Although they are often neglected, kidneys play a decisive role in your overall health profile. They are “bombarded” daily with all kind of toxins and residues that are found in liquids that you drink. Note that one in nine adults suffers from kidney disease. Unfortunately, even more people present risk factors for developing kidney-related diseases but they are simply unaware of it. In order to maintain a healthy body, kidney testing must be on the top of your list. By testing your kidneys, your doctor can predict, diagnose and treat them early enough so that you can prevent more serious kidney damage and other complications.
All you have to do to verify your kidney health is to make three simple tests, recommended by The National Kidney Foundation (NKF). Consider the following:
At a glance it might seem unnatural to check your blood pressure in order to see if you suffer from kidney disease or not. Well, if you believe that, you should learn that high blood pressure is actually found on the second place among the most common causes of kidney disease. In addition to that, high blood pressure may be a sign of kidney disease, considering that sometimes it occurs as a result of kidney disease. Keep in mind that if you score higher than ≥140/90 you are automatically diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, this values are not valid for those who suffer from diabetes or kidney disease; for them, the optimal results should be lower than <130/80.
Finally, as most of you might know, blood pressure testing is not only very useful in kidney disease prevention, diagnose or treatment, but also in detecting heart and blood vessel diseases or stroke.
One of the most common tests used in kidney disease prevention, diagnose or treatment, urinalysis is a simple test that involves a urine sample. Once collected, this sample is analyzed in a laboratory for the amount of protein, blood (red blood cells and white blood cells) and many other criteria.
People who undergo this test should learn that protein and red and white blood cells are not normally found in the urine, so their presence in urine in high quantities may be interpreted as a sign of kidney disease.
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
A serum (or blood) creatinine test is necessary for measuring the glomerular filtration rate, also known as GFR. Some of you might know that kidneys act like a filter for the organism, removing wastes from your blood. Consequently, the glomerular filtration rate test assesses how well your kidneys are working to remove these residues. For checking kidney function, this is the most recommended test.
As we mentioned before, GFR is measured using a serum (or blood) creatinine test. However, in order to establish a correct glomerular filtration rate, the doctor take into consideration many factors, including age, gender etc.
Depending on many factors, the GFR may vary a lot, but in healthy people it should be as follows:
<60 – low (may be a sign of kidney disease)
≥60 – normal
However, note that it may be normal in the early stages of kidney disease!
In conclusion, if you want a healthy life or if you believe that you are at increased risk for developing kidney disease (diabetes, high blood pressure etc.) these three simple tests should not miss from your appointment! In order to prevent, diagnose and treat kidney disease, these three tests should be done at least once a year, for the disease to be treated right away.
This was a guest post by Sebastian Grandison who is a medical tests specialist for MedSipo where he ensures that all test results are correctly interpreted. When he isn’t busy at work, he enjoys trekking, cooking, traveling, and reading about the latest medical breakthroughs.