Kidney Tests in Diabetes

Syringe and tube with blood and renal function test written on it

Plasma/ Serum Creatinine

Creatinine is a waste product that is formed when a protein called creatine breaks down. Creatinine is eliminated from the blood through kidneys. Higher levels of creatinine in the blood indicate impaired kidney function.

Creatinine is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). People who are more muscular tend to have higher creatinine levels. Results may also vary depending on age and gender.

In general, however, normal creatinine levels range from

Men 0.7 to 1.3 mg/dL
Women 0.6 to 1.1 mg/dL


Your serum creatinine levels may be slightly elevated or higher than normal due to:

  • kidney problems, such as kidney damage or infection
  • reduced blood flow to the kidneys due to shock, congestive heart failure, or complications of diabetes

Serum electrolytes test:

An electrolyte test is used to identify problems with the body’s electrolyte (salt) balance. Electrolytes are salts and minerals, such as sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate, which are found in the blood. They help to move nutrients into cells in the body and move waste products out of them. Electrolytes also maintain a healthy water balance and help stabilize the body’s acid/base (pH) level.

The main electrolytes in the body are potassium and sodium. Other electrolytes are chloride and bicarbonate.

Electrolyte imbalance indicates:

  1. Kidney dysfunction, leading to excess fluid retention
  2. Conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Urine Micro albuminuria:

The micro albuminuria test is a urine test that measures the amount of albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein required for cell growth and repair, which is usually present in the blood. A certain level of it in urine may be a sign of kidney damage.

Patients diagnosed with Diabetes are recommended by the American Diabetes Association for an annual Urine microabumin test.

Urine Microalbuminuria Level
< 30 mg Normal
30-300 mg Early Kidney Disease
>300 mg Advanced Kidney Disease


Serum Urea Test:

Also termed as BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen), this test determines kidney function. The test is frequently requested along with the serum creatinine test. Abnormal levels may indicate:

  • Liver failure
  • A diet too low in protein
  • Malnutrition
Serum urea Levels
Males Females
1-17 years: 7-20 mg/dL>= 18 years: 8-32 mg/dL 1-17 years: 7-20 mg/dL>= 18 years: 6- 21 mg/dL