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Written by
Varsha Vats
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial teamMar 13, 2019

Kidney function test: Why is it important?

Kidney function test: Why is it important?
Quick Bites
  • Kidneys help in throwing out the waste from the body
  • Regular tests can help you keep a check on your kidney health
  • Know what the various tests involved

Kidneys help in removing the waste material from the body and maintain various levels inside the human body. Proper functioning of kidneys is very necessary. Little disturbance in the functioning of kidneys can disturb various levels inside the body and can lead to various severe complications. To ensure that your kidneys are healthy you must go under a kidney function test at least once in a year. A kidney function test will help the doctor detect any kind of problem in the kidneys which can restrict the smooth functioning of the kidneys.

What is a kidney function test?

Kidney function test is done to detect whether your kidneys are functioning properly or not. There are 2 types of tests performed in the Kidney Function Test, which include- ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (Glomerular filtration rate). These tests are not so expensive and one can get their kidneys tested at least once in a year easily.

ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio)

In the ACR test, the urine of the person is tested. ACR i.e. albumin to creatinine ratio checks the presence of albumin in the urine. Albumin is a type of protein that is essential for the human body. This protein is produced by the liver which should be present in your blood, not in the urine. So if albumin is found in the urine during the ACR test, it means that your kidneys are not functioning properly.

GFR (Glomerular filtration rate)

In the GFR test, the presence of creatinine is examined in the blood. Creatinine is a chemical waste in the blood which should be filtered by the kidneys and eliminated in the urine. If the kidneys fail to separate this element from blood then they are not functioning properly. The levels of creatinine in the blood can be determined with a GFR test which tells the severity of the damage.

Also read: Ways to keep your kidney healthy

Kidney biopsy

A kidney biopsy is conducted in the last stage when the doctors detect some serious symptoms. In the kidney biopsy test, a small tissue is extracted from the kidney which is further tested. This helps in detecting the exact cause and the stage of the disease.

Things to keep in mind before you go under a kidney function test

There are certain things that you must keep in mind for a kidney function test to get the exact and clear results. Some of these may include:

  • The first urine in the morning is considered the best for testing
  • You should not consume alcohol at least 24 hours before the test
  • Sometimes doctors also restrict the patient to eat anything before 10-12 hours before the test. The patient is advised to consume only water

If you experience any symptom of kidney disease then you should consult a doctor and get yourself tested soon. Some of the symptoms which can hint kidney related problems may include:

  • Blood in urine
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Painful urination
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in different parts of the body especially in hands and feet

Read more articles on Kidney Diseases.

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