Kidney – Function Test, Pain Location

Kidneys are organs that are extremely crucial for our survival. The pair of organs serves various significant regulatory functions in our body. They play a significant role in urinary system and also perform homeostatic functions like electrolyte regulation, acid-base balance and blood pressure regulation. They act as natural filter in the body purifying blood and eradicating wastes. While processing urine the kidneys also eliminate waste like ammonium and urea at the same time they reabsorb water, amino acid and glucose. Kidneys are also responsible for production of hormones such as calcitrial, erythropoietin as well as enzymes like renin. Kidney is located in the retroperitoneum, the rear abdominal cavity. It obtains blood supply from paired renal arteries and drains the blood through paired renal veins. Each of the two kidneys excretes urine into ureter.

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Functions of the Kidney

Kidneys can be described as a sophisticated biological system for disposing waste. It segregates disposable waste from recyclable waste. Kidneys are at work consistently without breaks, cleaning your body 24×7. If kidney becomes malfunctioned, then the victim may start experiencing health issues and once there is no kidney functioning, the person may die. Generally people are born with two kidneys each with the size of human fist. They are bean shaped organ and each of these is normally 150 grams in weight. These are protected from traumatic injuries through thick padding of fats, lower ribs and significant muscles.

There are several functions that kidney performs. One of the main functions of kidney is controlling blood pressure. Kidneys filter blood to eliminate excess fluid as well as waste products. It also regulates drugs and composition of bodily fluids. It maintains the water and salt ratio to normal state. Kidneys are crucial for metabolizing Vitamin D. They also help in stimulating absorption of calcium as well as phosphorus from small intestine. As aforementioned, the kidney secretes renin which is helpful in controlling blood pressure. It releases erythropoietin which is beneficial in controlling generation of RBC or Red Blood Cells. There are around one million nephrons in every kidney. Nephrons are microscopic units, which serves as filter for the blood and helps in producing urine.  Though two kidneys are crucial for the body a person can live healthily with one kidney. It can be said as Kidneys are significant chemists of the body which helps in maintaining various biological balances.

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Kidney tests

There are several urine tests that can be used to evaluate Kidney functions. A simple and conventional screening for kidney function testing is urinalysis which is the primary test often conducted when kidney irregularity is suspected. To perform this tests a small amount of randomly collected urine is used as sample. This sample is tested for aspects such as odor, color, chemical concentration, appearance, etc. The test may also determine protein, glucose and acidity/alkalinity in the urine.  If the test results indicate chances of disease or kidney maladies then further tests may be required.

  • Creatinine clearance test: This test asses the ability of the Kidney to clear away a substance known as creatinine from blood. Creatinine is a waste product produced due to metabolism of muscle energy. This substance is produced constantly, proportional to muscles mass in an individual’s body. Since, this substance cannot be recycled the creatinine cleared by kidney in a given time is egested in urine. This means that creatinine clearance is specific way of measuring kidney’s functioning. This test is done timely on urine specimen of the affected person.  The sample of urine is collected over a 2 hours to 24 hours period. Blood creatinine level is also needed to understand urine clearance.
  • Urea Clearance test: Urea is also a waste product of the body. This substance is produced due to protein metabolism and egested in the urine. The urea test is performed using blood sample from the patient’s body. At the same time urine samples are also collected. These urine samples are collected twice maintaining gap of an hour. The blood sample helps in determining the count of urea in bloodstream. The urine allows the experts to understand the amount of urea cleared from the blood and entered into urine.
  • Urine osmolality test: This is a test to measure the number of particles liquefied in urine. This is a more specific test to asses the Kidneys’ ability to dilute and concentrate urine. Kidneys with normal functioning will emit more water into urine with increased fluid intake.

Location of Kidney pain

There are other tests such as urine protein test, blood urea nitrogen test, creatinine test and other blood tests which can be used to determine kidney functioning. Kidney is a retroperitoneal organ which is why pain caused by kidney is not experienced exactly at a localized region. The pain is diffused. Sometimes ache caused due to kidney is mistaken with stomach pain or liver pain.  Usually kidney pain is felt lower back area in flanks right beneath the ribs. Malady associated with kidney can be serious in most cases. Hence, if you experience Kidney pain you should consult your doctor.

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