People with early kidney diseases don’t usually experience symptoms. It’s the reason why you need to get tested as early as possible. Kidney blood tests can tell you precisely what’s wrong with your kidneys.
Most people won’t care about blood tests unless they are already experiencing symptoms related to chronic kidney diseases. It’s not a bad idea to get tested for CKD. It’s a good way to deal with these health problems before they even appear.
Let’s find out how blood tests can help you fight against CKD and why it is essential to get your blood tested regularly.
Blood Test for CKD
The process is straightforward. Your blood would be tested for a waste product known as creatinine, which comes from your muscle tissues. Once your kidneys are damaged, they will have a hard time removing creatinine from your blood. If your creatinine levels are abnormal, more tests would be conducted to know exactly what’s happening to your kidneys.
Your doctor will use the blood test result, your age, size, gender, and ethnic group to calculate the amount of waste your kidneys should filter every minute. This is known as your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
On average, your kidney should have the ability to filter around 90ml of waste every minute. If your eGFR is lower, there is a chance that you have CKD.
Should You Get Tested for CKD?
Most doctors suggest that you should get tested for CKD even if you don’t experience any symptoms. It’s a good way to prevent CKD from worsening.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you have to get tested as soon as possible:
- Weight loss due to poor appetite
- Swollen hands, feet, or ankles
- Blood in your urine
- Constant peeing at night
- Shortness of breath
Most of these are general symptoms. There’s a chance that it is related to CKD and there’s a possibility that it’s caused by a different disease.
Aside from the typical symptoms, some people are at a higher risk of getting CKD. Regular kidney tests are recommended for people with:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Acute kidney injury
- Conditions that might affect your kidneys like enlarged prostate, lupus, or kidney stones
- Protein or blood in your urine with unknown cause
- Family history of CKD or an inherited kidney disease
Tips to Lower Creatinine Levels
A blood test will determine if your kidneys are healthy or not, and it is related to your creatinine levels. If your creatinine levels are very high, it means that there is a problem with your kidneys. However, it does not mean that you are already suffering from kidney failure.
High creatinine levels can indicate CKD, but there are simple ways on how you can lower it.
1. Reduce Salt Intake
Most food that you eat from grocery stores, food trucks, and restaurants contains a lot of salt. It’s the main reason why most people who love to eat processed foods suffer from chronic kidney diseases.
Salt can also contribute to high blood pressure, which is also one of the conditions that may lead to CKD. Instead of eating processed foods, make your meals at home. Focus on unprocessed foods and use herbs and spices instead of using a lot of salt.
2. Don’t Rely on Pain Killers
Over-the-counter pain killers are incredibly harmful to your kidneys. Most doctors will not recommend taking Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, especially if you have a history of kidney disease. These medications can damage your kidney when taken too often or in large amounts. This will make sure that you are using pain killers properly without damaging your kidneys.
3. Take more Fiber
Although more research is still needed to figure out the effects of fiber on your creatinine levels, a specific study showed significant reductions in creatinine levels of people who took more fiber.
It’s not a bad idea to add more fiber to your diet. If you plan to change your meal plan and add more fiber, here are some of the foods that can include:
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
4. Avoid Supplements with Creatinine
Creatinine is a waste product from a natural compound produced by your liver which is Creatine. It will be transported to your muscles, where it will be used for energy. When creatine is unused, it will then be converted to creatinine.
Creatine is also present in most oral supplements. If you have a family history of kidney disease or your blood tests indicated that your creatinine levels are already high, you should stop taking supplements with creatinine. You should talk to your doctor about the supplements that you are taking.
5. Keep your Body Hydrated
Dehydration is one of the primary reasons for the increase in creatinine levels. Water can flush the toxins in your kidneys, so if you are not drinking enough water, it will affect your creatinine levels.
Your doctor can help you determine the amount of fluid you need to take to deal with the high creatinine levels.
6. Reduce Protein Intake
According to research, eating large amounts of protein can actually increase your creatinine levels. By cooking red meat, the creatine found in the meat can produce creatinine.
Instead of adding more red meat to your diet, you should switch to vegetable-based meals. You don’t need to remove red meat from your diet altogether. However, make sure that you limit your meat consumption.
Kidney diseases usually show symptoms when they are already severe. Instead of waiting for the symptoms to appear, it is best to get your blood tested as soon as possible. If you know the health of your kidneys, you can make the necessary adjustments to your diet. You only have two kidneys, so getting a simple blood test is your first line of defense.