Kidney Health Lab Testing
Kidney Health & Lab Testing
Introduction to Kidney Health
According to the National Kidney Foundation, studies indicate that 26 million American adults suffer from some form of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Regrettably, they also state that the number is likely to rise unless Americans get serious about prevention.
The kidneys are a bean-shaped organ located on either side of your spine in the middle of your back (Flank). The main job of the kidneys is to filter impurities and toxins out of the blood. Each kidney contains approximately one million tiny little filters that have the ability to process around 40 gallons (average size of a hot water heater) of fluid every day. As the blood moves through the kidney, the tiny little filters sift through the blood and recycle substances needed by the body. Toxins and other harmful substances, to include extra water and nutrients are sent to the bladder to be flushed away as urine. The kidneys also produce several hormones, which help to control your blood pressure, make red blood cells and activate vitamin D.
Health challenges that can impair kidney function are: diabetes; heart disease; high blood pressure; obesity, autoimmune diseases, urinary tract infections and systemic infections.
When kidney function is compromised toxins and extra water can build up in blood and put strain on other body systems such as the heart and lungs. A decrease in hormone production can induce a cascade of other health challenges that can be difficult to manage. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 10 adults in the United States or about 20 million people, have at least some signs and symptoms of kidney damage.
More About Kidney Lab and Urine Testing.
Basic kidney function can be reviewed or monitored by checking routine blood and urine tests to look for potential challenges to kidney function. These tests measure creatinine levels, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), protein and blood. Mineral content is also measured, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and other elements.
A urinalysis is done to detect abnormalities in the urine and to look for and manage kidney disease, urinary tract infections (common cause of mental changes, especially in the elderly). A urinalysis is used to check for crystals, bacteria and other organisms in. It also looks for cloudiness, unusual odors, acid concentration and protein levels. This is an excellent screening test to assess for systemic diseases such as diabetes and inflammatory diseases adjacent to the urinary tract. A urinalysis is one of several basic health screening tests and is extremely useful when evaluating overall health and well-being.
Why Perform Kidney Health Lab and Urine Testing?
Your health is truly in your hands. By understanding the basics of kidney health and how to maintain and protect your kidneys is a key component to over all health and wellness. Find out if you have healthy kidneys, take learn what you can to protect them. If your kidney health is compromised, then learning how to protect them is even more important.
Keep a record of your lab tests and understand what the testing means. You can monitor your kidney health by using My Labs For Life. You do not need a doctor’s order to obtain this information yourself. In conjunction with your health care provider of choice, you have the ability to make lifestyle changes to help maintain and protect the health of your kidneys.
More Resources About Kidney Health and Related Lab & Urine Tests
“Your Blood Never Lies” by James B. LaVelle, RPh, CCN
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