The kidneys are one of the most vital organs in the human body. The shape of a kidney is called bean-shaped. There are two kidneys in all vertebrates, including humans. The primary functions of the kidneys include filtering or removing unwanted substances from the body and their excretion in the urine, maintaining the balance of blood pressure, fluid levels, and electrolyte content.
It also includes curating essential vitamins like vitamin D and hormones that are required for the proper maintenance of BP. Their location is pretty accurate, i.e., they are located just at the bottom of the ribcage, one under each spine.
Abnormalities in the kidneys can be a problem, and they could be identified with certain symptoms, signs, and conditions that will be discussed below.
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney malfunction. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are prone to encountering such disorders in the urinary tract.
2. Excessively high blood pressure
High blood pressure can occur in individuals due to several factors, like being overweight, having an unrestrained salt intake, etc. What it does to the kidneys is that it puts an enormous amount of pressure on small blood vessels, thus tampering with their proper functioning.
3. Acute to chronic glomerulonephritis
Glomerulonephritis is a condition that leads to the inflammation of the tiny filters called glomeruli in your kidney beans. It occurs when the minute filters get scarred by the inflammation. There is no specific treatment or recognition for this. A change in daily food habits can go a long way.
Polycystic kidney disease
This is an abnormality formed in the presence of cysts. The cysts are non-cancerous and contain fluid in sacs that can grow bigger each day. PKD cysts cause high blood pressure.
Symptoms to be taken cognizance of:
- Blood traces in the urine
- Painful urination
- Swollen hands and feet due to the presence of sac-like fluids
- Fever with shivers and rigours
- Problem while initiating urine
What are KFT tests?
Just like liver function tests, we can also check the proper functioning of your kidneys using KFT tests. Two simple tests that can be carried out to keep a check on your kidneys include a urine test and a blood test.
1. Urine test
Urine microscopy is a test that brings out the presence of blood or protein in the urine. A failing kidney is unable to retain urine, and this urine gets passed down into the bloodstream, making the detection of blood levels necessary. Proteins are large molecules that are supposed to remain in your kidneys for this reason: they are too big to be excreted out through the urine.
Other urine tests that can detect the presence of blood or protein include spot urine protein and creatinine ratio. One standard experiment to detect this is a 24-hour urine excretion. The experiment works upon the fact that the normal protein amount in the urine is 150 mg. If it exceeds that in a 24-hour period, then further testing might be required.
● Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
GFR comes under the urine test. It calculates how much blood passes through the glomeruli in your kidneys.
If the reading shows less than 60 millilitres per minute or 1.73 m2 of blood, it indicates that you have chronic kidney disease. It is a standardized test called “24-hour urine creatinine clearance” that is carried out over the course of a day by an instrument called a radioisotope.
2. Blood tests
● Serum creatinine
This is an integral part of the KFT test. Creatinine is a waste product released by your hard-core muscles. Both kidneys play a vital role in eliminating creatinine from the body. If one has kidney disease, he or she is unable to excrete this substance out of the body, which eventually leads to a rise in its level. Its effects manifest as fatigue, puking sensation, nausea, aversion to consuming food, and also troublesome itching all over the body.
● Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test
The test is used to detect the level of nitrogen present in your blood. The normal range of nitrogen is between 7 and 20 mg/dl. It is formed by the breakdown of proteins. Its value can go higher due to several intakes of medications, such as antibiotics, and a couple of other supplements.
Taking care of your kidneys
Maintaining the health of your kidneys in the right manner can help you live long, happy, and prosperous lives. Here are some of the best ways to manage your kidneys:
- Do physical exercise for at least half an hour a day.
- Control your salt and sugar intake.
- Keep your blood pressure under control.
- Monitor your weight and cultivate a diet accordingly.
- Keep your body well hydrated.
- Consume fruits and vegetables in five servings.
It is imperative to understand the early signs of a kidney dilemma. Keeping up a health-conscious routine is the basic idea behind saving your kidneys from various ailments. Be sure to conduct thorough research about the KFT test online to learn more about this concept. Stay healthy and stay safe.