Why Might I Need A Kidney Function Test
Some conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure , affect how well the kidneys work. If you have one of these conditions, your healthcare provider may use kidney function tests to help monitor these conditions.
You may also need a kidney function test if you have symptoms that indicate possible kidney problems. These symptoms might include:
- Blood in your urine .
- Problems with starting to pee.
Protect And Strengthen Your Detox Organs
In order to detox your body, your detox organs need to be able to function.
Your kidneys need to be able to filter out toxicants, your liver needs to be able to transform fat-soluble toxics into water-soluble substances, your intestines need to be able to carry the toxics from your liver through twenty-five feet of intestine, your skin needs to be able to sweat out toxicants, and your lungs need to be able to breathe to exhale toxic gases.
All your detox organs need to be in optimum condition, but given the amount of toxic chemicals your body has been exposed to, they probably need some help.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect your detox organs from damage and strengthen each individual organ.
This is a very important step, because your body actually wont release the toxic chemicals from storage in fat, bones, and other places until your detox organs are in good enough shape to eliminate them.
Again, because each body is unique, you may need to try different detox support methods and products to find which work best for you.
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What Are The First Signs Of Kidney Problems
In the early stages, CKD has no symptoms and needs to be diagnosed through testing. The first symptoms do not show up until the disease is well advanced. However, you should still keep an eye out for them.
Symptoms of kidney disease include:
Trouble sleeping and/or sleep apnea
Dry, itchy skin
Increased need to urinate, especially at night. However, this is more likely a sign of a urinary tract infection if you are female or an enlarged prostate if you are an older male.
Blood in your urine can also be a sign of tumors, kidney stones, or an infection
Bubbles in your urine are caused by elevated albumin levels
Persistent puffiness around your eyes
Swollen ankles and/or feet
Increased muscle cramps
Most of these are not specific to kidney disease, but you should get them checked out anyway. If you experience these symptoms after a blow to the lower back or a fall, this might indicate physical damage to your kidneys.
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What Is Kidney Disease
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that act as your bodys waste filtration system. They filter your blood 12 times per hour. Excess water and unwanted chemicals or waste in the blood are disposed of as urine .
Kidney disease is when your kidneys are damaged in some way and are not filtering your blood effectively.
Ways To Improve Kidney Health
Kidneys act as your bodys natural filter. A pair of healthy kidneys can filter about half a cup of blood per minute, removing waste and toxins from your body. Kidneys also serve to regulate blood pressure and fluid balance in your body.
So, as you can imagine, it is important to take good care of your kidneys and keep them functioning correctly. Improving kidney health isnt as difficult as you might think. The following simple changes may help to keep your kidneys healthy and strong for years to come.
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Tests For Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer might be found because of signs or symptoms a person is having, or it might be found because of lab tests or imaging tests a person is getting for another reason. The actual diagnosis of kidney cancer is made by looking at a sample of kidney cells in the lab or sometimes by how the kidney looks on an imaging test. If you think you have possible signs or symptoms of kidney cancer, see your doctor.
What Does The Test Involve
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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Signs Of Renal Failure
People with chronic kidney disease often do not experience symptoms when their CKD is in its earliest stages. In fact, symptoms do not usually appear until the damage associated with kidney disease has reached an advanced stage.
When signs of CKD appear, they may include:
Acute kidney injury can cause signs that include:
Having these signs does not necessarily mean that your kidneys are not working. For more information, contact Associates in Nephrology. Our vein doctor in Taunton, MA, and Brockton, MA specializes in kidney disease, nephrology, and dialysis.
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What Is A Kidney Function Test
There are two main kinds of kidney function tests:
A urine test: This checks for albumin, a protein normally found in your blood. Healthy kidneys do not excrete albumin, so the presence of albumin in your urine indicates that your kidneys are damaged. This is done using either a simple dipstick test or a urine albumin-to-creatine ratio test, which estimates how much albumin passes into your urine in 24 hours. 30 mg/g or less is normal.
