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Kidney Disease Information
Urinary Conditions
Kidney Related Information

Understanding Your Kidney Test Results

It is often confusing and difficult to understand the test results that the doctor gives you and what they mean about your health.  We are going to take a little bit of time and explain some of the information on the different tests the doctor will give you and what the results mean.  If the doctor suspects that you have a kidney disease he will give you a few tests.  These test include a Urine Tests and Blood Tests.

Urine Tests

There are different urine test that are administered.  Single sample test and a 24 hour test.  The Single sample test is quick and easy and most of us have done this.  On the single sample urine test you pee in a cup at the doctors office and then they analyze the specimen.  If there is a problem found in the single sample test then the doctor will typically order a 24 hour test.  You collect urine in a large bottle over a 24 hour period.  You must be careful not to contaminate the sample with pubic hair or other foreign material.  The 24 hour test is much more accurate than the single sample test because it accounts for any fluctuations that may occur. 

Lab Results

Test

Reference Range

Units

UR Creatinine Clearance

75 to 155

ML / MIN

UR Creatinine Clearance MG /24 hours

1000 to 1800

MG /24 Hrs

UR Protein MG / 24 hours

10 to 150

MG / 24 Hrs

Blood Tests

The blood test will look at a variety of factors. There are two types of blood specimen used.  The first is whole blood and the other is serum.  The whole blood specimen will look at the components of the blood such at white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and other whole blood components.  The serum specimen will look at things like your glucose, BUN, Creatinine, Sodium and other aspects of your blood.

Reference Ranges vary slightly depending on the lab that is conducting the tests.  When you receive your tests it should list the reference ranges for your particular lab.  The reference ranges listed here are for informational purposes only.

Lab Results

Hemogram (CBC) with Platelet Count, Whole Blood Specimen

Test

Reference Range

Units

White Blood Cell (WBC)

4.4 to 10.5

X 1000 /MM3

Red Blood Cell

3.75 to 5.00

X 10 ^6 /MM3

Hemoglobin

11.4 to 14.7

G / DL

Hematocrit

34.3 to 45.5, Females
40.7 to 50.3, Male

%

MCV

80.5 to 99.8

FL

MCHC

31.0 to 35.4

PG

RDW

11.0 to 15.0

%

Platelet Count

139 to 361

X 1000 / MM3

MPV

7.5 to 11.5

FL

 

Basic Metabolic Panel, Serum Blood Specimen

Test

Reference Range

Units

Sodium

135 to 145

MEQ / L

Potassium

3.5 to 5.0

MEQ / L

Chloride

95 to 103

MEQ / L

CO2

23 to 29

MEQ / L

Glucose

70 to 100

MEQ / L

BUN

5 to 25

MEQ / L

Creatinine

.6 to 1.2

MEQ / L

Calcium

8.5 to 10.5

MEQ / L

Renal Imaging

Renal Imaging tests are typically recommended when the urine test and blood test indicate a problem with kidney functions.  The Renal Imaging methods include ultrasound, compute tomography (CAT scan), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  These tests are useful in finding unusual growths or blockages to the proper flow of urine.

Renal Biopsy

Renal biopsy a procedure where they take a tiny piece of tissue from the kidneys.  The renal biopsy is a minimally evasive procedure where the doctor inserts a needle through your back and into the kidney.  The needle extracts a strand of tissue about ½ to ¾ of an inch long.  Local anesthesia is used to numb the skin in the location that the needle is inserted.  This is typically performed on an out patient basis.  The segment of tissue extracted through the renal biopsy is analyzed to identify such problems as scarring, the presence of IGA and other kidney problems.

Kidney Test Definitions

We will define the various tests and what it means when you have a value outside of the reference rage.  The definitions are in order that they appear on the Understanding Your Kidney Test Results page.  The definitions for the Urine test will be first followed by the definitions associated with the Blood Tests (Hemogram (CBC) with Platelet Count, Whole Blood Specimen, Basic Metabolic Panel, Serum Blood Specimen)

Estimating Kidney Function:  One method of estimating kidney function is to equate a Creatinine level of 2.0 mg/dl to about 50% kidney function.  A Creatinine level of 4.0 mg/dl is about 25% kidney function.  Often Western Doctors begin to talk to their patients about dialysis when kidney function reaches a Creatinine 3.0 mg/dl.  Our Kidney Restore II and Kidney Booster combine to balance the body to reduce Creatinine levels.

