A 46-year-old member asked:
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nutrition therapy question. dehydration or renal failure, how to tell the difference?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Michael Rupp
20 years experience Allergy and Immunology
Blood Work: Renal failure can be diagnosed with common blood tests. Dehydration can be detected by urinalysis if needed but usually you can tell by small amounts of strong smelling very yellow urine. If you have this and you drink a lot and it improves you are not likely to have renal failure. Talk to your doctor if you are really concerned about renal failure.
Answered on Sep 5, 2014
Dr. Martin Fried
35 years experience General Practice
Blood test: a blood test ordered by your physician can tell the difference. In dehydration alone- early on- just the Blood urea Nitrogen (BUN) level is elevated, and not the creatinine. In renal failure- both will be elevated.
Answered on Sep 11, 2014

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Usually worsens it: Dehydration leads to less perfusion or bllod flow to the kidneys and can make kidney failure worse.

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