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How is the kidney function assessed?

Q: I am a 40 years old female. My serum creatinine report shows 1.7 and is not normal. What are other means to find out about the level of damage in the kidney? What are the best precautions to check the functioning? My cholesterol, sugar and urine report are normal. My blood pressure is also maintained at normal levels. I am eating low and meals without protein. Can females donate their kidneys to males?

A:Any assessment of kidney function is done by a series of tests including serum creatinine value, random urinalysis (to detect presence of markers of kidney damage including protein, blood and abnormal urinary sediments) and kidney ultrasound (to study the size and morphology of kidneys). One of the most common methods employed to estimate one’s kidney function is a derived “predictive equation” which uses the serum creatinine value and some of the variables including age and the sex of the person. Assuming that your baseline serum creatinine value of 1.7 mg/dl has persistently remained elevated for at least 3 months, you have around 45-50% of normal kidney function at your age. You require a thorough evaluation by a nephrologist to ascertain the causes of your kidney disease at a relatively early age of 40. While awaiting further evaluation the focus should be on managing the risk factors associated with CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease). These include strict blood pressure control to less than 130/80 mmHg and avoidance of all potential kidney toxic medications that include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications like Voveran, Brufen & Nimulid, the consumption of which should be avoided especially on a continuous basis. Kidney donations may be made by anyone, regardless of gender.

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