High urea or uremia: values, causes, symptoms, remedies

High urea or uremia

Very often we hear about urea, which is a parameter that must be kept under control in order to evaluate the correct functionality of the kidneys. In fact, doctors frequently recommend urea analysis which is a test of fundamental importance to evaluate the correct functioning of the kidneys. An important feature of urea analysis is that it is not minimally influenced by nutrition or other external factors: therefore, through the urea values it will be possible to accurately understand the condition of one's kidneys. Here is therefore everything you need to know about urea in blood and above all about the reference values to always keep in mind.

What is urea?

That what is urea? Let's see together the chemical and biological characteristics of this substance. L'urea is a chemical compound found within the blood - serum urea - and in the urine - urinary urea -. It therefore becomes important to understand the meaning of urea in order to understand its impact on the organism. Within urea there is a notable presence of nitrogen, and this explains why in the case of high enough urea values we speak of high blood urea. One thing that must be kept in mind is that urea is produced within the body mostly by the liver and minimally by the kidney. This falls into the final stage of protein synthesis and is talked about urea cycle as of that phase that determines the production of this molecule.

Urea basically comes from the oxidation of those amino acids that are not exploited for the production of proteins. It has an important function as it will avoid an excessive accumulation of nitrogen that derives from the metabolism of amino acids which would alter the physiological pH. Much of the urea comes excreted through theurine, but there is a small percentage of this compound also within the sweat.

For the urea formula we refer to this article.

Urea: normal values

Normally urea values are between 18 and 45 mg / dl (milligrams per deciliter) in men and 15-42 mg / dl in women. Very often the results of blood tests do not report urea but azotemia, that is the quantity of urea nitrogen contained in the urea (in English it is called BUN, Blood Urea Nitrogen). Normal azotemia values are between 6 and 20 mg / dl, theurea nitrogen it is estimated by dividing the concentration of urea in the blood by the coefficient 2.14.

What does high urea mean? we speak of high urea in the presence of urea values higher than 45 mg / dl in men and 42 mg / dl in women.

Please note: the wording is often found in blood test reports s-urea, which means serum urea.


 The kidneys, fundamental organs for the elimination of urea and creatinine.


Creatinine and creatinine clearance

Together with the evaluation of uremia, another test of fundamental importance for analysis of renal function is that of creatinine. This molecule is another example of waste produced directly by the human body: it derives from the metabolism of creatine, an amino acid. Creatine is produced at regular rates by the body and increases in the blood in case of kidney failure or, in the context of normality, following efforts such as, for example, a load to be lifted or sports activities carried out continuously.

When we talk about creatinine clearance, as well as other substances, we refer to a parameter related to the physiological concentration of this molecule. In fact, clearance corresponds to the amount of blood that is purified of this substance in the unit of time by the kidney. This is why it is well understood that renal clearance is a fundamental component for evaluating renal function. Creatinine analysis is performed by collecting urine over 24 hours.



High Urea: Causes

The list of causes of high blood urea (or high urea) is very long, and must always be considered by analyzing the context and clinical history of the person concerned. The same high urea value could be normal in a young person, a little dehydrated after a long run, while it could be far more worrying in an elderly person who takes a lot of drugs and other diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

The most widespread causes of high urea I'm:

  • Fasting
  • Dehydration
  • diabetes mellitus
  • Hemolysis
  • Hemorrhages
  • Gout
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Renal neoplasm
  • Kidney tumors
  • Burns
  • Excessive consumption of protein foods
  • Trauma
  • Shock conditions
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Excessive intake of cortisone and diuretic drugs

In most cases, the trigger for high blood urea is the presence of kidney failure. We talk about acute renal failure which can be caused by nephrotoxic drugs (i.e. harmful to the kidneys, for example anti-inflammatories, antibiotics or immunosuppressants), vascular problems kidney, liver failure, allergic reactions serious, burnsdehydration, myocardial infarction, kidney infections, all conditions that reduce or even block the blood supply to the kidneys. There are also less frequent causes such as renal artery thrombosis (clots that block the flow to the kidney blood vessels), alcohol, drug or metal intoxication that can significantly reduce kidney function.

As regards chronic renal failure, a condition often more complex to treat, the main causes are type 1 or 2 diabetes, polycystic kidney, glomerulonephritis, kidney infections and poorly controlled arterial hypertension.

It should also be specified that there are different conditions of renal failure: we start from that prerenal with dehydration and reduced blood supply to the kidney, up to that intrarenal with damage to the renal tissue, up to post-renal renal failure which causes occlusions of the urinary tract such as stones in the ureters.

