Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) is one commonly used index in clinic to reflect renal functions. BUN is the main end product of protein metabolism and every 1g of protein can produce 0.3g urea which contains 28/60 urea nitrogen.
As one waste product of protein, urea nitrogen is mainly cleared out of the bloodstream via the kidneys. However BUN is not a sensitive indictor because in the early stage of renal failure, BUN can still be in the normal range. Only when GFR falls below 50 and more than half of kidney functions are damaged can there be elevated urea nitrogen level.
Normal BUN level is 3.2-7.1mmol/l (9-20mg/dl) and various renal parenchymal diseases can elevate BUN such as glomerular nephritis, interstitial nephritis, pyelonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, etc.
Under normal circumstances, the ratio between blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine is about 10, while high-protein diets, high decomposition, dehydration, renal ischemia, hypovolemia and acute glomerulonephritis can all increase the ratio and sometimes it can be as high as 20-30.
Since blood urea nitrogen is the metabolic waste of protein, therefore its level has much to do with the proteins we eat everyday, low-protein diets can help lower blood urea nitrogen level. When creatinine clearance rate is 20-50ml/min, daily protein intake should be limited within 45-50g and high-quality proteins such as egg white, lean meat, fresh water fish are all good choice. Do not have too much plant proteins which contain more non-essential amino acids and will produce more urea after metabolism. With limitation on protein intake, patients should have adequate supply of calories and vitamin B and vitamin C.
Weather it is high creatinine or high blood urea nitrogen, the fundamental causes are glomerular sclerosis, damages of micro-circulation and glomerular basement membrane. Only when these underlying pathologies are solved can blood urea nitrogen be lowered from the root.
Micro-Chinese medicines can help dilate blood vessels, promote micro-circulation and improve blood and oxygen supply to renal tissues so as to promote repairing and recovering of kidney functions. So long as kidney functions are improved, BUN will be lowered naturally.
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