A kidney function test is done to measure how efficiently your kidneys are working. There are different types of tests, and mostly all the tests check whether your kidneys are able to clear waste from your waste efficiently. A kidney function test may include a blood test, 24-hour urine sample or both. These tests measure the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), that assesses how efficiently the kidneys can clear waste from the body.
Kidneys are vital organs of the body that help the body filter waste in the form of urine. They also produce hormones that maintain blood pressure, vitamin D to maintain muscle and bone health and red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Often conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes affect how well the kidneys function. A patient suffering from these conditions may be suggested to get a kidney function test to monitor symptoms that indicate kidney problems. The symptoms include, frequent urination urge, blood in the urine, painful urination and problems with starting to pee.
There are different types of kidney function tests that your healthcare provider may order. These are, blood urea nitrogen, estimated GFR, serum creatinine, urinalysis and microalbuminuria.
Freequently Asked Questions About Kidney Function Test
Q1. What tests are done to check kidney function?
There are two main tests ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate). GFR measures kidney functions. This test is performed through a blood test. The value of GFR determines what stage of kidney disease the patient has; there are five stages.
An ACR is a urine test to check the amount of albumin in the urine. Too much albumin in the urine is an early sign of kidney damage. Albumin is a type of protein that the body needs, but having this protein in the urine indicates that the kidneys are not filtering the blood properly. This is a sign of an early kidney disease.
Q2. Is drinking a lot of water good for your kidneys?
Drinking sufficient amount of water helps the kidneys remove wastes from the body in the form of urine. Water also helps the blood vessels open so that blood can travel freely to the kidneys and deliver essential nutrients to them. But, in case of dehydration, this delivery system finds it difficult to function properly.
But when a person drinks too much water, the kidneys are unable to get rid of the excess water. The sodium content in the blood gets diluted. This condition is called hyponatremia and it can be fatal. Men need 3.7 liters of water per day, while women need 2.7 liters of water per day.
Q3. What color is urine when your kidneys are failing?
If you notice brown, red or purple urine, it may indicate that’s your kidneys are failing. Not only the urine color may change, but also you may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual. Sometimes urine may contain blood as well. These are all signs that your kidneys are failing.