How Healthy Are Your Kidneys?

When was the last time you thought about your kidneys? Unless you’ve been having an issue with them, you probably never really think about them, do you? But it’s important to know what they do so that if there is a problem someday, you’ll hopefully catch it faster. According to the National Institute of Health, your kidneys remove waste, extra liquids, and acid from your body. They also help your body maintain a healthy balance of water, minerals, and salts in your blood. 

 

Why It’s Important to Monitor Your Kidneys

As with most health issues, monitoring your kidneys and all aspects of your health is essential because earlier detection often keeps a problem from getting worse. 

 

The best way to monitor your kidney health, besides being aware of symptoms that indicate a kidney issue, is through a kidney function test. Some signs of kidney problems include:

 

  • Fatigue

  • Poor sleep

  • Nausea 

  • Itching

  • Decrease in urine

How a Blood Chemistry Screening Can Detect Kidney Issues

A blood chemistry screening is a great way to get a check on your overall health, and that includes your kidneys. As far as your kidneys go, a blood chemistry screening can detect:

  • Gout – Having gout means you have a high level of uric acid in your blood. This could cause you to develop kidney stones. Kidney disease can also cause you to have a high uric acid level in your blood.

  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – If your kidney is impaired, your BUN level will increase. 

  • Creatine – One way kidney function is measured is by looking at how well the kidney can filter and excrete creatine. Certain types of kidney disease will cause the kidney to decrease its ability to clear the blood of creatine. So you’ll see higher levels of creatine in your blood. And if it’s associated with an elevated BUN level as well, your doctor will want to evaluate it.  

  • eGFR (Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate) – This is one of the best overall measures of how well your kidneys are working. It considers certain risk factors, such as age, ethnicity, and gender. It can then screen for early kidney disease (and associated heart disease). 

 

With 9Health 365, you can check on your kidney and overall health any day of the year. Our Spring 9Health Fair season is about to kick off, but you can also purchase a screening online and visit your closest Quest Patient Diagnostics Service Center to get a screening as it fits in with your schedule.