearance test over 24 hours. During this time, you will collect your urine each time you urinate. This will give your healthcare provider a good idea of your creatinine levels throughout the entire day.
Make sure to follow the directions from your healthcare provider closely. These instructions will include details about how to store your urine sample and where you will take it when the test is over.
After 24 hours of collecting your urine, you will need to have your blood drawn. This second part of the test looks at the amount of creatinine in your bloodstream. This is called serum creatinine. Your results from both of these tests will be plugged into a mathematic formula that determines your creatinine clearance. This rate tells your provider just how well your kidneys are filtering waste products out of your bloodstream.
Is The Creatinine Clearance Test Done At Home
Part of the creatinine clearance test is done at home and the other part in a lab. You will collect your urine over a 24-hour period of time at home. During this time, you can still participate in your normal daily activities. You just need to stick to a schedule for collecting your urine samples and make sure not to miss any collections .
The second part of the test involves having your blood drawn. This will need to be done at a lab, healthcare facility or your providers office. Your provider will give you directions on where to go to for the blood test when you pick up your test materials. Often, you will drop off your urine collection when you go to get your blood drawn.
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What Do I Need To Do To Prepare For The Creatinine Clearance Test
Before the creatinine clearance test, your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions. During the creatinine clearance test you will need to collect your urine for 24 hours and then your blood will be drawn.
Your provider will provide the container you will need to collect your urine sample and will tell you how to store it over the 24-hour period when youre collecting it. Its important to follow the instructions your provider gives you. Make sure you collect urine throughout the test. If you skip a few times or dont follow the instructions, you may need to repeat the test.
You may also be asked to stop taking some medications. This will be done with your providers direct supervision. Some medications could affect the tests accuracy, and so you might need to temporarily stop taking them. These medications could include:
- Antibiotics .
- Stomach acid pills .
Make sure to let your provider know about any medication you are taking and make sure there is a complete list of all medications you are taking in your medical record. Never stop any medication without first talking to your healthcare provider.
What Does High Enzymes Mean
If your doctor says you have high enzymes, he is referring to an elevated liver enzyme level 1. High enzymes in your liver indicate damage to the cells or inflammation in your liver. Inflamed liver cells leak higher-than-normal amounts of liver enzymes into the bloodstream. This results in higher-than-normal enzyme level on your blood test. Several diseases result from high enzyme levels. Your doctor likely will perform additional tests to determine the cause of your high enzymes.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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What Are Elevated Heart Enzymes
If your doctor told you that you have elevated heart enzymes, you might be wondering what that means. Heart enzymes are often measured if your doctor suspects heart damage, such as the kind that occurs after a heart attack.
When the heart becomes damaged, proteins become released in the blood known as cardiac enzymes. Measurable heart enzymes include kinase and a subtype of this enzyme called CK-MB.
CK is found in the heart, skeletal muscles, and brain. CK-MB is only found in the heart.
Measuring CK and CK-MB was the only way to measure a heart attack, but now doctors measure troponin as it reveals more about overall heart damage.
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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What Do The Results Of My Kidney Function Test Mean
Interpreting blood test results can be difficult. Your doctor or nurse will contact you if there is anything that needs discussing or further action is needed. Increased creatinine levels in your blood suggest diseases that affect kidney function such as:
- diabetic kidney disease;
- urinary tract obstruction, or;reduced blood flow to your kidneys due to shock, dehydration, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis or complications of diabetes.
High urea levels suggest impaired kidney function. This may be due to acute or chronic kidney disease. However, there are many things besides kidney disease that can affect urea levels, such as dehydration, decreased blood flow to your kidneys as in congestive heart failure, shock, stress, recent heart attack or severe burns, bleeding from your gastrointestinal tract, conditions that cause obstruction of urine flow.
Values Must Be Tracked
When your veterinarian has confirmed a diagnosis of kidney disease, he will discuss treatment options. To place less stress on the wearing kidneys, your veterinarian may prescribe a diet that is low in protein, sodium and phosphorus. He might prescribe medications to help maintain your dogs present values, and suggest fluid therapy to help keep your dog hydrated. Your vet will run periodic blood chemistry panels and urinalyses to track the kidney values so adjustments in treatment may be made to address any changes as they arise. He may also monitor your dogs blood pressure, which can elevate as a result of kidney disease. Kidney disease is a degenerative condition, meaning that there is no cure. The goal of treatment is to slow the progression of the disease and preserve your companions quality of life for as long as possible.
