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Determine Kidney Function
Article posted in: Kidney Health

If you’ve suspected of having low kidney function, you may be wondering what types of tests you’ll need to undergo. These the most common tests used to determine kidney function.

Kidney Function Tests

  1. Urinalysis
  2. Creatinine Clearance Test and eGFR
  3. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

Urinalysis

A urinalysis is precisely what it sounds like- it’s an analysis of what’s in the urine. Healthcare professionals use samples to look for metabolic byproducts, cells and cellular fragments, and bacteria. (1) When looking at kidney function, healthcare professionals will look especially hard for albumin, a protein typically found in the bloodstream. 

Creatinine clearance test and eGFR

Creatinine is a standard waste product formed by the daily breakdown of muscle tissues. If the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, this waste product won’t be filtered from the blood. Healthcare professionals use either a urine or blood (serum) test to examine the levels of creatinine. These levels are then factored, along with age, gender, body size, race, and age, to determine kidney function or the eGFR (glomerular filtration rate). (2)

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

This blood test measures the amount of urea nitrogen, a waste formed in the liver. BUN tests are usually ordered with a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP)basic metabolic panel (BMP), or if you have any risk factors or family history of kidney problems. (3)


When is it time to get tested?

Symptoms, which can be found here, usually don’t appear until a majority of function is lost. That’s why healthcare professionals recommend having tests done to determine kidney function; Especially, if you have a family history of kidney problems, uncontrolled/high blood sugar, or high blood pressure. 

Works Cited

(1) Urinalysis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://labtestsonline.org/tests/urinalysis

(2) Creatinine Levels: Test, Range & Symptoms of High Creatinine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/16380-creatinine-clearance-test

(3) Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test: Test Details & Results. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/17684-blood-urea-nitrogen-bun-test

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