Saturday, August 1, 2009

3 Tests for Kidney Disease

Kidney disease works silently and does its damage over the span of many years. Often, it does not give you symptoms until it has progressed for some time. And when it does give you warning signs, they may sometimes be very subtle making us neglect them or believe that they are something else.

The things that you can do quickly check your kidney's health are:

1. Take Your Blood Pressure

The relationship between kidney disease and blood pressure is similar to that of the chicken and the egg. Figuring out which comes first may sometimes be difficult. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney problems among other things. Over time, high blood pressure can severely damage the kidney. Conversely, kidney disease causes a person to have high blood pressure. So either way, high blood pressure is something worth monitoring regularly.

Taking your blood pressure is not only easy to do but the results are instantaneous. There are a number of home electronic blood pressure monitors available so you can monitor your progress. Normal blood pressure is considered to be 140/90. Anything above that, for either number, is considered high. However, the recommended level is at 120/80.

2. Get a Serum Creatinine Blood Test Done

The serum creatinine test is the most common indicator of one's kidney function. It is a simple and inexpensive lab test where the medical technician obtains a small amount of blood sample to be tested. The creatinine test assesses how well a person's kidney is removing the waste products and excess fluids. Values that are above the normal levels will require further tests to understand what is happening. One thing to note about serum creatinine is that it is linked with muscle mass. So to a certain degree, muscular individual, say body builders for example, will have creatinine levels that are higher than you and me.

3. Have a Urinalysis Scheduled

Urinalysis is a test where you provide a sample of your urine to a medical laboratory for examination. The test will check the quality of the urine and if there are particular sediments that are present. The amount of protein, glucose, blood and white blood cells are measured. Normally, urine should be clear of these. Aside for checking for possible kidney dysfunction, the urinalysis is commonly used for general health screening, as it is able to help detect many possible problems.

With these three tests, you can get a good indication if there is anything happening with your kidneys.

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1 comment:

  1. This is helpful for everyone! Not just those with kidney issues but something everyone should get done in their annual checkup.