Kidney Health

Your kidneys help maintain blood pressure, keep the blood's acid-base level within a healthy range, and filter the blood so nutrients are absorbed and waste is passed out of the body as urine. Your kidney function reflects how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. Abnormal kidney function could result in the accumulation of waste products in the body, which can cause fatigue, headaches, nausea, and more.

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

Optimal range: 6 - 24 mg/dL

BUN, or blood urea nitrogen, is used predominantly to measure kidney function. BUN reflects the ratio between the production and clearance of urea in the body. Urea is formed almost entirely by the liver from both protein metabolism and protein digestion. The amount of urea excreted as BUN varies with the amount of dietary protein intake.

Increased BUN levels are a sign of kidney dysfunction. An increased BUN level may be due to increased production of urea by the liver or decreased excretion by the kidney. Increased BUN levels are also associated with dehydration and hypochlorhydria.

Decreased BUN levels are associated with malabsorption and a diet low in protein.

LEARN MORE

BUN/Creatinine Ratio

Optimal range: 9 - 23 :1 ratio

The BUN/Creatinine ratio is useful in the differential diagnosis of acute or chronic renal disease. A BUN-to-creatinine ratio can also help your doctor check for problems, such as dehydration, that may cause abnormal BUN and creatinine levels.

LEARN MORE

Creatinine, Serum

Optimal range: 0.57 - 1 mg/dL

Creatinine is formed by the breakdown of creatine, a key molecule in muscular metabolism. Our kidneys are responsible for removing creatinine from the blood and expelling it in urine. Therefore, blood creatinine levels are a good indicator of how well the kidneys are working. A disorder of the kidney and/or urinary tract will reduce the excretion of creatinine and thus raise blood serum levels. Creatinine is traditionally used with BUN to assess for impaired renal function.

- Increased creatinine levels are associated with kidney dysfunction, kidney disease and a possible dysfunction in the prostate.

- Decreased creatinine levels are associated with muscle atrophy due to creatinine’s connection to muscle metabolism.

LEARN MORE

eGFR - Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (African Am)

Optimal range: 60 - 150 mL/min per 1.73 m2

eGFR stands for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Your eGFR score is a reflection of your blood test for creatinine, a waste product formed in muscular metabolism. It estimates how well your kidneys are working.

LEARN MORE

eGFR - Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (Non-African Am)

Optimal range: 60 - 150 mL/min per 1.73 m2

eGFR stands for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Your eGFR score is a reflection of your blood test for creatinine, a waste product formed in muscular metabolism. It estimates how well your kidneys are working.

LEARN MORE

Urea nitrogen/Creatinine

Optimal range: 9 - 23 Ratio

Uric Acid

Optimal range: 2.5 - 7.1 mg/dL

Uric acid is a natural byproduct formed during the breakdown of our body’s cells and the food that we eat. Excess uric acid can be caused by either an overproduction of uric acid or inefficient removal of it from the blood. The most common affliction associated with excess uric acid is gout, a painful form of arthritis.

May indicate oxidative stress and elevated levels are associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. May be elevated due to gout, kidney dysfunction, excess alcohol intake, starvation, extreme calorie restriction, liver dysfunction, hemolytic anemia, excess fructose consumption, fungal infection, ketogenic diet, supplemental niacin, high protein diet, prolonged fasting, supplemental vitamin B3, excess acidity. May be decreased due to nutrient deficiencies (molybdenum, zinc, iron), oxidative stress, low purine intake (vegetarian or vegan), excess alkalinity.

LEARN MORE