A kidney function test is a laboratory test that is being done to evaluate the functioning of the kidney. The increasing risk of kidney disease leading to increased demand for kidney function tests. According to National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 3 adults is at the risk of kidney disease in the United States.
So it is important to have an earlier diagnosis of these diseases. This in turn can help in proper treatment and complications and any permanent damage to the kidney can be avoided.
What is a kidney function test?
A kidney function test is a clinical or laboratory procedure. It is designed to evaluate the functioning of the kidney. It helps in the diagnosis of kidney disorders. So various aspects of kidney capacity can be evaluated by a kidney function test.
What functions does the kidney perform?
The kidney is a vital organ of your body. It is bean-shaped and two in number. The kidney is located in the posterior side of your abdomen just below the ribcage. It plays many important roles in the body.
The main function of the kidney is to filter waste materials from the blood that is removed from the body in the form of urine. It also helps in maintaining an osmotic balance of the body fluid. Not only this, but the kidney also helps in the production of vitamin D, red blood cells, releases hormones important for maintaining blood pressure. So now you can imagine how crucial it is for the kidney to work efficiently.
Why is a kidney function test need to be done?
You may think why doctors ask for is kidney function test. Whenever there are any symptoms, and doctor suspect kidney functioning. He might ask you to go for the kidney function tests. These are very simple tests that don’t require much prior preparation. It can be either simple blood and urine tests. It mainly helps in the diagnosis of problems related to the kidney.
Sometimes kidney function tests are done in conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that can damage the kidneys. With these tests, doctors can monitor these conditions more efficiently with medications.
Types of kidney function test
There are many Kidney function tests available. Depending upon the symptoms, doctors may ask you for any specific test or more than one test. The following are a common type of kidney function test to measure different aspects of kidney and it functions.
The gold standard tests for measurement of glomerular filtration rate are clearance tests. It includes creatinine and inulin test. Therefore, in addition to regular diagnostic tests, it helps in obtaining more precise results. There is minimal variation in performance in clearance tests due to their sensitivity and precision. So it is the most common test done for the diagnosis of kidney-related problems.
Urine test is one of the Kidney function tests. It is done to detect any infection in the excretion system of the body. For example, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can be easily diagnosed by a urine test. Moreover, it is also asked by doctors in case of diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney stones, and pregnancy. The prescribed drug abuse detection can be done by urine tests. This test is affordable so demand for such products is high in the health care system.
Generally, the blood test is done to measure the total blood count, level of hemoglobin, and serum creatine. It involves a very simple procedure in which a blood sample is taken from the person’s arm with the help of a needle. The level of serum creatine is the indicator of the functioning of kidneys. In case of a high serum creatine level, doctors may ask for a creatine clearance test. This helps them to calculate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). So blood test is a simple test that can tell you about the working condition of your kidney.
Who are the end-users of kidney function tests?
Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and research laboratories are the end-users of kidney function tests. In both hospital and diagnostics laboratories, for diagnosis of kidney disease and related problems.
Routine blood and urine tests are done in case of any symptoms are detected by the doctors. Health care providers use a blood test as a common test to check kidney disease. It helps in calculating glomerular filtration rate (GFR) which tells more about how well your kidney is filtering your blood. With increasing R&D activities and raising funds for biomedical research, kidney function tests are increasingly used by Research Laboratories and Institutes.
The bottom line
The kidney function test market has been witnessing rapid growth due to increasing incidences of kidney diseases. Kidney function tests are simple laboratory tests. It helps in evaluating the functions of the kidney. There are a variety of such tests available such as clearance tests, blood tests, and urine tests.
Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and research laboratories are the end-users of kidney function tests. With the increasing R&D activities and rising government initiatives, demand for Kidney function tests will increase in the coming years.