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Ask the Experts
Kidneys are one of the major organs of the body, these bean-shaped organs which are approximately the size of a human fist perform many important functions in the body, the most important being filtration of blood and removal of waste materials from the body through urine. In case you or your doctors suspect that your kidneys are not functioning properly, then getting a Kidney Function Test can be highly helpful in understanding your risk and taking the necessary treatment. A Kidney Panel Test may also be essential if you suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes which can have some serious impact on your kidneys. A Kidney Profile Test includes multiple parameters or tests, all of which measure a specific aspect of your kidney function and thus, help in making a proper assessment of your kidney health. The phlebotomist takes your blood sample, which takes only a few minutes. The sample is then sent to the lab to perform the tests included in a KFT.
Why Kidney Function Testing is important?
Kidneys are an important part of the renal system. They play many vital roles in keeping the body healthy. In a healthy kidney, blood is filtered and waste is separated, salt, water, and minerals are adjusted in the body as per requirement. The filtered blood is sent back to the body, while the waste material is passed through the kidney pelvis - a funnel shaped structure that drains the waste into the ureter which drains it into the bladder.
Some important functions the kidney performs are:
- Maintains the fluid balance in the body.
- Regulates and filters minerals from blood.
- Filters waste products from food, medications, or any toxic substances.
- Creates the hormones that help produce red blood cells, promote bone health, and maintain blood pressure.
Some symptoms of kidney diseases are:
- High Blood pressure
- Sleeplessness or trouble sleeping
- Change in frequency of urination
- Blood in urine
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling in ankle or feet
- Muscle cramps
While these are common symptoms it can also happen that only 10% of your kidneys may be functioning and there may not be any symptoms. Hence, it is important to get a Kidney Function Test done as part of a healthy lifestyle to make sure that any issues are caught early. This is especially important for people with diabetes who are at risk of developing kidney troubles.
How Kidney Function Test is performed?
A Kidney Function Test includes Serum Creatinine Test, Serum Uric Acid Test, Mineral Tests, Serum Urea Test, and various ratios between the parameters. The doctor may use these tests to arrive at the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) which can help in estimating the rate at which your kidneys are clearing out waste in your body. While most of these parameters are blood tests and require you to give a blood sample that is tested in the lab for specific parameters, you might also need to undergo a Urine Test if your doctor suggests it.