BUN (blood urea nitrogen)– Urea nitrogen is a normal waste product in your blood that comes from the break- down of protein from foods you eat. Healthy kidneys remove BUN from your blood, but when kidney failure occurs, your BUN rises.
Cretinine– Creatinine is a waste product in your blood that comes from the normal function of your muscles. Healthy kidneys remove creatinine from your blood, but when the kidneys are not working properly, your creatinine level rises.
GFR (Glomerular Filteration Rate)– Glomerular filtration rate is the best test to measure your level of kidney function and determine your stage of kidney disease. Your doctor can calculate it from the results of your blood creatinine test, your age, body size and gender. The earlier kidney disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing or stopping its progression.
Hemoglobin– Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all the tissues in your body. Measuring your hemoglobin level tells your doctor if you have anemia.
Phosphorous– A high phosphorous level in your blood can lead to weak bones, itching, bone pain and hardening of blood vessels. If your level is too high, your doctor may ask you to reduce your intake of foods that are high in phosphorous and take a phosphate binder.
Potassium– Potassium is a mineral that helps your heart and muscles work properly. Your kidneys help regulate your potassium level. A potassium level that is too high or too low may weaken muscles and change your heartbeat.
PTH- (parathyroid hormone): Parathyroid hormone is produced by several small, bean-like parathyroid glands in the neck. Its job is to tell the bones to release calcium into the bloodstream. High levels of PTH may result from a poor balance of calcium and phosphorous in your blood. This can cause bone disease. PTH levels are also increased in chronic kidney disease due to vitamin D deficiency. Your doctor may order a special form of vitamin D to help lower your PTH.
Anemia: a condition of having too few red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to supply all the body’s needs and to give you the energy you need for your daily activities. One cause of anemia in people with chronic kidney disease is the low supply of erythropoietin which is a hormone made by healthy kidneys to signal red blood cell production. Treatment: See ESA Therapy.
CKD (chronic kidney disease): chronic kidney disease means the kidneys have been damaged by diabetes, high blood pressure or other disorders. Damaged kidneys are not able to keep you healthy by doing important functions such as removing wastes and fluid from your body, regulating your body water and chemicals in your blood such as sodium, potassium, phosphorous and calcium. Healthy kidneys remove drugs and toxins introduced into your body. They also release hormones into your blood to help your body regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells, and promote strong bones. Kidney damage is categorized by stages 1-5 based on the amount of kidney damage.
Hypertension– high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. If your blood pressure is high, make sure to follow all the steps in your prescribed treatment. These steps may include taking high blood pressure medications, cutting down on the amount of salt in your diet, losing weight if you are overweight, and exercising.
Secondary Hyperparathyroidism– a condition that affects people with CKD. It is a result of vitamin D deficiency, associated with CKD stages 3 5. As kidney function declines, the ability of the kidney to make active vitamin D, which is needed by all the tissues and cells in the body, declines. The consequences of low vitamin D levels are many; including bone disease and recent evidence suggests there are consequences to the heart, to blood pressure and to overall vascular health. Measurement of your parathyroid hormone (PTH) helps establish this diagnosis.