Chronic Kidney Disease - Is That Lab Work A Problem?

Read Time: 4:14
Published: May 11th, 2021
Chronic Kidney Disease - Is That Lab Work A Problem?

Hopefully, you go for regular check-ups with your doctor. Some people avoid it because they say, "they feel fine." Yet, you may not be aware of things happening within your body that can have an adverse impact on your health in the future. 

For this reason, doctors order a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) and a urinalysis. A CMP is a test measuring 14 substances in your blood, providing your doctor important insight into your body's chemical balance and metabolism. The urinalysis detects many possible disorders, including urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and diabetes.

When you go for your check-up, your doctor will order the CMP and urinalysis. One of the things doctors will look at is your kidney function. Blood and urine tests show how well the kidneys are doing their job. However, if you have kidney disease, the level of creatinine in your blood will increase.

Most People with Early Kidney Disease Have No Symptoms

Why is testing important? According to the National Kidney Foundation, most people with early kidney disease do not experience symptoms. However, one in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease. More than one in seven people in the United States, according to the CDC, have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Plus, two in five adults with severe CKD do not know they have it!

15% of US adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease -- that is about 37 million people.

 

Your kidney is so vital that you are born with two of them. You can live with just one functioning kidney. Your kidneys clean your blood and help control your blood pressure. When you have chronic kidney disease, it affects your body's ability to do those things properly. It also adversely impacts red blood cell production and vitamin D metabolism, necessary for good bone health. 

More People Have Kidney Issues Than You Think

According to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the United States is about 14 percent. One in ten Canadians has kidney disease. In the United Kingdom, 5.8% of the population is reported to having moderate to advanced CKD. Why is this so common? Experts say it is due to high blood pressure and diabetes. Almost half of the people with chronic kidney disease also have diabetes and/or self-reported cardiovascular disease. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure.

When you develop acute kidney failureyour kidneys cannot filter the waste products from your blood. When you have kidney failure, 85-90% of your kidney function is gone, meaning your kidneys are not functioning well enough to keep you alive. 

Kidney Disease - Change in prevalence, between 2013 and 2018

 

While there is no cure for kidney failure, treatment is available, allowing you to live a long life. However, avoiding kidney failure in the first place is certainly better for your overall health and lifestyle.

Lab Work is Essential. What is Normal?

The Mayo Clinic says the typical range for serum creatinine is: 0.74 to 1.35 mg/dL (65.4 to 119.3 micromoles/L) for adult men and 0.59 to 1.04 mg/dL (52.2 to 91.9 micromoles/L) for adult women. 

Getting your blood work along with annual medical check-ups is essential at all ages. However, the importance increases dramatically once you hit age 40. The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel that your doctor will order will give them information on your blood sugar (glucose) levels, the balance of electrolytes and fluid, as well as the health of your kidneys and liver.

Remember, you might have a problem, albeit early and without symptoms. However, that is the point. Getting ahead of health problems before they become chronic and harder to treat is better for you and your health for decades to come.

When Was Your Last Doctor’s Visit?

The bottom line is simple. Go to the doctor. Get your labs completed. Be proactive with your health. Understand that aging happens, and you want a better quality of life when you get to your so-called "golden years." With age will come changes you will see with your health, body, and even memory. Are you prepared?

The risk of needing long-term health care is a reality you also cannot ignore. The cost of long-term care services and supports continues to rise every year. These costs adversely impact your income, assets, lifestyle, and legacy since these costs are generally not paid for by health insurance or Medicare. Medicaid will pay for long-term care but only if you have little or no savings and income. 

Prepare for your family and finances by including affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. You will have access to your choice of quality care, giving your family more time to be family instead of caregivers. You will also safeguard your income and assets, thus maintaining your lifestyle for decades to come. 

The best time to start planning is when you are younger, ideally in your 40s or 50s, when you are still enjoying fairly good health. Seek the assistance of a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who works with the major companies. They will save you money and make professional recommendations. 

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About the Author

Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

Editor's Note

A complete retirement plan should include a strategy for longevity and the impact that long-term health care will have on you, your family, income, savings, lifestyle, and legacy. This includes the consequences due to dementia. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you access to your choice of quality care either at home or in a facility.

Remember, Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for long-term custodial care, the most common type of care we will need. Health insurance, including Medicareand MedicareSupplements, will only pay for a small portion of skilled care. Medicaid will only pay if you have little or no savings and income.

You Must Health Qualify to Obtain Coverage

The underwriting criteria are different with each company. You will have to answer some health questions even to obtain accurate quotes. The insurance company underwriters will review your lab work, like the most recent CMP. You ideally want to get coverage when you enjoy good health. If you are already receiving care in your home or if you live in a care facility, you would be ineligible for coverage. 

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LTC News Contributor Linda Kople
Linda Kople

Contributor Since
October 31st, 2017

Freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

About the Author

Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

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