Nephrotoxicity is one of the most common kidney problems and occurs when your body is exposed to a drug or toxin that causes damage to your kidneys. When kidney damage occurs, you are unable to rid your body of excess urine, and wastes. Your blood electrolytes (such as potassium, and magnesium) will all become elevated.
Nephrotoxicity can be temporary with a temporary elevation of lab values (BUN and/or creatinine). If these levels are elevated, these may be due to a temporary condition such as dehydration or you may be developing renal (kidney failure). If the cause of the increased BUN and/or creatinine levels is determined early, and your healthcare provider implements the appropriate intervention, permanent kidney problems may be avoided.
Nephrotoxicity may also be referred to as renal toxicity.
How Is Nephrotoxicity Diagnosed?
1. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
Your BUN reflects the amount of nitrogen that is present in your body in the form of a waste product called urea. BUN is used to determine if there is extra nitrogenous wastes in your blood stream, which should have been filtered out of your kidneys.
One of the symptoms of kidney problems is the failure to filter as much urea as is necessary. An excess of nitrogen compounds in the blood may lead to uremia.
The serum Creatinine (cree-AT-in-een) is present after the chemical Creatine (cree-uh-TEEN) is broken down by the body in order to make energy for your muscles. The kidneys are normally able to filter out large amounts of creatinine on a daily basis. However, when kidney problems are present, your creatinine levels will increase, reflecting less creatinine being filtered out through the kidneys.
Normal Values - Kidney Function Tests* Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) 10-25 mg/dL Creatinine 0.7-1.4 mg/dL *normal values may vary from laboratory to laboratory
Causes Of Elevated BUN and Creatinine Levels:
There are many causes of elevated BUN and Creatinine levels, including:
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Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website about symptoms of kidney problems and other medical conditions is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
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