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When Will A Veterinarian Recommend Dog Blood Tests
The following situations can result in dog blood work being ordered:
- On the first veterinary visit: We recommend puppies have blood test to rule out congenital diseases, for baseline information and for pre anesthetic testing prior to spay or neuter
- During semi-annual wellness exams: This is recommended if your veterinarian suggests it as part of a thorough physical examination because dog blood work, along with other bodily fluids like urine, can help identify conditions the examination portion of a physical cannot
- If a dog seems not quite right: Canine blood tests are suitable for a dog that is not displaying any overt signs of illness, disease or injury, but is acting abnormal
- Pre-surgical tests: Dog blood work is used to determine the efficiency of the liver and kidneys, which helps a veterinarian select the safest dose of anesthesia. Tests can also help determine the surgical risk level in infirmed, elderly or injured patients
- Prior to starting a new medication: Particularly for new medication may be metabolized by the liver or kidney
- During senior wellness exams: Dog blood tests are usually recommended for mature, senior and geriatric dogs as part of their periodic wellness exams. These are extremely beneficial, as we often see senior dogs return to a more youthful state of being when blood tests identify an issue that can be easily treated
Types Of Liver Enzymes
Two types of liver enzymes are most commonly found: alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase . ALT is an enzyme found primarily in the liver that helps your body metabolize protein. ALT levels in the blood are normally low. Levels increase when the liver is damaged and ALT is released into the bloodstream. AST is an enzyme that helps with the metabolism of alanine, an amino acid. AST is normally found in high concentrations but an increase in AST levels may also indicate liver damage or disease.
- Two types of liver enzymes are most commonly found: alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase .
- AST is normally found in high concentrations but an increase in AST levels may also indicate liver damage or disease.
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Urine Specific Gravity And Albumin
Kidneys that function normally remove waste from the bloodstream to be expelled in urine while retaining as much water in the body as possible to maintain hydration. The result is concentrated urine. Poor kidney function cannot concentrate the urine, which is why your dog must drink more water in an attempt to excrete the excess toxin load. This leads to dilute urine. Your veterinarian is interested in the urine specific gravity to determine how efficiently the kidneys are concentrating your dogs urine. The normal specific gravity range for a dog is 1.015 to 1.050. A lower specific gravity value indicates poor kidney function. The other urine value to observe is the albumin level. This represents the level of blood proteins that have leaked from the deteriorating kidneys into the urine. The normal range is 2.7 to 4.4, and a higher value indicates kidney disease.
Elevated Liver Enzymes In Senior Dogs
It happens quite often that Ill run a blood panel on a seemingly healthy senior dog, and I discover one or two liver enzymes are higher than normal. How worried should we be? Well, it depends, but heres some general patterns.
The usual culprit is an enzyme called Alkaline Phosphatase, or Alk-Phos, or Alk-P. I commonly see this enzyme rise in older dogs that have no symptoms. The other liver enzymes always seem to be behaving its just this one thats wonky. The normal range depends on the lab your veterinarian uses, but most consider anything up to 130 or so as normal. Its not a shock at all to see a dog have an Alk-P of 200, even 400. My old dachshund mix has had an Alk-P over 300 for the last 3 years. Hes doing great.
This enzyme drives a lot of veterinarians crazy. We need to look at the whole dog, and the severity of the increase. For starters, if the other liver enzymes are normal, the dog has not lost weight, bloodwork is otherwise perfect, many veterinarians will simply recheck the blood in a couple months. If everything else stays in line, and the Alk-P is not rapidly rising, maybe even dropping, well be happy, shrug our shoulders, and say well keep tabs on it.
My Sam has had an Alk-P over 300 for a couple years now. Hes cool with it.
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Other Reasons For Elevated Enzymes
Elevated cardiac enzymes can be an indication of health conditions or reasons other than heart attack. According to a research review published in the Journal of Cardiology & Current Research in January 2018, this includes open heart surgery, strenuous exercise, chemotherapy, atrial fibrillation and blunt trauma to the chest. Other possibilities, per the JCCR review, include:
Is Blood Creatinine Concentration Sensitive In Detecting Renal Dysfunction
While measurement of blood creatinine concentration is very useful, some limitations have to be kept in mind. In particular, note that the relationship between creatinine and glomerular filtration rate is curvilinear , and therefore:
- GFR may decrease rapidly in the early stages of progressive kidney disease without any obvious increase in blood creatinine concentration; or any increase may be small, within the reference range, and so potentially considered to be unimportant.
- In the later stages of progressive kidney disease, even a modest decrease in GFR will lead to a marked, rapid increase in blood creatinine concentration .
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How Does High Blood Pressure Hurt The Kidneys
High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and, over time, can damage blood vessels throughout the body. If the blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. The extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more. It’s a dangerous cycle.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease . People with kidney failure must either receive a kidney transplant or have regular blood-cleansing treatments called dialysis. Every year, high blood pressure causes more than 25,000 new cases of kidney failure in the United States.1
1United States Renal Data System. USRDS 2007 Annual Data Report. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007.