A blood test: This measures your glomerular filtration rate and directly indicates how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. A reading of 90 or more is the normal range. Less than 60 may mean you have kidney disease. A reading of 60 to 90 can indicate kidney disease, but this reading can be normal for some people, especially older people, as it is normal for GFR to decline with age.
Note that both tests can show temporary abnormal results. You will likely repeat the test to confirm the results if you have albumin in your urine. The second test is usually the UACR test, which is more accurate.
Kidney disease is diagnosed if the GFR remains low for three or more months and/or if there is also protein in your urine. There are a few factors that can temporarily change your GFR, including:
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How Do I Cope With Kidney Failure
Learning you have kidney failure can be a shock, even if you have known for a long time that your kidneys were not working well. You may feel sad or anxious.
Reach out for support from your health care team and your family, friends and community. They can help you make changes to feel your best while you get dialysis and may be waiting for a kidney transplant.
To feel your best, your doctors will recommend that you:
- Go to every dialysis visit and consider getting a kidney transplant.
- Have visits with a nephrologist.
- Meet with a dietitian to help you create and follow a kidney-friendly eating plan.
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. They may prescribe blood pressure medicines
- Keep your blood sugar at a healthy level if you have diabetes.
- Be active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Drink less alcohol and quit smoking or using tobacco.
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Why Is It Important To Check If You Have Kidney Failure
Chronic kidney disease cannot be reversed. Acute kidney disease often can improve, with several months of a special diet and medication, even if you temporarily go on dialysis. Full-blown kidney failure cannot be reversed.
However, the sooner CKD is diagnosed, the better. While the damage can’t be reversed or cured, it is possible to significantly slow or even stop the progression of the disease.
Treating kidney failure requires dialysis or a transplant. While there is less of a kidney shortage than other organs, as healthy people can donate one of their kidneys, many people face years of dialysis if they do not slow the progression of CKD.
Dialysis is when a machine is used to filter out the toxins in your blood, to substitute the work of the kidneys, and is a major impediment to your quality of life. Hemodialysis, for example, requires that you spend four hours, three times a week, attached to a dialysis machine.
Peritoneal dialysis, where the lining of your abdominal cavity is used to filter the blood instead of an external machine, can be more convenient, but not everyone is a candidate.
Also, kidney failure increases your risk of many other medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease and depression.
Diagnosing CKD early means you can take steps to slow the progression of the disease. These steps are designed to reduce the strain on weakened kidneys and include:
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Smoking Causes Kidney Damage
Smoking has many harmful side effects, one of which is that the chemicals in cigarettes restrict and harden blood vessels. This makes it more difficult for blood to pass through, increasing blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and damage to your kidneys.
Smoking is most known for causing lung cancer in those who do it. However, there is also research that links it to kidney cancer. The harmful chemicals from cigarettes get into the bloodstream and can accumulate almost anywhere in the body.
If you are a smoker, the sooner you quit the better. Much of the damage smoking causes is reversible, but it takes many smoke-free years to get there.
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Diet And Lifestyle Changes
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Signs You May Have Kidney Disease
More than 37 million American adults are living with kidney disease and most dont know it. There are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but sometimes people attribute them to other conditions. Also, those with kidney disease tend not to experience symptoms until the very late stages, when the kidneys are failing or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine. This is one of the reasons why only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease know that they have it, says Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, Chief Medical Officer at the National Kidney Foundation.
While the only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease is to get tested, Dr. Vassalotti shares 10 possible signs you may have kidney disease. If youre at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or if youre older than age 60, its important to get tested annually for kidney disease. Be sure to mention any symptoms youre experiencing to your healthcare practitioner.
When Things Go Wrong
A little more than 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 20 show evidence of kidney disease. Some forms of kidney disease are progressive, meaning the disease gets worse over time. When your kidneys can no longer remove waste from blood, they fail.
