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Kidney Function

kidney function testing The Kidney function profile is a group of tests that measures your kidney function. In many cases, the term kidney function can be said to be the Renal function profile as well. Both terms renal function and kidney function mean the exact same thing. The kidneys play an important role in your over all health. . The kidneys are a regulator that keeps the body balanced.

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Our kidneys regulate the composition of your blood. The kidneys keep the concentrations of various ions and elements in your body constant. The kidneys are also responsible for keeping the volume of water in one’s body at a constant and balanced level. The kidneys will remove all types of waste such as ammonia, various drugs, toxic elements and urea. The acid base balance in your body is regulated by your kidneys which directly are related to the blood pressure. Your red blood cells are produced off of the stimulation of the kidneys while maintaining your body’s calcium levels.

The kidney function profile or renal function profile consists of a group of chemistry tests. The tests are Albumin, BUN, BUN:Creatinine ratio, Calcium, Carbon dioxide, total, Chloride, serum, Creatinine, Glucose, Phosphorus, Potassium and sodium. All of these kidney function tests are based on the serum sample.

kidney function In the kidney function profile, albumin is tested as an important protein present in the blood plasma. It prevents fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. Also it transports substances such as hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium. Albumin is produced in the liver, and its concentration is sensitive to liver damage. Its concentration is measured by means of analysis of a blood sample drawn from vein in the arm. The BUN which is the Blood Urea Nitrogen gives us specific information on disease states.  High BUN occurs in chronic glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis and other causes of chronic renal disease; with acute renal failure, decreased renal perfusion (prerenal azotemia) as in shock. With urinary tract obstruction BUN increases (postrenal azotemia), for example as caused by neoplastic infiltration of the ureters, hyperplasia or carcinoma of the prostate. BUN is useful to follow hemodialysis and other therapy. "Uremia" was defined by Luke as an expression of a constellation of signs and symptoms in patients with severe azotemia secondary to acute or chronic renal failure.

In the kidney function profile calcium is measured as it is an important mineral of the body. It helps the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and the heart and is required in blood clotting and in bones building. About 1% of calcium is found in the blood. Half of it is freely circulating in the bloodstream. The other half ("bound" calcium) is attached to albumin and other compounds. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is also measured in the liver function profile. CO2 is a waste product made when the body breaks down food for energy (metabolism). It takes the form of bicarbonate in the blood, so this part of the test is sometimes called a bicarbonate test. Bicarbonate helps your blood stay at the right pH. Creatinine is a component of the kidney function profile which is a waste product produced in the muscles from the decomposition creatine. Creatine is part of the cycle that produces energy needed to contract the muscles. Almost all creatinine is filtered out by the kidneys. Consequently blood levels measure of how well the kidneys are working. Also Creatinine levels serve to monitor treatment for kidney disease.  Glucose is and additional kidney function test that is a sugar which serves as the main source of energy for the body. The carbohydrates we eat are broken down into glucose. Most of the body's cells require glucose for energy production. Blood glucose levels rise after a meal, and insulin is secreted to lower them. If blood glucose levels drop too low, the liver will turn some glycogen back into glucose, raising the blood glucose levels.

Severe hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can cause organ failure, brain damage, coma, and, even death.  Phosphorus is one of the forgotten kidney function tests which is also an important mineral. When phosphorus is combined with oxygen form a variety of phosphates it forms PO4. Phosphates are vital for energy production, muscle and nerve function, and bone growth. Also play an important role as a buffer, helping to maintain the body's acid-base balance. Around 70% to 80% of the phosphates are combined with calcium to form bones and teeth, around 10% are found in muscle, and around 1% in nerve tissue. Around 1% of total body phosphorus is found in the blood. The final three kidney function tests are potassium, sodium and chloride. These are considered three basic electrolytes that keep our system balanced. These tests are measured to review your body's fluids in balance and help keep your body working normally, including your heart rhythm, muscle contraction, and brain function.

The kidney function profile is an important group of tests that should be ordered at least once a year during your annual physical examination.


 
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