BUN Blood Test: Uses and Results

A blood urea nitrogen test or the BUN test for short is a blood test that doctors commonly request to determine certain health issues or conditions of patients.

Hands with white gloves holding test tube with blood for bun test

In today’s hectic world and busy work schedules, people are always on the lookout for possible ways to improve their overall physical and mental well being and to enhance their quality of life. A number of things can be done to achieve this such as an adjustment in one’s diet, increased physical activity, and exercise, taking different natural supplements or food items, and lessening unnecessary stress and worries. However, certain medical tests can also be accomplished by individuals and patients to ensure that their bodies are functioning well. One such test is called the BUN blood test or the Blood Urea Nitrogen Test. In this article, we will look at the uses and results of the BUN blood test and how it can aid individuals properly monitor their health and physical wellbeing.

What Is Blood Urea Nitrogen Test or the BUN Test?

A blood urea nitrogen test or the BUN test for short is a blood test that doctors commonly request to determine certain health issues or conditions of patients. The blood urea nitrogen test (BUN) is usually used to determine the overall health and function of an individual’s kidney and liver. Put simply, the blood urea nitrogen test can check the levels of urea nitrogen present in the patient’s blood.

Our bodies can usually produce and excrete urea nitrogen through different types of processes. This can be accomplished through the following:

  1. Ammonia, a nitrogen-rich compound, is produced by the liver after proteins are synthesized and used as energy by the body.
  2. The nitrogen found in ammonia can then bind with other compounds in the body such as oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon to create a waste product called urea.
  3. These waste products, or urea, are then transported to the liver via the individual’s bloodstream.
  4. Normal and healthy livers will usually filter out waste products and urea from the blood.
  5. These so-called waste products shall then be excreted by the human body through excretion via urine.

Generally speaking, a high blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test result means that kidney function may be impaired or that the kidney may not be functioning as it should due to other underlying health conditions.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test: Importance and Uses

Blood usage nitrogen or the BUN test is important in helping your doctor or medical partner in determining and finding out the right ailment or illness for proper medical attention. This common blood test can be ordered conducted by a doctor if to find out if the patient has kidney problems that need to be observed, to check if the patient has kidney damage and to evaluate and monitor the function of his kidneys. Interestingly, however, the blood urea nitrogen or BUN tests can also be conducted and used as a form of baseline data or basis for doctors to be able to check for other health and medical conditions such as obstruction of the urinary tract, gastrointestinal bleeding, and liver damage.’

If a patient’s doctor or healthcare partner suspects that there is possible kidney damage, he or she may also look at the creatinine levels of the person aside from the levels of blood urea nitrogen present in the body. This is because creatinine should ideally be filtered by healthy and normal functioning kidneys. Another test called the Glomerular filtration rate or GFR can be used to check the remaining percentage or total of a person’s overall kidney function and health.

It must be mentioned that the BUN or Blood Urea Nitrogen Test may not always be able to detect the early signs of kidney issues or kidney diseases. However, a patient’s healthcare provider or doctor may recommend the said test if the patient has a high or elevated risk of developing kidney disease or some form of kidney damage. The patient’s doctor or medical partner of the patient to conduct the BUN test if the patient has cardiovascular diseases, hypertension or high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and a family disposition or history of developing kidney disease or problems. A blood urea nitrogen test or a BUN test may also be requested by the patient’s doctor or medical partner if he/she is experiencing some symptoms of possible kidney disease or problems such as mild insomnia, muscle cramps, arms, feet, and legs that are swollen, fatigue or tiredness that does not go away, itchy feeling and the need to frequently urinate.

How Is Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test Done?

The blood urea nitrogen or BUN test is usually conducted by healthcare or medical professional. No particular preparations are needed from the patient’s side except if the patient’s doctor or healthcare partner orders a blood test that requires fasting from any sort of food item or liquid beverages. In this case, the patient must indeed conduct the Blood urea NItrogen or BUN test while fasting or on an empty stomach.

During the actual procedure, the patient’s doctor will simply retrieve a sample of blood from the patient, usually from a vein in the arm of the individual. After blood collection, the sample will then be transferred to a sterile vial for further laboratory tests. There may be a stinging or slightly painful sensation in the spot where the needle was injected and blood retrieved but the said procedure will most likely last no more than five (5) minutes.

Results of the BUN or the Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test and what they indicate

While doctors can specifically provide a more detailed explanation of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Tests indicate, a general with the patient’s kidneys. It must also be noted, however, that high levels of BUN detected during a Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Test does not automatically mean that there is a kidney illness that needs immediate medical attention as elevated BUN levels can mean other possible conditions such as a diet rich in protein, dehydration, medications, and burns. For patients to know exactly what their BUN means, it is best to coordinate the findings with their doctor or healthcare partner.

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