Waste buildup in your body can cause serious problems and lead to death. To remedy this, your blood would have to be filtered artificially through dialysis, or you would need a kidney transplant.
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What Is Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a slow and gradually progressive disease that causes kidney dysfunction. However, if one kidney stops functioning correctly, the other can carry out normal functions.
In many instances, a kidney will deteriorate to a certain level of dysfunction and not get any worse. Sometimes, however, the condition may progress to kidney failure.
Most people with chronic kidney disease are not aware that they have it because symptoms do not usually develop in the early stages of the disease. Typically, by the time a person notices the symptoms, the disease is in an advanced stage, and damage to the kidneys is irreversible.
How Do I Know If My Kidney Is A Match For The Recipient
The transplant team will check your blood type as well as the recipient blood type to see if they are compatible. A unique blood test also needs to be done which is called crossmatch.
It is possible that the recipient of the kidney has an allergy to the donated kidney so the recipientâs body may reject the donated kidney. Such allergy is due to some substances called antibodies which are present in the recipientâs blood. In order to make sure that the recipient does NOT have those antibodies against your kidney tissue, the crossmatch test is performed. Briefly, a sample of your blood is combined with a sample of the recipientâs blood. If the recipient has antibodies to the donor, this will cause a âpositiveâ reactivity during the crossmatch test. This may mean your recipient is incompatible to you. In the case that you and your recipient are not compatible, you may participate in UCLAâs Kidney Exchange Program. This program allows the recipient and donor to enter a paired exchange registry, where the donor will donate to another recipient that is matched, and the recipient will recieve a matched kidney from a compatible donor in return.
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Golden Rules Of Prevention
Kidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. Check out the 8 Golden Rules!
Secondary Prevention slowing disease progression:
Key preventive measures have been defined and proven successful in those with early stages of CKD as secondary prevention measures, which help slow disease progression and protect against both kidney and cardiovascular disease, such as:
- Reduction of high blood pressure -the lower the blood pressure , the slower the GFR decline
- Specific medications to reduce proteinuria as well as lower blood pressure angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers
- Reduce salt intake to lower blood pressure
- Control of glucose, blood lipids and anemia
- Smoking cessation
- Increase of physical activity
- Control of body weight
Treatment: Clinical research over the last two decades has shown the potential benefit of blockade of the renin-angiotensin system by medicines known as ACE inhibitors and ARBs. This can significantly delay the progression of CKD, especially in people with diabetes and hypertension at relatively low cost.
Tiredness Less Energetic Or Difficulty In Concentration
Severe reduction in the function of kidney/kidneys may result in the formation of various impurities, including toxins in the human blood. This makes people to feel weak or tired and further create difficulty in their concentration. In addition, a few people may experience anemia trouble with kidney disease, which further results in fatigue and weakness.
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What Is A Kidney Function Blood Test
A kidney function blood test usually measures the level of the waste product creatinine and certain dissolved salts in your blood. The test is done to check for a number of aspects of kidney function.
- Creatinine is a waste product in your body that is made by your muscles. It passes into your bloodstream, and is usually passed out in your urine . A high level of creatinine in your blood indicates that your kidneys may not be working properly.
- Dissolved salts that are routinely measured are sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate. They are sometimes referred to as electrolytes. Abnormal blood levels of any of these may sometimes be due to a kidney problem.
- eGFR stands for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Although the level of creatinine in your blood is a useful guide to kidney function, the eGFR is a more accurate measure of how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. Using your blood creatinine, and your age and sex, your eGFR can be calculated by computer and reported with the creatinine blood test.
In some cases urea and uric acid are also tested which are other waste products.
A urine test is sometimes done to check for excess protein leaking from your urine. Albumin is a type of protein and a high ratio indicates that your kidneys are leaking protein. This can be elevated in certain conditions such as kidney damage from diabetes mellitus and pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.