Elevated Urea: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of high urea? Between symptoms more common in the presence of high azotemia values, or of an excessive concentration of this molecule in circulation we find:

  • obvious fatigue
  • weight loss
  • He retched
  • increased blood pressure
  • widespread tremors
  • tachycardia
  • reduction in the amount of urine produced
  • pallor

It is therefore necessary to pay close attention to the uremia values. In fact, when these symptoms occur, even simultaneously, it is good to rely on the advice of a doctor. The normal level of blood urea nitrogen is between 22 and 46 milligrams for each deciliter of blood, while if we talk about the amount of urea nitrogen, it must be between 10.3 and 21.5 milligrams per deciliter. It is therefore clear that p-urea is a parameter to be constantly taken into consideration and above all to evaluate the correct functioning of the kidneys.

High urea: consequences

Obviously the imbalances that can derive from the alterations in the values ofurea they can be remarkable. In particular, you will notice how there will be problems in urination: the amount of urine may be less than normal ( oliguria ), more concentrated, with the presence of blood ( hematuria ) or even absent ( anuria ) in case of severe acute renal failure. There is no shortage of cases in which you feel the need to urinate only to produce small quantities or even none at all. This affects the general metabolism of the organism: the kidney has fundamental functions within the human organism and its altered functioning would lead to excessive concentrations of certain molecules.

In the event that the increase in urea is not pathological, we are talking about a series of consequences of little importance. This is why it will be possible to remedy this condition, which can be diagnosed through blood tests, also by changing one's diet. The consequences can be greater and more serious for those people who suffer from other related diseases. In fact, patients suffering from renal insufficiency could have problems of hyperkalemia, high azotemia, metabolic acidosis and also a predisposition to bleeding. These are consequences of a certain weight and which, in the long run, can also greatly limit a patient's life expectancy. In the most serious situations it is therefore possible to resort to haemofiltration procedures such as dialysis which uses machines with which it is possible to purify human blood rich in urea, creatinine and other waste.

High Urea: Main Cures and Remedies

The remedy ideal for a patient who wants to improve this condition, which often ends up influencing their lifestyle, is to change their diet.
The first thing to do is to reduce excessive consumption of protein foods like meats and eggs. This is because urea and creatinine are obtained from the metabolism of proteins and therefore of the amino acids that compose them. They would also go deleted some bad habits as the smoke or even excessive consumption of alcohol which would end up overloading the kidney and causing the development of azotemia. Moreover, since high urea often also links with impaired metabolism of cholesterol is triglycerides, these parameters should also be kept under control. This will allow to avoid problematic situations that could cause vascular obstructions with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

An excellent therapy to put in place to remedy high blood urea nitrogen is the behavioral one. It will therefore be necessary to acquire habits that will become part of your lifestyle. First of all, it is good to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. This is recommended not only in the summer when the need to drink is greater, but also in other seasons of the year. In this way, the kidneys will always be stimulated to metabolism and will always be active and functional. The kidneys need fluids to maintain their filter function and to ensure proper absorption of certain nutrients.

Is there a diet for high urea? In fact, nutrition does not affect serum urea levels that much, except in cases of people who already have known kidney problems. In the latter, specialists usually recommend a diet with a moderate or reduced protein content, thus avoiding excessive consumption of red meats, legumes and all foods rich in proteins.

  1. antonio 4 years ago

    good morning I would like to have a report on urea at 49 parameters 15-45

    • Author
      Testlevels 4 years ago

      Minimal alteration, to be evaluated also with creatinine, blood count, Na and K values, in addition to the clinical history that your doctor certainly knows.

  2. raffaele liotti 4 years ago

    Having done all the blood and urine tests with almost all normal values, I found that I only have a low value of HDL which is 33 on the ref. of 45 per man, and to have the Urea at 49 on the parameter of 10-50, and the blood sugar at 103 on the parameter 60-100, and finally to have a % (Electrophoresis) RANGE of 20 on the parameter 11.1-18
    now I don't understand the connection of these small details with my episodes of altered blood pressure and also the consequent tachycardia that takes me without warning until I swallow the tablets that my primary doctor gave me for these eventualities, but the most of the time I end up in the hospital for emergency room checks. What I am wondering is is there some form of anomaly that can give me the values I have described. but I believe that there must be a reason and there must be a relationship, I believe that everything has a reason to be explained within the limits of our knowledge.

    • Testlevels 4 years ago

      Hi, low HDL ("good" cholesterol) as well as high blood sugar levels are factors not to be overlooked, they could be signs of a predisposition to diabetes mellitus and a risk of cardiovascular events above the norm. Contact your doctor who will advise you on the most suitable tests (first of all moderate physical activity and proper nutrition). Urea, on the other hand, is fine.

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