Necessity of Finding Blood Urea Levels for Monitoring Kidney Functioning.
This article is to be read in continuation of my previous article: Early Detection by Blood tests for Kidney failure, in which we discussed about the test of serum Creatinine in establishing renal impairment. Here we will be finding the other test, Blood Urea Nitrogen, or BUN test, which is mostly done in conjunction with Serum Creatinine, from the same sample. It is because, elevated blood urea levels can be found to be indicative of renal (kidney) disorders like glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, and nephritic syndrome and due to damage, injury or destruction of kidneys. The blood urea levels may also be raised in conditions of severe dehydration and in cases of severe gastro intestinal bleeding. The exact course of exchange of water and nitrogen, along with other ions within the kidney nephrons involves a system of osmotic process. Diagnosis of renal impairment is done through measuring the Blood Urea Nitrogen, or BUN test. Symptoms like: FATIGUE, lack of Concentration, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and urine retention indicated by swelling (edema) around the eyes, in the face, wrists, and ankles and the feet, high blood pressure and mild back pain, indicate the necessity of going for a test.
What is this UREA and where does it come from in the body?
Urea is synthesized in the liver as the end product of protein metabolism and is excreted by Kidney. In the body, ammonia from Amino acid and carbon dioxide from other sources combine to form urea. One unit of urea is formed from one unit each of ammonia and carbon dioxide. This could be explained only by understanding the chemistry behind the process. But, the chemical name will suffice for this time. Urea is called carbamide, with its formula represented as: (NH2)2 CO.
Peculiarly, Urea, the main component of urine excreted by the kidneys, is the primary medicine in alternative method called ‘Auto Urine Therapy’. The same UREA is widely used as a fertilizer in agriculture, because of its nitrogen content. It is also used as an important ingredient in many chemical industries.
A moderately active person consumes 100gm of nitrogen per day. Strangely, the intake is equal to the excretion. Thus, a healthy individual will always be in nitrogen equilibrium. Almost 90% of the nitrogen is excreted in the form of urea. As observed earlier, Urea is made in liver, released into blood, filtered out to excrete by kidneys. Thus completes the urea cycle in human body. A normal plasma or serum concentration of urea ranges between 10 to 45 mg/dl of blood sample.
It is always safe to monitor the functioning of kidneys, when one is taking medicines for a different condition of the body, like pain killers and antibiotics. Please maintain regularity with your doctors, and never skip an appointment, during and after a therapy.