Kidneys are fist-sized organs present below the rib cage in the human body. The main function of kidneys is to filter out waste and toxic material from the bloodstream and excrete them out in the form of urine. Apart from waste management, kidneys aid in controlling water and minerals levels in the body. If your doctor thinks that your kidneys are not functioning properly due to any reason, he or she might suggest you get a kidney function test (KFT) done. Both blood and urine tests are done in this test to monitor the functioning of the kidneys.
Basically, there are two types of tests involved in a kidney test at home: a blood test and a urine test. Samples of both body fluids are taken and sent to the lab for testing. The functioning of kidneys is checked through a number of parameters. These parameters involved a number of tests, such as: Urinalysis: In this lab test for kidney function, the presence of protein and blood is checked in the urine. Proteins and blood might be present in the urine for various reasons: heavy physical workout, any kind of infection, etc. Usually, this test is repeated after a few weeks to check whether the results are similar or not. Serum Creatinine Test: Usually, creatinine is filtered out from the blood completely. If creatinine is building up in the blood, it suggests some kind of ailment of the kidney. A serum kidney test checks the presence of creatinine in the blood. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): In this lab test for kidney function, the amount of nitrogen is checked in the bloodstream. When protein is broken down, urea nitrogen is formed as a by-product. Ideally, it should be filtered out of the blood. An elevated level of BUN in the blood test for kidney function suggests that there is some problem in kidney functioning. However, sometimes, BUN gets elevated because of the intake of certain medications like aspirin and antibiotics. Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR): Factors like age, gender, height, creatinine levels are considered in this test. A low level of GFR indicated that kidneys are not able to function properly. The tests might vary from one diagnostic lab to another. Search ‘Kidney Function Test Near Me’ and you will find a number of labs. Apart from the tests, kidney function test price also vary with labs. Usually, there are add-ons tests available with the package. Ask your diagnostic lab if they can take some other tests along with the kidney function blood test and urine test.
People often ask nephrologist online why they should undergo kidney function test. There is no single answer to that. Here is a list of reasons of why you should consider for KFT: Diagnosing Underlying Condition: When symptoms like abdomen pain, blood in urine, and pain while urinating appear, doctors can almost guess the underlying problem without any tests. But, some symptoms do not confirm a particular problem, and to remain on the safer side, doctors prescribe a kidney function test at home to detect the underlying condition of your symptoms. Detection at an Early Stage: Since KFT involves not a single but many tests, it detects not only the problems that are causing symptoms but also any ailment that is at its early stage and is not showing apparent symptoms. Saving Expenditure: If medical conditions are diagnosed at later stages, it becomes hard to treat them. Their treatment might involve hefty medications, even medical surgery. But if they are diagnosed at early stages through kidney function test, mostly, they can be treated with relatively less medical efforts and financial expenditure. Health Maintenance: If medical conditions reach their later stages, not only do they become harder to get treated, but they also leave permanent damages after their treatment. Hence, for proper health maintenance, it is best to diagnose the medical condition through urine and blood test for kidney function at the earliest.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might need to have kidney function test done after consulting with a medical expert: High blood pressure Presence of blood in the urine Urges to urinate after a short interval of time Difficulty when you urinate Pain while urination Swelling of the hands and feet (as fuel gets build up in the body) A single symptom might not necessarily be a sign of a serious condition. But frequent onsets of symptoms need to be addressed. If you experience a number of the above-mentioned symptoms, consult a medical expert, and check if you need to get a kidney function test done.
Usually, a kidney test at home does not require much preparation. You do not need to fast. You can have your meals as you normally do. Some things you may need to consider are: If you are taking any kind of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, you need to tell your doctor about that. These medications can increase the levels of creatinine in the blood without causing any real damage to the kidneys. If your doctors deem it to be necessary, he or she might change your dosage before the KFT, or your results can be interpreted accordingly. Apart from taking medication, having a meal full of proteins can also alter your creatine levels slightly. Do tell your doctor about the meal you have taken before KFT. It is best to ask the medical expert about any preparation before undergoing diagnostic tests at home. Search ‘Kidney Function Test Near Me’ and you will find a number of diagnostic labs. Pick the one with experience and specialized medical experts. Contact the lab and ask for any preparation to be done before the test and the kidney function test price.
Usually, you need to give a 24-hour urine sample and a blood sample for a kidney function test at home. Here is how taking the sample works: 24-hour Urine Sample: This sample is mainly taken to check the levels of creatinine in your urine. A 24-hour urine sample is required to make an estimate of how much creatinine your body expels in a single day. You can do your first urination in the toilet, after waking up, as you do on a normal day. The rest urination over the day and night is to be done in a special container provided by the medical expert. During the collection of urine, the container needs to be tightly capped and refrigerated. Label the container as ‘urine sample for kidney function test’ when you keep it in the refrigerator and tell your family about it. Blood Sample: Apart from urine samples, you also need to give a blood sample for blood test for kidney function. The blood will be used for BUN and serum creatinine tests. An elastic band is tied around your upper arm before blood is withdrawn. The band will make the veins stand out and clearly visible. The technician will clean the area around the vein from which the blood will be drawn. A needle will be slipped through your skin and the blood will be drawn. The blood will be taken to the lab for the kidney function test. You will feel momentary pain when the needle will enter your arm. Once the blood is drawn, gauze or a bandage will be placed over the skin.
There are minor side effects of kidney test at home. These include: There is a risk of bleeding, bruising, and swelling of the skin if the blood sample is not taken properly. Also, make sure that the technician uses a new needle while taking your blood sample for the kidney function blood test. A used needle might contain some kind of infection.
A typical kidney function test result shows the normal range and the value of your samples. You can interpret the result in the following way: Kidney Function Test Results Test Normal Range Interpretation Serum Creatinine For women, the normal range is 0.6 – 1.1 mg/dL and for men, it is 0.7 – 1.3 mg/dL A high level of creatinine suggests malfunctioning of the kidneys Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) 7 – 20 mg/dL in children and adult A high level of BUN suggests that kidneys are unable to function properly. Low BUN in the kidney function blood test suggests that you are not taking enough protein. Serum Sodium 135 to 145 mEq/L Any fluctuation (low or high) in the sodium levels suggests that your kidney might be damaged. Total Protein 6 – 8.3 g/dL A low level of proteins in the kidney function test results show that your kidney is passing proteins in the urine To know more about the results of kidney function test, it is advised that you should consult your doctor.