How Does Urea Affect Your Kidney Function?

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So, urea can harm your health when its concentration in the blood is too high or at level that cannot be tolerated by the body. Therefore, it must be continuously removed by the kidneys.

What is high concentration urea?

There are a number of different tests to measure the amount of urea in the blood. One of these tests is a blood test called BUN test (BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen). It is commonly used to help analyze how well your liver and kidneys are functioning!

While high urea nitrogen level may point to poor function of the kidneys, low urea nitrogen level may indicate problem in the liver. However, abnormal BUN level can also be attributed by other factors.

For instance, low BUN level is also quite common in pregnant women in their second and third trimester. And for high BUN level, it can be attributed by other following causes:

  1. Heart problems such as heart attack or congestive heart failure.
  2. Due to severe burns.
  3. Diet very high in protein.
  4. Gastrointestinal problem or bleeding.
  5. The use of particular medications such as some antibiotics and corticosteroids.
  6. Dehydration or lack of fluid in the body can have an effect, too.

What BUN level is considered abnormal (too high or too low)?

The result of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test is usually given in mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). The standard of normal range may vary from lab to lab. But generally, BUN levels between 7 and 20 mg/dL are considered normal! For more guidance, ask your doctor!

How does high concentration urea affect kidney function?

Again, kidneys play a key role to filter blood and keep it clean. Kidney problem can be attributed by a number of different causes. How about urea?

When urea concentration in the blood is too high –or– if there are too many wastes or other bad things in the blood, this means the kidneys will work harder to work. And any conditions that make your kidneys work harder than usual are bad for the kidney function in long term.

And when the kidneys fail to work or if they don’t work as well as they should, the body does have serious problem in eliminating the wastes and keeping the blood clean. This can cause a condition called uremia and other serious complications.

Uremia is a serious condition when kidneys cannot eliminate urea and other wastes. As a result, there will be buildups of wastes in the body that can be toxic (poisonous). Kidney dialysis can be recommended if your kidneys do fail to work. See also first signs of kidney failure!

Other things to remember!
  1. Too high-concentration urea in the blood may cause bad effect on the kidneys, especially if you have diabetes or any kidney problem.
  2. Although the high amount of urea in the bloodstream is bad for kidney function, but this is not common cause of kidney problem. In most cases – diabetes (chronic high blood sugar), high blood cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart problem, dehydration, obesity, and the use of certain medications in long term are likely to have more contribution to affect kidney function.
  3. Diet high in protein is commonly considered safe for healthy individuals, particularly when they get it from food (not supplement) and combined with regular exercise!
  4. Taking supplement should be consulted first with your doctor to reduce the risk of having too high urea and other waste products of protein metabolism in the blood. Your doctor may need to evaluate and analyze your kidney function before you take the supplement. Again, taking protein supplement is unnecessary for most healthy individuals!
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