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What Is Kidney Function Test (KFT) - A Complete Guide

Kidneys are two bean-shaped excretory organs that filter wastes especially urea from the blood and excrete them. All the wastes from the body are discharged from the body as urine. This organ is found on the left and right side of the body in vertebrates. In addition, to helping the body gets rid of wastes; kidney enhances the production of Vitamin D, red blood cells and hormones that regulate blood pressure.

What Is Kidney Function Test

The doctors to find out symptoms of your kidneys not functioning properly do kidney function tests. These are tests of the blood and urine, which assess the kidney conditions. The kidney can also be harmed because of certain conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. The common symptoms that indicate you should go for Kidney functions tests are:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful discharge of urine at the time of urination
  • If high blood pressure is recorded
  • Swelling of hands and feet caused by an accumulation of fluids in the body.

Your kidney might not be working properly if these symptoms occur simultaneously. Hence kidney function tests can give an exact analysis of your kidneys’ ability to clear the wastes from the body.

Kidney function tests or KFT can a give complete report on your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to the doctor. This helps your doctor know how quickly the kidneys are clearing wastes from your body.

Types of kidney function tests:

Urinalysis- This test screens for the presence of protein in the urine. Protein can be present in urine for many reasons and all of them may not be related to diseases directly.  Some common reasons are an infection and heavy physical workout that can increase protein levels. To check whether the results are results are similar, a doctor may want to repeat this test after a week.

The test includes microscopic examinations and a dipstick test. Dipstick,a chemically treated strip is dipped in the urine sample. If the strip changes color, it indicates that there is an excess amount of protein, bacteria, and sugar. Doctors can ask for a 24-hour urine collection sample.

Serum Creatinine test- This blood test meant specifically to check the accumulation of creatinine in the body. The kidney normally filters creatinine, a waste product but if it shows higher level of storage, this can be considered to be a kidney problem. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) concludes that an individual may be having kidney problem if the creatinine level is higher than 1.2 mg/dl among women and 1.4 mg/dl among men.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)- The tests aim at checking the waste product as well as the amount of nitrogen in the blood. BUN tests are not conducted only in the scenarios of serious kidney damage. This test can show a higher level of nitrogen in the blood due to some common medications like antibiotics and aspirin dosage. Therefore, you may be advised to stop the use of these medications. The BUN level is said to be normal if it has been recorded between 7 and 20 mg/Dl.

Estimated GFR- This test analyses the kidney’s ability to filter wastes. Some of the factors that are taken into account determine the kidney’s efficiency to estimate GFR are creatinine levels, your age, gender, height, and weight. Any result lower than 60 milliliters/minute/1.73m2 can be dangerous signs of kidney diseases.

Collecting a 24-hour urine sample does kidney function tests. The purpose of urine collection is to see the levels of creatinine that is discharged by your body in a single day.

Blood samples for the test are collected in a pathology lab by qualified technicians. The technician draws out the blood from the veins and the process does not cause any long-term pain or discomfort.

How the test is performed?

Taking a 24-hour urine sample does kidney urine test. The purpose of this test is to get estimation on how much creatinine is expelled by the patient in a day.

The patient needs to do the following prior and after the test:

  • Discharge urine in washroom like you normally does after waking up in the morning.
  • For the next part of the entire day and night, collect your urine in the container provided by your doctor. Please note that you must keep urine sample refrigerated and tightly capped. A label must be pasted on the container to notify family members about what the container contains.
  • On the next day i.e. on Day 2, you need to collect the morning urine in the container again in order to complete the 24 hours collection process.
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