Urine Test Definitions

Creatinine: This is a waste product created by the normal breakdown of muscle during activity and deposited in the blood.  If your kidney are functioning properly the Creatinine will be filtered out of the blood and into the urine.  If your kidneys are not working properly then they are unable to properly filter the Creatinine out of the blood and into the urine.  The amount of Creatinine build up in your blood helps determine the amount of kidney function.  The normal range for Creatinine in the blood is between .6 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) of blood.  If your Creatinine is above 1.2 then you have some loss of kidney function.

Creatinine Clearance:  This test shows how well your kidneys remove Creatinine from the blood.  Creatinine Clearance is measured in milliliters per minute.  This measurement requires a 24 hour urine collection.  It represents a comparison of the amount of Creatinine in your urine compared to the amount of Creatinine in your blood.  If your Creatinine Clearance is below the reference rage of 75 then your kidneys are not working at 100%.

Creatinine Clearance MG /24 hours: This test measures the quantity of Creatinine present in your urine collected during a 24 hour sample.  If your kidneys are functioning properly you should have a number between 1000 to 1800 mg.  Just as in the case of the Creatinine Clearance a number lower than the reference number represents diminished kidney function.

Total Protein MG/ 24 Hrs.: This test measures the amount of protein found in the urine in a 24 hour urine collection.  The more protein in the urine the less effective the kidneys are working.  The reference range for protein in the urine is 10 to 150 mg / 24 hrs.  A high amount of protein in the urine is called proteinuria.  When the kidneys filter the blood the protein in the blood typically is re-added to the blood however when the kidneys are not working properly the kidneys has difficulty re-adding the protein back into the blood and the protein spills into the urine.  This is called protein spillage.  The more protein spilled into the urine the less the kidneys are functioning.

Blood Testes -- Hemogram (CBC) with Platelet Count, Whole Blood

White Blood Cells: White Blood Cells are also called leukocytes.  These cells form one of the main components of the body’s blood.  White blood cells are created by the bone marrow.  The white blood cells job is to help defend the body from infections, infectious diseases, and foreign materials.  White blood cells form an important part of the immune system.  The amount of white blood cells in a body varies between 4 x 109 to 11 x 109 per liter of blood (healthy adults).  To put this as number that is more readily understandable, there between 7,000 to 25,000 white blood cells in a single drop of blood.  The number of white blood cells increases in the presence of infections and infectious diseases.  The number of white blood cells present in a person with leukemia can be as high at 50,000 in a single drop of blood.  White blood cells are found not only in the blood, but also in the lymphatic system, the spleen and other body tissues.  There are three types of white blood cells: granulocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes.

Red Blood Cell: Everyone know that you need oil in your car for it work properly and occasionally you must change the oil.  Without oil your car will die.  Red Blood Cells are like the oil in your car.  Without enough red blood cells a person would eventually die.  A single drop of blood contains millions of red blood cells.  These cells travel through out the body delivering vital oxygen and removing waste.  Unlike the oil in your car you do not need to change your red blood cells.  You body automatically changes your red blood cells for you.  Red blood cells eventually wear out and die.  The last for about 120 days.  Your bone marrow is responsible for creating the red blood cells just like it creates the white blood cells.  Red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin contains iron which make it very good for transporting the oxygen and carbon dioxide through out the body.  As the blood passes through the body it releases the oxygen from the hemoglobin into the tissue cells.  After the hemoglobin as dropped off the oxygen it picks up the carbon dioxide and other wastes for disposal.

Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin is the iron containing oxygen protein in the red blood cells.  It is responsible to transporting the oxygen to the cells of the body and carrying away various gases including carbon dioxide.  There are three types of hemoglobin.  The are Hemoglobin A, Hemoglobin A2, and Hemoglobin F.  Hemoglobin A is the most common type and Hemoglobin F is the most rare.  When the hemoglobin level is below the reference range of 11.4 gram/ deciliter (g/dl) a person is considered to have anemia.  Iron deficiency is the primary type of anemia although there are many more.

