What Happens During A Kidney Urine Test
You complete 24-hour urine tests at home. For a 24-hour urine test, your provider will give you a container to collect urine. On the day of the test:
What Do The Results Mean
Your GFR results may show one of the following:
- Normalyou probably dont have kidney disease
- Below normalyou may have kidney disease
- Far below normalyou may have kidney failure
If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
How Is The Sample Collected For Testing
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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What Is A Creatinine Test
A creatinine test, also called a serum creatinine test, is a way for doctors to measure how well your kidneys are working. Creatinine is a waste product from the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. As your body makes it, it’s filtered through your kidneys and expelled in urine. Your kidneys‘ ability to handle creatinine is called the creatinine clearance rate, and this helps estimate how fast blood is moving through your kidneys, called the glomerular filtration rate .
What Are The Types Of Kidney Function Tests
Your healthcare provider may order one or a few different types of kidney function tests. You may have blood tests for kidney function, such as:
- Blood urea nitrogen measures nitrogen in your blood.
- Estimated GFR calculates filtration rates based on your protein levels, age, gender, size and race.
- Serum creatinine looks for the buildup of creatinine, a waste product from muscle tissue breakdown.
Your healthcare provider may also use 24-hour urine tests, including:
- Microalbuminuria looks for a specific protein called albumin.
- Urinalysis evaluates your urine for blood, proteins and function.
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What Happens If You Have Kidney Disease
Kidney disease can be treated. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment to help delay or prevent kidney failure. Treating kidney disease may also help prevent heart disease.
Treatment goals are to:
- If you smoke, take steps to quit.
- Take medicines the way your provider tells you to.
What Should You Ask Your Doctor
Here are some key questions that you can ask your doctor:
- What is my GFR?
- What is my urine albumin result?
- What is my blood pressure?
- What is my blood glucose ?
Other important questions:
- What happens if I have kidney disease?
- What should I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
- Do I need to be taking different medicines?
- Should I be more physically active?
- What kind of physical activity can I do?
- What can I eat?
- Do I need to talk with a dietitian to get help with meal planning?
- Should I be taking ACE inhibitors or ARBs for my kidneys?
- How often should I get my kidneys checked?
More in this Section
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Treatment For Kidney Disease
If detected early enough, the progress of kidney disease can be slowed and sometimes even prevented. In the early stages, changes to diet and medication can help to increase the life of your kidneys.
If kidney function is reduced to less than 10 per cent of normal, the loss of function must be replaced by dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that removes waste products and extra water from the blood by filtering it through a special membrane .
Should You Check Your Kidney Function
If youre concerned about symptoms that youre experiencing, its important to make a trip to your doctor for a check-up.
If you simply want to know a bit more about your kidney health, you have the option to take a kidney function test from the comfort of your own home. With LetsGetCheckeds Kidney Function Test you can monitor your kidney function and performance and receive your online results within 5 days.
You should consider taking a Kidney Function Test if any of the below are applicable to you:
- You suffer from high blood pressure
- You suffer from diabetes
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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.
What Causes Kidney Problems
There are several kidney problems including kidney failure, chronic kidney disease or even a kidney infection.
Chronic Kidney disease may be caused by:
- Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract
- Vesicoureteral reflux
- Shortness of breath
- High blood pressure
Symptoms of Kidney Problems are often not specific which means having these symptoms cannot establish a proper diagnosis. However, if you have these symptoms of kidney problems, you should see your doctor to get a kidney test done.
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What Should My Gfr Be For My Age
If the glomerular filtration rate is low, it may indicate that the kidneys are not working as they should.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, a normal glomerular filtration rate in adults is above 90, though this ‘normal’ rate may differ based on age.
- 20-29 years: 116
- 60-69 years: 85
- 70+ years: 75
It’s important to note that a low GFR may indicate kidney disease but early detection and treatment may help the kidney disease worsening.
How Is A Creatinine Test Done
There are two main ways doctors use creatinine tests to measure kidney function:
Urine tests. Creatinine clearance can be pinpointed by measuring the amount of creatinine in a sample of pee collected over 24 hours. For this method, you store all your urine in a plastic jug for one day and then bring it in for testing. This method is inconvenient, but it may be necessary to diagnose some kidney conditions.
Blood tests.Doctors can estimate GFR using a single blood level of creatinine, which they enter into a formula. Different formulas take into account your age, sex, and sometimes weight and ethnicity. The higher the blood creatinine level, the lower the estimated GFR and creatinine clearance.
For practical reasons, the blood test method for GFR is used far more often than the 24-hour urine collection test for creatinine clearance. But urine collections may still be useful in people who have large muscle mass or a marked decrease in muscle mass.
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What Is Creatinine And Creatinine Clearance
Creatinine is a waste product that your body constantly makes during normal muscle breakdown. Your kidneys filter creatinine from the blood into the urine and reabsorb almost none of it.
The amount of blood the kidneys can make creatinine-free each minute is called the creatinine clearance. Creatinine clearance in a healthy young person is about 95 milliliters per minute for women and 120 mL per minute for men. This means each minute, that person’s kidneys clear 95 to 120 mL of blood free of creatinine. The GFR can vary depending on age, sex, and size. Generally, the creatinine clearance is a good estimation of the glomerular filtration rate.
