When a doctor suspects that a patient is suffering from a kidney disorder, he will suggested some tests. A test which will be conducted is to establish the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) tempo of the kidneys. This measures the quantity of fluid which is filtered per minute by your kidneys. The blood vessels or capillaries located in your kidneys are responsible for this process.
GFR-testing is assessed to be a very accurate method to measure the functioning of your kidneys. This important test can also assist your medical professional to establish your kidney disorder’s stage. Kidney disease is a condition which progresses and is incurable using conventional therapies. Kidney disease progresses through 5-stages during which the patient’s symptoms get worse or additional symptoms could be experienced. The stage of your kidney disorder will determine the treatment.
- The measuring of GFR
Initially the measuring of GFR was conducted over a period of 24 hours. During this time urine was collected, tracing the filtration tempo after a substance was injected. Nowadays an estimation regarding the GFR / eGFR is done by using a blood test. The creatinine levels in the blood are measured, without using an injected substance. GFR- and eGFR tests are terms which are used equivalently.
A blood sample will be collected by a doctor via a vein, whilst with toddlers blood will be collected by using a lancet to prick the skin. Afterwards the laboratory will assess the sample.
Creatinine is produced by muscle metabolism as a waste product. However, healthy kidneys get rid of this waste by excreting it through urine. A certain quantity still remains in your body. When your kidneys fail to remove creatinine successfully from the body, accumulation sets in. This is an indication that you have a kidney disorder.
In establishing your GFR, additional factors like race, gender and age are taken into consideration. The protein levels in your urine are also compared to your GFR. This provides more accuracy to establish your UACR (albumin-to-creatinine ratio). A healthy UACR quotient is protein: 0.2 gram to creatinine: 1 gram.
Another process called the Cockroft Gault-formula may be used by medical professionals to evaluate the clearance of creatinine from the blood as well as the GFR. This formula uses your weight and creatinine measurements, predicting the tempo of the elimination of creatinine from the blood.
Often GFR will have to be measured twice or more before the function of your kidneys can be assessed.
eGFR is a highly useful test to establish the functional status of the kidneys. However, this doesn’t apply to everybody ho has a suspected kidney disorder, because results may be different. This applies to the under-mentioned people:
- Younger than 18 years
- Overweight or obese
- 70 years +
- Pregnant women
- Muscular built
- African descendants
Creatinine generation is influenced by above-mentioned factors. In such cases the conventional GFR-test using the urine samples collected over a 24-hour period, will render more accurate results.
- Healthy GFR
A ratio of 120-125 ml/min (millilitres per minute) is considered healthy or normal. Fact is that GFR can differ regarding your sex, age, race and body-size. Kidney dysfunction increases with age.
With a GFR of 60-89 millilitres per minute you may experience some kidney disorder. With a GFR of 30-59 your kidney disease may be a stage-3 condition. Stage-4 is 15-29 ml/min whilst a GFR of 15 millilitres per minute or less means total failure of the kidneys.
Medication, certain food and pregnancy can influence the evaluation of your GFR. Notify your medical professional if you are on medication, a special diet or suspect that you may be pregnant.
- Procedure when GFR is low
Your medical professional may recommend additional tests like a computer tomography (CT scan) or ultrasound to determine abnormalities of your kidneys for example kidney stones. Blockages in the urinary tract, affecting the filtering of the kidneys can also be established by above-mentioned tests.
A kidney biopsy may also be conducted with a low level of GFR. Your doctor will during such a biopsy remove kidney tissue by placing a needle into the kidneys. This tissue can then be examined for disorders or abnormalities.
Should you be at risk or diagnosed with a kidney disorder, damage can be reversed by using natural remedies. Such therapies can also prevent kidney disorders in the future by treating the source of such problem. Lifestyle & dietary changes, nutrients and herbs can improve the health of the kidneys and your general well being.