What are kidneys?
Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that act as filters of the body. They play an important role in waste disposal from the body as urine. They also filter the blood before sending it to the rest of the body, maintain fluid balance and BP, and helps in the creation of RBCs among other functions.
Types of kidney conditions
Some of the various conditions that affect the kidneys are-
- Nephrotic syndrome- Where the kidneys are unable to filter proteins and other components properly due to inflammation, be it through an infection or an autoimmune condition. Tests can pick up massive protein excretion in the urine and may present as swelling of the face and body.
- Kidney stones- The minerals present in urine form large crystals that can grow in size to form stones. They block the flow of urine in the kidneys and along the urinary tract and can be quite painful.
- Polycystic kidney disease- This is a genetic condition that results in the formation of large cysts on the kidneys which can disrupt their functioning.
- Kidney Failure- This is a sudden worsening of kidneys which results in loss of kidney function. Some causes include dehydration, blockage in the urinary tract or damage to kidneys such as diabetes and hypertension.
Symptoms of kidney problems
Some of the symptoms that indicate a problem with the kidneys include-
- High BP
- Blood in urine
- Frequently urinating
- Difficulty in urination
- Painful urination
- Swelling in the face, hands, and feet due to fluid buildup
Why is a kidney panel important?
As one of the most vital organs in the body, the health of kidneys needs to be assessed from time to time. If you face any of the symptoms above or if your doctor suspects a problem with your kidneys, then a kidney profile test is important in identifying the issue. Additionally, if you have other health conditions that can damage the kidneys like diabetes or high BP, kidney profile can help doctors gauge these conditions as well.
What happens during a kidney panel?
A kidney panel involves a series of tests-
- Creatinine test- This is a blood test that measures the level of creatinine, a waste product, in the body. If your creatinine is high, then it indicates a problem with kidneys as they are not successfully filtering the blood.
- Blood urea nitrogen- Urea nitrogen is a waste product created by the body. Testing for the presence of this in the bloodstream indicates how healthy the kidneys are and effective in excretion.
Why should you take a kidney panel?
If you feel any of these symptoms, then you should definitely get tested. Kidney disease if ignored can become very serious and result in kidney failure. Once you get tested, the doctor will help you treat your condition and will advise you on how to manage your kidney health better.