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Why Kidney Failure Patients have High BUN

2013-01-31 10:40

BUN is the abbreviation of Blood Urea Nitrogen and high BUN level is very common among kidney failure patients; therefore, there must be a relationship between kidney failure and high BUN. Now, let’s have a look about what BUN is and how kidney failure causes high BUN level.

What is BUN?

Just as we have mentioned in the first paragraph, BUN is the abbreviation of Blood Urea Nitrogen which is the end product of protein metabolism. Normally, blood urea nitrogen is filtered and then excreted by our kidney, so BUN level is always kept in a stable range. For an healthy individual, his fasting BUN level should ranges from 3.2 to 7.1 mmol/L (9-20mg/dl). Similar with creatinine level, BUN level also reflects kidney function. Generally speaking, only when at least a half of kidney function is impaired, BUN level increases rapid. Therefore, high BUN level always indicates kidney problem.

How does kidney failure cause high BUN?

Many conditions can cause high BUN, like high protein diet, infection, bleeding of intestinal tract and chronic kidney failure and so on. Among these factors, chronic kidney failure is the most common one. Our BUN can be kept in a normal range, as kidneys can help us excrete excessive blood urea nitrogen. However, once kidneys are damaged, kidney filtration function decreases and kidneys fail to discharge blood urea nitrogen out of our body. BUN builds up in the blood and thus lead to high BUN level. High BUN is just of the clinical manifestations of chronic kidney failure and the real solution for it is to improve kidney function.

With high BUN, kidney failure patients need to limit protein intake, as the much more protein is ingested, the more blood urea nitrogen will be produced, which can increase kidney burden and worsen kidney condition. Therefore, limiting protein intake is very helpful for kidney failure patients. However, if kidney failure patients want to get BUN level down, aside from adjustment of diet, they also need to take some medical measures.

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