Know Your Kidney Healthy By Understanding Your Lab Tests
The best way to understand our kidney health is to perform a kidney function test. A simple blood and urine test can tell us are our kidneys working normally. If you have done a kidney function test before, you may know that there are different kidney function indicators. Today we are going to talk through their differences and which indicator is the most accurate one to look at.
Serum Creatinine (sCr)
Serum creatinine refers to the amount of creatinine present in the blood. Normal muscle activity produces creatinine, a waste product of muscle metabolism. Generally, waste products such as creatinine are filtered by the kidneys and excreted through urine. If the kidneys are not working properly as they should, creatinine will remain in the blood, and we could see the numbers of sCr go up. Therefore, sCr can reflect the health state of the kidneys. However, it can be affected by age, race, gender, and body size. This means what is considered abnormal for one person may be normal for the others.
Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR)
The calculation of eGFR accounts for serum creatinine, age, race, and gender, which can make up for the difference in creatinine production among people. It can reflect accurate renal function. The current standard considers an eGFR equal to or higher than 90 to be normal, while eGFR lower than 60 is a sign of abnormal renal function. However, the normal range of eGFR can still vary because we have to consider the natural decline in renal function due to aging.
Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio (ACR)
As the name suggests, ACR is calculated by dividing the amount of albumin by the amount of creatinine in the urine, which can be used to check whether the kidneys are damaged. Albumin can be found in the urine, but an excessive amount can indicate poor kidney function. Generally speaking, an ACR level of less than 30 is normal. It should be noted that any tissue damage to the urinary system, including the bladder, ureter, etc., may contribute to the results of ACR. Therefore, further assessment is needed to determine the cause of high ACR.
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
BUN measures the blood urea nitrogen content with a standard range of 7-20. When proteins are broken down, nitrogen-containing metabolites are formed. Nitrogen combines with other elements to form urea, which will then be excreted in the urine. If kidneys are not working well, it could increase BUN. However, BUN is also affected by many factors, such as protein intake, drug use, and other health issues, which may cause a rise or a drop in the BUN level. Therefore, an abnormal BUN level does not necessarily mean a failing kidney. It needs to be further examined by doctors.
eGFR is an internationally recognized kidney function indication. Its calculation formula reduces the difference in age, gender, and body size among the population and best reflects the actual kidney function. Therefore, we always encourage everyone to use eGFR to monitor kidney health.
DTS: Supports kidney function eGFR
Japan-made natural formula DTS protects kidney and liver health. DTS performs a positive effect on supporting the eGFR level with the traditional Kampo concept and modern patent extraction method. After taking DTS, it is a good sign to have stabilized and raised in eGFR level. DTS is suitable for daily liver and kidney support as it has passed a series of quality and safety tests, which does not cause an extra burden.
- * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.