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Detail Description

Blood Urea Nitrogen Test

Are there any names for this test?

BUN test, Urea nitrogen test, Serum BUN

What is a blood urea nitrogen test?

A blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test determines essential information about the conditions of your kidneys. Your kidneys help to eliminate waste material and an excess quantity of fluid. If you have kidney disease, this waste substance or material can deposit in your blood. As time passes, this may cause various diseases. These include high blood pressure, heart problems, and anemia (deficiency of healthy red blood cells).

Urea nitrogen is a waste material eliminated from your blood by the kidneys.
  • Your liver develops ammonia that has nitrogen. 
  • Urea produces when nitrogen mixes with other elements, including carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
  • The urea flows from your liver to the kidneys through your blood vessels.
  •  Healthy kidneys remove urea and other waste materials from your blood.
  • These waste materials excrete from your body through urine.

What is the purpose of this test?

A BUN test is a blood test that helps to measure the quantity of urea nitrogen in your blood. A blood urea nitrogen test can detect whether you have high BUN levels in your blood. If you have higher BUN levels than the recommended, your kidneys are not working as they should. This test may also order with a sequence of tests known as a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP).

You do not have any symptoms if you are at an early stage of kidney disease. This test monitors, diagnoses, and provides treatment of kidney disease at its early stage.

When to conduct a blood urea nitrogen test?

Your healthcare provider may recommend a BUN test to see:
  • Risks for kidney damage.
  • Chronic kidney conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.
  • How well your dialysis treatment is going if you are taking hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (It is a procedure for dialysis)
  • A combination of other blood tests to identify various health conditions include liver damage, problems in the urinary tract, heart failure, or abdominal bleeding. These diseases cannot confirm by the BUN test.

Place an online order for the blood urea nitrogen test if you have symptoms of late-stage kidney disease that include:
  • Cramps in muscles
  • Fatigue
  • Increased or decreased urge to urinate
  • Itching
  • Swelling in the feet, legs, and ankles.
  • Difficulty sleeping

What is the procedure for this test?

For a blood urea nitrogen test, a healthcare provider will ask for a blood sample from you. A needle injects into a vein in your arm to collect a blood sample into a test tube. A bandage will apply to cover the vein where the needle injects. After that, daily activities may resume. This test finishes in five minutes.

How do I need to prepare for this test?

If your provider asks for a blood sample for the BUN test, you may eat or drink before the test. You may have to fast for at least 7 to 8 hours before the test. Your provider will guide you with specific instructions.

What are the risks of this test?

A blood urea nitrogen test is a blood test that contains low risks. You may have an itchy feeling or low pain when the needle injects into your vein to collect your blood sample. These risks will go away in less time. The other low risks for this test include infection, bleeding, and bruising.

What does the blood urea nitrogen test indicate?

The BUN test results may vary on age, gender, medical history, and other factors. The blood test results may change slightly among laboratories because of different methods.
The test results for urea nitrogen expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in the US and millimoles per liter (mmol/L) worldwide. The recommended range for a blood urea nitrogen test is 6 to 24 mg/dL (2.1 to 8.5 mmol/L). A Higher value than the recommended means you have a kidney problem. BUN levels increase with age. Schedule an online meeting with a healthcare professional to get complete information about your BUN test results.

What factors may affect the blood urea nitrogen test?

High BUN levels do not always determine medical conditions. The BUN test results may affect or increase despite your kidneys working properly. These factors include:
  • Dehydration
  • Injuries due to burn
  • Intake of high protein diet
  • Use of steroids (hormones that develop by human beings).
  • Aging (a continuous process of natural change).

Your healthcare provider may also recommend the BUN/creatinine ratio test, which can provide more accurate results for your kidney conditions. The recommended range for BUN/creatinine ratio is between 10:1 and 20:1. The low or high values indicate that you may experience kidney disease or have dehydration.

What additional tests do I need to take along with this test?

A BUN test is the one way to diagnose your kidney conditions. Your provider may also recommend creatinine test if you see symptoms of kidney disease. The creatinine levels in the blood can also measure with the BUN test.
Creatinine is another waste material that eliminates from your body by healthy kidneys. The high creatinine levels may also indicate kidney failure or damage.

Your provider may also check the ability of your kidneys to remove waste material from the blood. A provider will need a blood sample to measure your estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR estimates the percentage of kidney function.

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