Kidney Function Blood Test Panel

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What is a kidney function blood test panel?

A kidney function test is ordered when a patient has risk factors for kidney disease such as diabetes, elevated blood pressure, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. It can also be helpful in determining the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Kidney function test measures many things to assess your kidney health. It measures the following:

  1. Chloride
  2. Potassium
  3. Sodium
  4. Bicarbonate
  5. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  6. eGFR
  7. Albumin
  8. Phosphorus
  9. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  10. Creatinine
  11. Glucose

Why would I get a kidney function test?

A kidney function test can be a routine test ordered by your doctor during your checkup. It may also be done during a regular hospital stay or if you are admitted to an emergency room.  

Moreover, it may be ordered as a precaution if you have any risk factors for kidney disease because early kidney disease doesn’t show symptoms. It also may be ordered if the doctor suspects your symptoms are caused by kidney disease.

What happens during a kidney function test?

You may ask your doctor if you need to fast before getting your blood work. 

A kidney function test is a simple blood draw. You will sit in a chair and a healthcare professional will insert a needle into your arm and draw blood into small vials. You may feel a little prick and the area may slightly bruise. Any marks left by the injection go away quickly. Then, a bandage taped over the spot can be removed a few hours later.

What to expect after a kidney function test?

There are no specific precautions required after your kidney function test. You should be able to drive yourself home and do all your regular activities. Results take around 1 day to be available.

Conclusion

Results of the panel are usually considered together, rather than separately. The individual test result can be abnormal due to causes other than kidney disease but taken together with risks and signs and symptoms, they may give an indication of whether kidney disease is present.

Higher than normal levels of creatinine or BUN indicate dehydration, a high-protein diet, burns, medications, or kidney disease. If your test results are abnormal, you should refer to a nephrologist, who is a medical doctor specializes in kidney care and treating diseases of the kidneys. 

Citations

Mayo Clinic Laboratories: Renal Function Panel, Serum

Cleveland Clinic: Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test


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