A brief on Kidney Function Tests
This panel is used to assess the functioning of your kidney. Kidneys have multiple functions including filtering blood in your body to remove waste products.
- Urea: Urea is the nitrogenous waste product generated from protein breakdown. It is eliminated from the body almost exclusively by the kidneys through urine. Urea levels are seen to vary with levels of hydration and diet of an individual.
- BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen):): Its value depends on levels of blood urea and is calculated based on it.
- Creatinine:Creatinine is a waste product and is cleared from the blood entirely by the kidney. Decreased clearance by the kidney results in increased blood creatinine.
The amount of creatinine produced per day depends on muscle bulk. Thus there is a difference in creatinine ranges between males and females, with lower creatinine values in children and those with increased muscle bulk.
Diet and exercise also influences creatinine value. Creatinine can change as much as 30% after ingestion of red meat and exercise. Creatinine values are used as an indicator of the functioning of your kidney.
- Uric Acid: Uric acid is another waste product in your body. Consistently high levels of uric acid can lead to problems such as gout.
Some causes for a high uric acid level:
- Alcohol, high fat diet, fast foods along with poor hydration.
- Intake of red meats and also prolonged duration of fasting.
- Certain medicines - ask your doctor.
- Sodium: Sodium is an electrolyte that is vital to nerve and muscle and brain function and helps regulate the amount of fluid in the body. We get sodium in our diet from table salt (NaCl) and some degree from most of the foods that we eat. Its levels help evaluate conditions such as dehydration, edema, heart, lung or kidney disease.
- Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte that plays an important role to control your body’s fluid levels, acid-base balance, and nerve and muscle activity. Potassium is an essential nutrient that you consume in your daily diet. Potassium rich foods include bananas, citrus fruits and certain green vegetables. In certain conditions, abnormal levels may be used to assess the functioning of vital organs such as heart and kidney.
- Chloride: Chloride is an electrolyte that is a type of a mineral which helps in regulating the amount of fluid in your body. It also helps in maintaining the body's acid-base balance. An appropriate acid-base balance is fundamental to your body’s major systems like cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory and metabolic systems.
- Amylase: Amylase is an enzyme secreted by the pancreas and salivary gland that helps in breakdown of carbohydrates. Significantly elevated levels of amylase may indicate a disorder of the pancreas.
- C.P.K. (Creatine Phosphokinase): CPK is an enzyme found primarily in skeletal and cardiac muscle. It is commonly seen to be elevated in individuals performing strenuous exercise or on cholesterol lowering drugs. It’s also elevated in diseases like Muscular dystrophy, Myopathies, Polymyositis, Muscle trauma and Myocardial infarction, etc. A cardiac enzymes study is advised in patients with clinical signs & elevated levels to rule out myocardial infarction. Clinical correlation is mandatory in such cases.