10 Signs You Should Get a Kidney Function Test

10 Signs You Should Get a Kidney Function Test

Kidneys are among the most crucial organs in the human body, as they filter out waste, excess water, and other impurities from our blood. These toxins are stored in the bladder before being flushed out in our urine. Kidneys play an important role in expelling these toxins out of our body.

Hence, it is crucial to make sure that the kidneys function properly for maintaining our overall health. Regular kidney function tests are a wise way to spot any early signs of trouble and prevent more serious health issues down the line.

But how do you know you need a kidney function test? Let’s discuss the signs that imply the need for kidney function tests.

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterised by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. It can be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, inherited diseases, and various other factors.

As kidney function declines, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes can build up in the body, which can be life-threatening. Detecting CKD in its early stages is crucial to managing its progression effectively.

10 Signs You Should Get a Kidney Function Test

Our kidneys play a vital role that might not always be apparent. That’s why it’s crucial to know and recognise the symptoms of kidney dysfunction that could indicate a problem with these essential organs.

Here are 10 signs that suggest it might be time to check how well your kidneys are working-

  1. Changes in Urination – Changes such as increased frequency, extreme foaming, or blood in urine can indicate kidney trouble.
  2. Swelling in Your Feet, Ankles, or Hands – Kidneys that are failing can cause fluid retention, leading to swelling.
  3. Fatigue – Healthy kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, which helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen. An inadequacy of this hormone can make you feel tired and weak.
  4. Dry and Itchy Skin – When kidneys fail to maintain the right balance of minerals and nutrients, it can cause dry and itchy skin.
  5. Persistent Puffiness Around Your Eyes – Protein in the urine is an early sign that the kidneys’ filters have been damaged, causing puffiness around the eyes.
  6. Poor Appetite – This is a very common symptom, but a build-up of toxins resulting from reduced kidney function can be a contributing factor.
  7. Muscle Cramping – Electrolyte imbalances can result from impaired kidney function, leading to muscle cramping.
  8. High Blood Pressure – Kidneys play a crucial role in regulating blood pressure by controlling fluid and salt balance. Impaired kidney function can lead to increased blood pressure.
  9. Breathlessness – Anaemia or fluid build-up in the lungs can be caused by kidney disease, resulting in breathlessness.
  10. A Cold Sensation all the Time – Anaemia associated with kidney disease can leave you feeling constantly cold, even in a warm environment.

Why is the Kidney Function Test Important?

The kidney function test is important as it helps in detecting the presence and estimating the progression of kidney disease. It can evaluate how well your kidneys are filtering blood, and check for signs of kidney damage.

This test is particularly crucial for those who are at higher risk of kidney issues, such as people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Early detection through a kidney function test can lead to effective management of conditions. This will potentially slow disease progression and prevent complications.

What are the Normal Blood Urea Levels?

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) tests measure the amount of nitrogen in your blood that comes from the waste product urea. Urea is produced when protein is broken down in your body.

Urea is made in the liver and passed out of your body in the urine. A BUN test can reveal whether your urea nitrogen levels are higher than normal, suggesting that your kidneys or liver may not be working correctly.

Here are the typical ranges for blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels-

  • Adults: 10-20 mg/dL or 3.6-7.1 mmol/L (SI units)
  • Elderly: Slightly higher than adult levels
  • Children: 5-18 mg/dL
  • Infants: 5-18 mg/dL
  • Newborns: 3-12 mg/dL
  • Umbilical cord blood: 21-40 mg/dL

These ranges can help to indicate how well the kidneys are functioning, with variations according to age.

Book Your Kidney Function Test with Anna Pharmacy

Getting a kidney function test can really help in managing kidney disease and might even slow its progression.

If you experience any of these signs, consider enquiring with our team of experts about getting a kidney function test.