Hematocrit: Hematocrit is the percentage of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. The hematocrit level indicates the proportion of the cells and fluids in the blood.  Men and women have different reference ranges.  The reference range of hematocrit in men is 40.7 to 50.3% and for females it is 36.1 to 44.3%.  It is important to note that hematocrit varies with altitude.  If a person is below the reference range for hematocrit then they may suffer from the following conditions: anemia, blood loss (hemorrhage), bone marrow failure, leukemia, malnutrition, multiple myeloma, and rheumatoid arthritis.  A person with a high hematocrit level may suffer from the following conditions: dehydration, erythrocytosis (excessive red blood cell production), polycythemia vera (excessive production of blood cells and platelets).

MCV: Mean Corpuscular (Cell) Volume (MCV) is the average volume of red blood cells.  The MCV is calculated from the hematocrit and the red blood cell count.  The reference rage for the MVC is 86 to 98 femotoliters. 

MCHC: Mean Cell Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) is the average concentration of your hemoglobin in a given volume of blood.  The MCHC is calculated from the measurement of hemoglobin and the hematocrit.  The hemoglobin value is the measure of the amount in a given volume of blood usually in grams/deciliter and the hematocrit is the ratio of the volume red blood cells to the volume of whole blood.  The reference range for the MCHC is 31.0 to 35.5%.  Low levels indicate anemia

RDW: Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) is the measure of the range of sized of the red blood cells in a blood sample.  The reference range for the Red Cell Distribution Width is 11.5 to 14.5.  This test is often used in conjunction with the MCV results to determine possible cause of anemia when anemia is indicated by other test results..

Platelets: Platelets are the cells that make your blood clot.  Platelets are created by the bone marrow like red blood cells and white blood cells.  You platelets are what make it possible to stop bleeding when you get a cut or a nose bleed.  A decreased platelet count is called thrombocytopenia while high platelets is called thrombocytosis.  The reference range for platelets are between 140,000 to 390,000.  If you have too few platelets you will bruise easily and it will be difficult for cuts to heal.  To many platelets also cause can cause thrombosis (body creating blood clots). 

MPV: Mean Platelet Volume is a measure of the average volume (size) of the platelets in your blood.  The reference range for MPV is 7.5 to 11.5.  If your MPV is above the reference range you have an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Basic Metabolic Panel

Sodium: Sodium is an element found in salt and foods.  It is an important electrolyte and mineral working to balance the amount of water and electrolytes retained by the body.  Excessive amounts of sodium in your diet can raise your blood pressure, which is bad for your kidney health.  Process and can foods often are high in sodium.  It is important to read the label of the foods that you purchase if your sodium levels are above the reference range or if you have high blood pressure.  Sodium is important for the body to function properly so you should not try to completely eliminate it from your diet but manage the amount that you consume.  The reference rage is 135 to 145 Milliequivalents per liter (MEQ/L).  An equivalent is the amount of a substance that will react with a certain number of hydrogen ions.  A milliequivalent is one thousandth of an equivalent.

Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte and mineral that is found in may fruits and vegetables.  Potassium can be found in such common foods as potatoes, bananas, apples, beans, peas, and nuts.  If your kidneys are working properly they will regulate the amount of potassium in your blood by removing excess amounts.  Excessive amounts of potassium in the blood can cause the heart to slow down.  The reference range for potassium is 3.5 to 5.0 (MEQ/L).

Chloride: Chloride is one of the four key electrolytes found in the blood.  Chloride works to maintain the proper balance of fluid inside and outside of the cells.  It also works to properly maintain the body’s blood volume, blood pressure, and pH levels of your body’s fluids.  The amount of chloride in your body is related to amount of sodium in your blood.  When your sodium levels decrease so does your chloride levels.  The majority of the chloride in your body comes from the salt in your diet.  The chloride is absorbed into the body through the intestine during food digestion.  Excess amounts of chloride are excreted though the urine.  While the amount of chloride in your body is typically calculated through a blood test it is sometimes analyzed from a 24 hr urine sample.  The reference range for chloride is 95 to 103 MEQ/L in blood and 80 to 250 MEQ/L  per 24 hr urine sample.   A number above the reference range may indicate dehydration, over active parathyroid glands, anemia, or kidney problems.  A number below the reference range may indicate excessive water retention, prolonged vomiting, kidney problems, diabetic ketoacidosis, Cushing’s syndrome, heart problems, and some breathing problems.

