The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. The wastes and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine until releasing it through urination.
: Your GFR tells how much kidney function you have. It may be estimated from your blood level of creatinine. If your GFR falls below 30 you will need to see a kidney disease specialist (called a nephrologist), Your kidney doctor will speak to you about treatments for kidney failure like dialysis or kidney transplant. A GFR below 15 indicates that you need to start one of these treatments
Creatinine is a break down product of muscle metabolism in the body.
Measuring serum creatinine is a useful and inexpensive method of evaluating renal dysfunction.
Creatinine is freely filtered and therefore the serum creatinine level depends on the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). Renal dysfunction diminishes the ability to filter creatinine and the serum creatinine rises. If the serum creatinine level doubles, the GFR is considered to have been halved. A threefold increase is considered to reflect a 75% loss of kidney function.
The normal urine creatinine level may vary with age and gender. Men tend to have slightly elevated urine creatinine levels, as compared to women. This is because of the presence of more skeletal muscle mass in men. The rate of muscle metabolism slows down with age, and so, elderly people can have low urine creatinine levels. In case of a 24-hour urine sample test, the normal creatinine level can be anywhere between 500 to 2000 mg/day.
Kidney failure tends to happen gradually. Even if just one kidney works, or both work partially, normal kidney function is still possible. So, it can be a very long time before any symptoms are noticed by the patient. When symptoms do occur they tend to be different from person-to-person, making it harder for doctors to diagnose kidney failure quickly. The following symptoms may be present: Fatigue ( tiredness )
Frequent need to urinate, especially at night. Frequency grows with time
The kidneys are the waste management system of the body, removing excess fluid and toxins from the blood stream and filtering them into the urine. The role they play is vital; if kidney function is significantly reduced and a patient develops end-stage renal disease (ESRD); the situation is life-threatening and a kidney transplant or regular dialysis treatments are the only treatment options.
Approximately 1,500 liters of blood are filtered by a healthy person's kidneys each day. We could not live if waste products were not removed from our kidneys. People whose kidneys either do not work properly or not at all experience a buildup of waste in their blood. Without dialysis the amount of waste products in the blood would increase and eventually reach levels that would cause coma and death. Dialysis is also used to rapidly remove toxins or drugs from the blood.
Traditionally, kidney disease has been considered an irreversible and progressive condition that will eventually lead to renal failure (called end-stage renal disease). But recent research shows that early detection can actually save kidney function.
A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if the earliest sign of kidney disease—microalbuminuria (or minute amounts of protein in the urine)—is detected it could be reversed if treated properly.