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How Is High BUN Related with Kidney Disease

How Is High BUN Related with Kidney DiseaseBUN is the abbreviation of Blood Urea Nitrogen which refers to urea nitrogen level in blood. BUN level is usually measured to reflect kidney condition and high BUN usually indicates kidney disease. Why is this? How is high BUN related with kidney disease?

Urea nitrogen is the end product of protein and kidney is the major excretory organ of this waste product. While flowing through kidney with blood, urea nitrogen pass through kidney freely and finally get out of the body with urine. Kidneys filter blood and remove urea nitrogen out of the body, so when kidneys are damaged, they can not filter blood as well as they did before and also urea nitrogen that should be removed will build up in blood, leading to elevation of BUN. That is why high BUN is always related with kidney disease.

Normal BUN level should be in the range of 3.2-7.1mmol/L or 9-20mg/dL. Kidney is of great compensatory function, which means mild kidney damage can not lead to elevation of BUN. According to clinical studies, BUN level goes up when about a half of kidney function is impaired. Therefore, in kidney disease, high BUN usually indicates serious kidney damages.

Besides, BUN helps to reflect kidney function, because kidney is in charge of removing excess urea nitrogen out of the body. However, not everyone with high BUN is definitely suffering kidney problem. Kidney disease leads to persistent increasing of BUN, and some other factors like high protein consumption and intestinal tract bleeding can also lead to elevation of BUN. Therefore, high BUN does not must mean kidney problem.

For people who have high BUN due to kidney disease, they also have elevated serum creatinine level as well as low GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate). In such a case, not only medical treatment is needed to strengthen kidney and improve kidney function, but also a well-planed diet is needed to stop further elevation of BUN.

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