CO2: CO2 stands for Carbon Dioxide.  This test measures the total amount of carbon dioxide in the blood.  There are three types of carbon dioxide found in your blood and they are bicarbonate, carbonic acid and dissolved carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide is a waste product made from metabolism.  The blood carries the carbon dioxide through out your body to finally deposited in your lungs where you expel it as you exhale.  The primary type of carbon dioxide in your blood is in the form of bicarbonate (HCO3) with the remainder being either dissolved carbon dioxide gas (CO2) or carbonic acid (H2CO3).  The kidneys and the lungs regulate the CO2 levels in the blood.  The reference range for CO2 in the blood is 23 to 29 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).  A high CO2 level can indicate certain respiratory diseases (decrease pH) such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and pneumonia.  A high CO2 level can also indicate metabolic diseases (increased pH) such as Cushing’s syndrome, Conn’s syndrome, alcoholism or persistent vomiting.  Low CO2 levels with increased blood pH may indicate pneumonia, cirrhosis, liver failure, or hyperventilation.  Low CO2 levels with metabolic problems that decrease blood pH may include diabetes, progressive kidney or hear disease, asprin overdose, frequent diarrhea, starvation, and dehydration.

Glucose: Glucose is a type of sugar found in your blood.  Your body uses carbohydrate foods to create glucose.  Glucose represents the main energy source of the body.  The pancreas uses a hormone called insulin to help your body control the amount of glucose in the blood.  Insulin in released by the pancreas when the amount of the glucose in the blood rises and works to prevent the blood sugar levels from getting to high.  The reference range for glucose in the body varies depending on when the test is taken in relation to when you ate.  Reference range for 12 fasting is 70 to 99, 2 hours after eating is 70 to 145, and a random sample reference range is 70 to 125.  Consistent glucose levels over the reference range may indicate the presence of diabetes.  While low glucose levels may indicate hypoglycemia or other ailments such as Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, a tumor in the pituitary gland, liver disease, kidney failure, malnutrition, or an eating disorder.

BUN: Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) tests measure the amount of nitrogen in your blood that comes from urea.  Your blood caries protein through out the body and it is used by the cells and after the cells have used up the protein a waste product is dumped into the blood.  This waste product is called urea.  The liver produces urea and it is eliminated from the body by the kidneys.  The kidneys filter the urea out of the blood stream and dump it into the urine.  If the kidneys are not functioning properly the amount of BUN in the blood increases.  Heart problems, dehydration, a diet high in protein along with kidney problems can cause the BUN levels in the blood to increase.  Liver disease or damage to the liver can cause a decrease in your BUN level.  The reference range for the BUN is 5 to 25 MEQ/L.

Creatinine: This is a waste product created by the normal breakdown of muscle during activity and deposited in the blood.  If your kidney are functioning properly the Creatinine will be filtered out of the blood and into the urine.  If your kidneys are not working properly then they are unable to properly filter the Creatinine out of the blood and into the urine.  The amount of Creatinine build up in your blood helps determine the amount of kidney function.  The normal range for Creatinine in the blood is between .6 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) of blood.  If your Creatinine is above 1.2 then you have some loss of kidney function.

Calcium: Calcium is a critical mineral for the body.  Your uses calcium to maintain, build and repair your bones.  Calcium is deposited in your bones and released into the blood stream as needed.  Calcium is not only responsible for healthy bones but the body also uses it to help nerve function, clot the blood, and help the heart function properly.  When there is excess calcium in the blood the body stores it in the bones for later use.  If there is insufficient calcium in the blood the bones release some of the stored calcium back into the blood to keep the body in balance.  Excess calcium that cannot be stored in the bones is eliminated from the body through urine or stool.  It is important to get enough calcium on a daily basis.  It is recommended that your diet include at least 1000 mg of calcium per day.  Calcium comes from a variety of foods to include dairy, eggs, fish, green vegetables, and fruit.  The reference range for calcium is 8.5 to 10.5 MEQ/L.  It typically takes very high or very low levels of calcium in the blood to have any symptoms.

 



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