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Kidney Diseases

Bun or creatinine level

11/28/2007

Question:

I see my internal medicine physican every 3-4 months for lab. I am a female 71 years of age. He isn`t concerned with my BUN or creatinine leve. On one website it listed potassium normal at 3.6-5.4 mEq/L and mine is 5.2. Below is a list of my bun and creatinine level since 2001 and how it has risen. Bun creatinine 9-6-2001 13 1.0 9-24-2002 14 0.9 1-28-2003 12 0.9 6-2-2003 10 0.9 4-21-2004 14 0.9 4-12-2006 15 0.9 9- -2005 13 0.9 1-4-2006 15 1.1 11-7-2006 19 1.3 6-8-2007 21 1.2 10-23-07 (H)22 1.3

According to my doctor, the kidney`s aren`t in really bad shape until the bun hits 50. He says if your creatinine level is normal you can forget your bun number.

Answer:

The BUN is a very poor guide to your kidney function. Your creatinine has gone from 0.9mg/dl to 1.3 mg/dl in 1.5 years. This means your kidney function has worsened. At this time you have about 50% of kidney function remaining. You deserve an explanation for this which may require further evaluation. You also may need treatment if a condition is found that is treatable. If your doctor is not willing or able to provide an explanation then you should see a nephrologist (kidney specialist).

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Response by:

Thomas   Zipp, MD Thomas Zipp, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University