Understanding Kidney Function: How KFT Tests Help Assess Renal Health
Aug 09, 2023
Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located on the back side of the abdomen. The kidney filters the blood removing the waste products as urine from the body. It helps in the regulation of electrolytes like sodium, potassium and calcium. This regulation prevents diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes etc.
Nephrons are inside kidneys, tiny structures that filter the blood, help remove waste products, and restore essential elements like electrolytes, water and glucose into the bloodstream. Moreover, it removes certain waste products like drugs and excess ions into the rine. The kidney regulates urine concentration according to hydration and body needs.
If you are concerned about your kidneys, you have come to the right place, as this blog describes renal health and the KFT test in detail.
What is the KFT or Kidney Function Test?
KFT, or Kidney Functioning Test, as its abbreviated form describes, is a blood test to determine and evaluate kidney health. It measures several parameters, like calcium, potassium, creatinine, uric acid, chloride, sodium, blood urea, blood urea nitrogen, and phosphorus. The importance of this test is that it helps to assess proper functioning of the kidneys.
The blood and urine samples will determine your renal health, from work efficiency to how effectively the waste is excreted. It is a preventative test for chronic kidney disease. The sooner the kidney disease is diagnosed, the sooner its treatment will be, and you can easily divert major complications and life-threatening situations by changing your lifestyle.
What Different Tests in KFT Help to Determine Renal Health?
KFT test evaluates parameters such as creatinine, urea, and uric acid to diagnose inflammation, infection, or damage and detect kidney disease. Here are some different tests included in KFT test that reveals everything about your renal health:
- Glomerular filtration rate
The Glomerular part of the kidney ensures that essential plasma proteins are retained in the blood, and the filtrate is passed on as urine. If there is kidney damage, the kidneys are inefficient in filtering the blood as fast as they should. Depending upon the results, the physician will categorize the test results in various stages and help identify the severity of kidney disease.
However, a GFR of 60 or higher indicates healthy renal health and that your kidneys are efficiently working. However, a GFR score of less than 60 indicates kidney disease, and if the score slips down to 15 or below, it might indicate kidney failure.
- Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
It measures the amount of nitrogen in your bloodstream. Nitrogen is a waste product eliminated by the kidney. High BUN levels are a sign that the kidneys are not working well. However, abnormal BUN levels don't need to require medical treatment. The high BUN levels can also indicate dehydration, a high protein diet, increasing age, and the effect of certain medications.
- Serum Creatinine
Besides GFR, creatinine is another essential parameter that helps access renal health. It is a byproduct of energy metabolism produced during the working of muscles. The kidney removes this creatinine in urine. A healthy working kidney should have low creatinine and high GFR values. However, the presence of high levels of creatinine in the blood signifies the presence of kidney malfunction.
- Uric Acid
Uric acid is normal body waste, which is produced by the breakdown of purine, a natural substance produced in the body. In healthy individuals, uric acid is excreted in the urine, but in the presence of kidney diseases, this urine accumulates in the blood. It is considered high when it is over 7 milligrams per deciliter for men and over 6 milligrams per deciliter for women.
The uric acid is considered less when it is less than 2 milligrams per deciliter. High and low uric acid levels are risky as high uric acid is associated with gout and kidney stones, and low uric acid is associated with neurological disorders and kidney stones.
Major Causes Affecting Renal Health
The two major factors that contribute to affect kidney health are:
- Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes -
Prolonged high glucose levels damage the blood vessels in the kidneys leading to diabetic nephropathy.
- High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure weakens and damages the arteries around the kidneys with time, reducing the blood flow to the kidney tissue. The damaged tissues would not be able to filter the blood efficiently.
Signs And Symptoms to Get A KFT Test
Here are some signs indicating kidney problems, and the doctor might recommend a KFT test to evaluate the renal health:
- High blood pressure
- Blood in urine
- Pain during urination
- Swelling in hand and feet
- Difficulty urinating
- Family history of kidney-damaging condition
- Old age (above 60)
- Frequent use of medication that can cause kidney damage.
Every organ in our body plays a fundamental role, and the kidney helps filter your blood and remove all the waste. The modern-lifestyle approaches and poor eating habits can affect renal health, eventually leading to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.
One of the best ways to maintain kidney function is choosing healthy food choices, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. However, it is better to get testing done to keep in tune with your body.
KFT tests can help to reveal your renal health, and you can take preventive measures to avoid complications. Apollo Diagnostic experts are here to help you maintain your well-being with effective KFT testing package. Visit our website and book an appointment today!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the signs that indicate kidney problems?
The symptoms indicating kidney disease like pain, blood or problems in urination, swellings in legs and hands, prolonged high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Do I need to fast before the kidney function test?
Your doctor may ask you not to eat anything from 8-12 hours before the blood collection.
- Are kidney function tests risky?
No, like any other test, blood and urine samples help to get the perfect diagnosis of the kidney disease.
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