Kidney diseases: 7 tests to help you diagnose a problem in your 30s

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Our kidneys are vital organs which are responsible for plenty of functions such as filtering bodily waste by processing excess water or other impurities from the blood, producing hormones, regulating sodium and potassium levels, and maintaining pH balance in the body. But due to unhealthy lifestyles, kidney problems are on a rise nowadays. As an increasing number of people are impacted by kidney diseases, medical experts are stressing on the importance of awareness about their early detection, prevention and treatment.

In several cases, a kidney disease goes undetected until it has reached a debilitating stage. To avoid the same, there is a need for regular health check-ups after an individual has reached the age of 30. As much as we may hate them, medical tests are the only way to determine whether one’s kidneys are functioning well or not.

Here are 7 tests that one can undergo after consulting with their doctor:

1. Blood pressure

Being the second most common factor behind kidney disease, high blood pressure should be kept in check. When an individual has a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher, it is deemed as high. If someone is suffering from diabetes or kidney disease, they should have a target of less than 130/80. To lower the chance of kidney disease and other such ailments, keeping blood pressure under control is recommended.

Keep a check on your BP. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Urinalysis

This test checks the sample of urine to determine the level of protein, Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells among other parameters. These factors are not found in urine generally, so a large presence of these points toward unfit kidneys. For people suffering from diabetes, the presence of protein in urine is an early sign of kidney disease.

Also read: 5 signs of kidney diseases you should not ignore

3. Protein-to-creatinine ratio

This test is performed to solely determine the level of protein in the urine; it is considered the most accurate way to measure protein. When we talk about the protein level in urine, 200mg/gm or lesser is normal whereas, a value higher than this is considered abnormal.

4. Albumin to creatinine ratio

The test is recommended for individuals suffering from diabetes, or high blood pressure or for those who have a family history of diabetes. In this test, a value of 30mg/gm per day signifies early signs of kidney disease. For both the Protein-to-Creatinine ratio and the Albumin-to-Creatinine ratio, one doesn’t need to collect a 24-hour urine sample.

These tests can help with the early detection. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Dipstick urine test

Often done as a part of Urinalysis, this is a quick way to determine Albumin level in urine. Though the test does not provide an exact measurement, the results are enough to let the doctors know whether your levels are within range or not. The change in colour of the dipstick paper is a clear indication of a higher albumin level.

6. Glomerular filtration rate

This test tells you if your kidney is working effectively in removing the impurities from your blood. The test is estimated from the results of Creatinine Serum and factors such as age & gender. If the results show a number less than 60, that indicates an individual might have kidney disease.

Also read: Women are at a higher risk of kidney diseases. Know 6 tips to keep them healthy

7. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

This test is used to determine the level of blood urea in the urine. Urea Nitrogen is a waste product of our body that results from a breakdown of protein in food. If an individual has healthy kidneys, then the Urea Nitrogen gets filtered out of the blood and leaves the body through urine, keeping the BUN level within a normal range. The amount of Urea Nitrogen present in the urine can vary based on age and other prevalent health conditions but still ranges from 7 to 20. Anything higher than this indicates that one does not have sound kidneys. A higher BUN level shows a progressive kidney disease.

You can save yourself from kidney damage. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In order to maintain overall health and physical well-being, maintaining kidney health is imperative. With regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle, one can keep ailments at bay and the kidneys will function properly to filter and expel waste from the body while keeping it fit.

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