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Kidney Diseases

Concern of elevated bun and creatine?

02/01/2008

Question:

I am a 73 year old female, weighing 230 pounds, just started a weight reduction plan, lost 22 pounds, intend to continue. Have arthritis, removed breast cancer both breasts with lumpectomys.

Bun 25 April 2007 Bun 40 Jan. 2008 Creat. 1.4 April 2007 Creat. 1.7 Jan. 2008

Bun 29 Oct. 2007 Concerned of these numbers for Creat. 1.3 Oct. 2007 Bun and Creatinine.

Your thoughts please?

Answer:

You appear to have progressive renal disease, and there are a number of possible causes.  These include: diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), medications (including arthritis meds), autoimmune disease (such as lupus), and cancer (either of the kidneys, or of other organs).

The blood tests that you mention, BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and creatinine, are measures of kidney function.  Urea and creatinine are waste products that are generated in the course of normal body metabolism.  They are excreted by the kidneys; and in kidney disease, they accumulate in the body and can be detected at higher-than-normal levels in the blood. 

Judging by your BUN and creatinine levels, you have already lost over half of your kidney function.  While many people your age can live long and trouble-free lives with this level of function, it is of concern that your kidney function has declined even in the last 3 months.  Your doctor should immediately refer you to a nephrologist (kidney specialist).  When you are seen by the nephrologist, you should be prepared to provide the following information:

It is important for you to be seen within the next days to weeks.  If the cause of your kidney disease can be determined, it may be possible to reverse the damage or at least to prevent more damage from occurring.   Please do not delay!

For more information:

Go to the Kidney Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University