What is a Kidney Function Test (KFT)?
The filter of your body, the kidneys filter waste materials and toxic substances out of your blood and other body fluids. Besides filtering, kidneys also aid in balancing the natural salts like sodium, potassium, and acid levels in the body and are vital for the production of RBC (Red Blood Cells), Vitamin D, and blood pressure-regulating hormones. Your doctor might prescribe you to take the Kidney Function Test or KFT or if he/she feels there’s an issues with your kidneys. Also, if you are diabetic, or suffer from hypertension, then also renal tests are prescribed to monitor your health.
Symptoms of Kidney Problems
Here are some common Kidney problem symptoms that are indicative of any underlying issues with the filtration system of your body –
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hematuria (blood in urine)
- Difficulty in urination
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Edema (swollen hands and feet because of fluid build-up in the body)
Any single flag from the list given above might not mean that something is serious with your body. However, when Kidney problem signs occur simultaneously, you should visit your doctor to see if or not your kidneys are working properly.
Causes of Kidney Problems
Diabetes is one of the most common Kidney problem causes in most cases. Apart from high sugar level, the other underlying causes include –
- High Blood Pressure
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Autoimmune ailments like IgA Neuropathy and Lupus
- Genetic renal ailments like Polycystic Kidney Disease
Types of Kidney Function Tests
For examining the condition of your kidneys, your doctor will advise you to take some tests so that he/she can determine your GFR or Glomerular Filtration Rate. The main Kidney test names are given below –
It is a Urine Test that is done to determine the presence of blood (hematuria), wastes like urea and creatinine clearance and protein (proteinuria) in the urine. The presence of protein in the urine does not necessarily mean that you have a kidney condition. Sometimes, heavy workout and infections might lead to Proteinuria. This test might be repeated after a few weeks to see whether or not the results are the same as before.
2. Serum Creatinine Test
Serum Creatinine Test is a blood test to diagnose if creatinine is accumulating in your blood. The NKF (National Kidney Foundation) says, when the level of serum creatinine is higher than 1.4 mg/dL in men and 1.2 mg/dL in women, it suggests that your kidneys are not working properly.
3. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
Blood Urea Nitrogen Test also examines the build-up of waste products (urea) in your blood. 7 mg/dL to 20 mg/dL is the normal BUN level. A higher value than this means you might be suffering from a health condition(s), necessarily not a kidney problem.
4. Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR)
The GFR test is done to find out how your filtration unit is working. And, the capacity of your kidney to filter wastes depends on several factors, including – age, gender, height, weight, race, and test results. If the GFR level is less than 60 ml/minute/1.73m2, it’s a warning sign.
Kidney Function Test Cost With Procedure
Kidney Function Test or KFT Test price might vary from one pathology lab to the other and the services you avail from a given service provider. You can also go for a sample collection for the Kidney Function Test at home. With most of the leading KFT Test Labs, home collection is free.
1. 24-hour Urine Sample
For collecting this urine sample, follow the steps –
- On the start day, get up in the morning and urinate normally into your toilet.
- From the second time, you’ll need to urinate into a sterile container provided by your lab or doctor for the entire day and night.
- The next morning, urinate again into the container. It will complete the collection process of 24-hours.
- Make sure to label and refrigerate the sample while the collection process is on. Then drop the sample to the lab or ask for a home collection.
2. Blood Samples
The blood samples will include samples for BUN Test and Serum Creatinine Tests. At first, an elastic band will be tied around your arm (upper arm) to make your veins prominent. Thereafter, the phlebotomist will clean up that area and prick a needle into your skin leading to the vein making the blood flow into the vacutainer. This sample will be used for analysis.
Treatment of Early Kidney Disease
Early Kidney Disease treatment is mainly based on treating your underlying conditions. Medications for controlling blood pressure and urea along with dietary and lifestyle changes are also suggested. In case you are diabetic, your doctor is more likely to advise you to go to an endocrinologist.
If you have kidney stones or any other problems with your kidney, your nephrologist will provide you with the right advice to cope with those.