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Detect kidney disease with laboratory tests

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by Ilse Romahn

(16.08.2022) Even in August the temperatures can still be sweaty. Typical advice in the heat is: drink a lot! However, this does not apply to everyone. People with kidney disease, for example, sometimes have to be careful about the amount they drink. Laboratory tests show whether the kidneys are fit. If kidney disease already exists, regular checkups help keep an eye on kidney performance.

Protein in the urine as a warning sign
The kidneys perform vital functions in the human organism: for example, they filter waste and toxins from the blood, produce hormones important for blood formation and regulate fluid balance. This makes it all the more important to detect kidney diseases early. The first signs can be symptoms such as high blood pressure, water retention in the legs, around the eyes or all over the body and frequent passage of light colored urine. Laboratory values ​​such as protein components in the urine and increased levels of endogenous degradation products such as creatinine and urea in the blood also indicate kidney disease. As part of the health examination, all insured persons over the age of 35 are entitled to a urine strip test for protein in the urine every three years.

Combined blood and urine tests for risk groups
Experts recommend people with special risk factors have regular checkups for chronic kidney disease. This includes people with diabetes, high blood pressure and patients who need to take medications that strain their kidneys. Using combined blood and urine tests, laboratory doctors can measure the concentration of the proteins cystatin C, albumin and the muscle metabolite creatinine. If there is a reasonable suspicion of illness, the health insurance companies will cover the cost of the tests. If chronic kidney failure is already present, the kidney values ​​should be checked at least once a year.

The IPF leaflet “Kidney Diseases” contains further information. It can be downloaded free of charge or ordered at www.pension-online.de. Another ordering option: IPF-Versandservice, Postfach 12 44, 63552 Gelnhausen. Be sure to include your title, name and full address.

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