Dear Dr. Cutler,
In my last blood test to check my kidneys, my creatinine level was within the normal range, I believe, at 1.1 mg/dL. But an additional test called the BUN test was also done, and my level was 59 but should have been near 70. I’m afraid my kidneys might not be filtering as well as they should. Along with drinking plenty of water, could you recommend any supplement that I could take to help support the health of my kidneys?
First, be sure to discuss any problems and concerns with your personal physician as I am unable to provide you with that service. But I can tell you that since creatinine is a waste molecule produced by muscle metabolism and filtered out by the kidneys, the kidneys basically keep the blood creatinine in the normal range.
Creatinine is a fairly reliable indicator of kidney function since the level in the blood will rise due to poor clearance by the kidneys if the kidneys are impaired or malfunctioning. Your level of 1.1 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is within the normal range.
The blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test is also used as a measurement of renal function. It reflects the urea nitrogen balance in the blood, and urea nitrogen is a waste product of protein metabolism by the liver, which is removed from the blood by the kidneys.
Your level suggests perhaps you are low on protein intake, but it’s not at a level that you should worry about. This level fluctuates according to what you ate last, and the amount of time between when you last ate and when you had your blood drawn for the test.
As for supplements to promote good kidney health, you might try dandelion and olive leaf extracts, both of which are known to assist kidney filtration.
Michael Cutler, M.D. is a board-certified family physician with 18 years experience specializing in chronic degenerative diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif., he serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems.
Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and the Founder and Editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter—a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients and is Medical Advisor for True Health™—America's #1 source for doctor-formulated nutrients that heal.
For more information visit www.truehealth.com.
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