Private Kidney Function Blood Testing
A private kidney test may be sought after if you have any concerns about your kidneys and their function. There are many different diseases and situations in which your kidneys may be negatively affected. These range from severe dehydration to kidney stones and potential kidney disease. In addition to diseases, you may have just been placed on new medication and are unsure of the effects they are having on your kidneys. Undergoing tests will identify not only the health of your kidneys in the present, but identify if your kidneys are likely to be effected in the future by the medication you are taking.
What functions do the kidneys perform?
While the liver is responsible for breaking down the unwanted chemicals and toxins, the kidney’s job is to remove what the liver produces and anything else that is no longer required in the body. Blood circulates through the kidneys and undergoes a filtration process to remove any waste. This is excreted into the urine which is then stored in the bladder ready to exit the body. In addition to its waste removal properties, the kidneys also have other vital functions. One such function is body water content regulation. The kidney must respond to hormones instructing it to remove any excess water from the circulation and equally, in the absence of such hormones it must appropriately conserve water so we don‘t become dehydrated. As well as regulating water content, the kidneys also have vital role in maintaining the balance between acidity and alkalinity.
What does a kidney function test look for?
As the kidney’s job is to filter the waste products out of the body, the presence of such chemicals in the blood may indicate that there is an issue with the kidney’s function. Urea is one such substance that is meant to be eliminated by the kidneys under normal circumstances. The blood test looks at nitrogen levels as these are very closely related to the levels of urea but easier to detect in the blood. If the kidneys are not functioning as they should be, nitrogen levels will be high which indicates a high level of urea is also present. Another substance that when present in high levels may indicate problems with kidney function is creatinine. When you are exercising, levels of creatinine present in the blood as it is the substance produced when muscles metabolise their energy sources. However, normally these levels stabilise quickly as it is eliminated from the blood. The levels present at rest are stable because they are dependent on the total mass of your muscles, which does not change very much. High levels being identified therefore a likely to indicate a problem, potentially more so than higher levels of urea.
As the kidney is a function, anything the kidney is known to filter out of the blood could be examined to investigate function. The kidney filters things such as glucose, sodium, potassium, magnesium, uric acid and calcium. If any abnormal levels of these ions and proteins are identified, further testing should be performed to look into any issues that may be present.
What does a kidney test show?
The results from a kidney test may lead to indicate one of many different conditions could be present. High levels of urea and/or creatinine may indicate that you are perhaps severely dehydrated, have a blockage of your urinary system or you may have some underlying kidney disease. However, it isn’t always a pathology that leads to an abnormal kidney function test result being returned. Some antibiotics may lead to a higher level of certain proteins being present within the blood instead of excreted. It may be that you have been eating too much protein or drinking too much water so the body cannot excrete this fast enough. Many different factors can influence the results of such a test. As a result, it is highly advised that if an abnormal test result comes back that you do not panic and instead seek further professional advice where further tests may be performed and a check will be done on your lifestyle and family history.
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