Professor Gene Feder Explains That Patients And Their Gps Both Have A Role In Protecting Kidney Health He Talks About The Support That General Practices Can Offer Patients In Changing Their Lifestyle
Is there any dietary advice that would benefit patients with early stage CKD?A lot of patients I have spoken to assume that there must be dietary advice out there that would help them, and they seem quite frustrated just by being told to eat healthily. They think information is being withheld for some unknown reason and that there must be something they can do beyond that.NHS health policy on monitoring of early chronic kidney disease
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Detection Of Kidney Disease
The majority of individuals with early stages of CKD go undiagnosed. On WKD we are calling on everyone to check if they are at risk for kidney disease and encouraging people with any risk factors to take a simple kidney function test.
Kidney disease usually progresses silently, often destroying most of the kidney function before causing any symptoms. The early detection of failing kidney function is crucial because it allows suitable treatment before irreversible kidney damage or deterioration manifests itself through other complications.
Simple laboratory tests are done on small samples of blood and on urine .
Your doctor uses the results of your Serum Creatinine measured in the blood to estimate your overall kidney function, or Glomerular Filtration Rate and your blood sugar to be sure you do not have diabetes. A simple dipstick test may be used to detect excess protein in the urine.
More On Your Kidney Function Numbers
The normal range for kidney function numbers is between 80 and 129. Anything below 80 is generally quite bad. This will vary between men and women and it is dependent on muscle mass. Petite people without much muscle mass will likely have a low kidney number. It is important for you to know your kidney number, as a lot of people do not know this or even what one is, and therefore they dont wind up getting to their doctor until their kidney function is so low that they will require dialysis or kidney replacement.
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Why Creatinine Tests Are Done
Doctors use creatinine and creatinine clearance tests to check how well your kidneys work. This is called renal function. Testing the rate of creatinine clearance shows the kidneys’ ability to filter the blood. As renal function gets worse, creatinine clearance also goes down. Your doctor may also order a creatinine test if you have symptoms of kidney disease, including:
Changes in how much you pee
Swollen feet and ankles
Understanding Kidney Function Numbers And What They Mean
Your kidneys job is to remove the extra wastes and fluids, including urea, from your body in the form of urine. When they do not do this, the fluid retention and waste build up products can leave you with dangerous changes to your body that can even become life-threatening. There are various kidney function labs that your doctor can give you to test the functionality of your kidneys.
These will show your doctor where your kidney function numbers are at and if there really is a problem. These numbers are calculated based on your sex, age and creatinine and urea levels.
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Biopsy For Kidney Disease
A biopsy means that a small piece of tissue is taken for testing in a laboratory. Biopsies used in the investigation of kidney disease may include:
- kidney biopsy the doctor inserts a special needle into the back, under local anaesthesia, to obtain a small sample of kidney tissue. A kidney biopsy can confirm a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease.
- bladder biopsy the doctor inserts a thin tube into the bladder via the urethra. This allows the doctor to view the inside of the bladder and check for abnormalities. This procedure is called a cystoscopy. The doctor may take a biopsy of bladder tissue for examination in a laboratory.
Your doctor may arrange other tests, depending on the suspected cause of your kidney disorder.
Who Has A Blood Test Of Kidney Function
Routine kidney function is one of the most commonly performed blood tests. It may be done:
- As part of a general health assessment.
- If you have suspected low body water content , when the urea level increases.
- 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.
- Before and after starting treatment 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.
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What Does The Test Measure
A renal panel includes multiple measurements. However, not all renal panel tests are exactly the same. The components can depend on the laboratory or the measurements requested by the doctor prescribing the test.
The most common components tested in most renal panels include:
Other measurements that may also included in a renal panel include:
- Anion gap: The anion gap is a comparison of different electrolytes. Specific electrolytes can be positively or negatively charged, and this test assesses the balance between the two types. This measurement helps determine if you have too much or too little acid in your blood.
- Estimated glomerular filtration rate : The eGFR is an evaluation of kidney function. Glomeruli are tiny filters in the kidneys, and the eGFR is a calculation of how much blood they are filtering every minute. There are different ways to calculate eGFR, but most tests use a special formula based on your creatinine level.
- Total protein: There are several kinds of proteins that can be found in the blood, and total protein is a count of all of them. These proteins include albumin and multiple types of globulins, which are made by the immune system.
- BUN-to-creatinine ratio: In some cases, comparing the amounts of the waste products BUN and creatinine can provide information about whether abnormal levels are being caused by problems in the kidneys or another part of the body..
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.
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Symptoms You Could Experience With Elevated Creatinine And Urea Levels
High creatinine levels can cause you to feel confused, be extremely tired, have difficulty breathing or be dehydrated. High urea levels can produce fatigue, nausea, insomnia, dry skin and body odor. High levels of urea are generally not toxic, but high levels of both of these can indicate that the functioning of your kidneys is poor. If you feel you are having these symptoms, the best way to know if you are having any trouble with your kidneys is to see your doctor so they can test out your kidney function numbers with renal function labs.
Normal Kidney Function And The Gfr
All the blood in your body flows through your kidneys hundreds of times each day. The kidneys push the liquid part of blood through tiny filters called nephrons and then reabsorb most of the fluid back into the blood. Fluid and waste products that the kidneys don’t reabsorb are sent out of your body in your urine.
The rate of blood flow through your kidneys is the GFR. Your doctor canât measure the GFR itself, so that’s where creatinine and creatinine clearance come in.
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Understanding Kidney Function Test Results
In order to understand kidney function tests, also known as a renal panel, it is important to understand what the kidneys do. The kidneys filter the blood and remove unwanted waste from the bloodstream. They also remove excess water from the body, helping to regulate blood pressure and the fluid balance of the body.
When the kidneys are functioning well, there is very little unwanted waste in the body. When these waste levels in the blood begin to climb, they can indicate that the kidneys are no longer functioning as well as they should.
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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