Three simple tests to check for hidden kidney disease organically

Here are 3 simple organic tests to check for hidden kidney disease.

By Edward A. Smith    Source: National Kidney Foundation (kidney.org)

Saturday, 08-25-2012

My name is Edward A. Smith. I am the guy who came up with the concept of this website Organically In Tune.com. I have ESRD or End Stage Renal Disease. I have learned many things about this disease that I would like to share with you. The first of which is that you may be feeling perfectly healthy but kidney disease may be taking hold in your body. I currently have a Serum (blood) creatinine level of 10.0+ and most days I feel very normal. Normal creatinine serum levels in people with perfect functioning kidneys is between 0.5 and 1.6. So, as you can see, my particular level is more than 10 times above the high side of the range. And I have been to MANY different labratories over the last few years since being diagnosed with ESRD. I have to say in all honesty that still a certain amount of denial exists in my head. The important thing that I want to share today for you to remember is that kidney disease is very similar to hypertension, kidney disease is a silent “killer”. In many cases with most folks, it has very little symptoms until it gets into advanced stages. I speak from personal experiences. A few years ago, I started asking the doctors questions and inquiring about what certain values on my lab reports represent and how those values correlate to my body.

I do not personally like to read a bunch of complicated medical jargon, so Im trying here on this website to appeal to others like myself who prefer to read in lay terms that are plain and simple.

The main risk factors for kidney disease are two conditions: Hypertension and Diabetes. No doctor that I have ever talked to has been able to answer which one is more prevalent. Certain races of people have certain types of characteristics though. I happen to be a Caucasian male who is not diabetic. I do have a history of hypertension in my family but no diabetes. Hepatitis C is present though in my body due to past history of substance abuse back in the late 80’s. So, here are the 3 tests to ask your doctor for to screen for kidney disease:

The National Kidney Foundation(NKF) recommends three simple tests to check for kidney disease:
Blood pressure-High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney disease. High blood pressure may also happen as a result of kidney disease. A blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is called high blood pressure. If you have diabetes or kidney disease a target less than 130/80 is recommended. Keeping blood pressure under control is important to lower risk of kidney disease, heart and blood vessel disease, and stroke.
Urinalysis-A urinalysis is a test that checks a sample of your urine for the amount of protein, blood (red blood cells and white blood cells) and other things. Protein and red and white blood cells are not normally found in the urine, so having too much of any of these may mean kidney disease. Having protein in the urine is one of the earliest signs of kidney disease especially in people with diabetes. Several other tests can be done to check for protein in urine. One of the tests is called the protein to creatinine ratio. It is the most accurate way to measure protein in the urine. A value of 200 mg/gm or less per day is normal. A value higher than 200 mg/gm is too high. Another test, called the albumin to creatinine ratio, is good for people at increased risk for kidney disease — people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease. A value of less than 30 mg/gm per day is normal for the albumin to creatinine ratio; a value of 30 mg/gm per day or higher is high and may be a sign of early kidney disease. With either of these tests, you don’t need to collect a 24-hour urine sample, which may be hard to collect.
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)-GFR is estimated from results of a serum (or blood)creatinine test. The GFR tells how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood. It is the best way to check kidney function. A serum (or blood) creatinine test alone should not be used to check kidney function. GFR is calculated using the serum creatinine and other factors such as age and gender. In the early stages of kidney disease GFR may be normal. A value of 60 or higher is normal (GFR decreases with age). A GFR number of less than 60 is low and may mean that you have kidney disease. Check with your doctor about having the GFR test. If you are at increased risk for kidney disease (have diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease), you should find out if you have kidney disease. Ask your doctor about these three simple tests. They should be done at least once a year so that if you have early kidney disease, it can be treated right away. Early kidney disease can and should be treated to keep it from getting worse!

Why Are the Kidneys So Important?

Most people know that a major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed through the urine. The production of urine involves highly complex steps of excretion and re-absorption. This process is necessary to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals.

The critical regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys. The kidneys also produce hormones that affect the function of other organs. For example, a hormone produced by the kidneys stimulates red blood cell production. Other hormones produced by the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.

The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that perform the following functions:

  • remove waste products from the body
  • remove drugs from the body
  • balance the body’s fluids
  • release hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • control the production of red blood cells

How is Chronic Kidney Disease Detected?

Early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease are the keys to keeping kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure. Some simple tests can be done to detect early kidney disease. They are:

  1. Blood pressure measurement
  2. A test for protein in the urine. An excess amount of protein in your urine may mean your kidney’s filtering units have been damaged by disease. One positive result could be due to fever or heavy exercise, so your doctor will want to confirm your test over several weeks.
  3. A test for blood creatinine. Your doctor should use your results, along with your age, race, gender and other factors, to calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR tells how much kidney function you have. To access the GFR calculator, click here.

It is especially important that people who have an increased risk for chronic kidney disease have these tests. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • are older
  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have a family member who has chronic kidney disease
  • sare an African American, Hispanic American, Asians and Pacific Islander or American Indian.

If you are in one of these groups or think you may have an increased risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor about getting tested.

 

 

Comments

  1. It’s a nice post.

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  2. there are many of the articles over internet but this one seems to be taking most of the time. i loved reading it

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