What happens when a person eats urea

urea

Urea is filtered from the blood through the kidneys. High levels of urea can be a sign that the organ is not working properly.
© iStock.com/Ben-Schonewille

Urea (also: urea) is created in the organism through the breakdown of proteins. In the liver, the nitrogen from the amino acids is first converted into ammonia, which combines with carbon dioxide to form urea. The kidneys finally filter the end product from the blood, and it is excreted in the urine. If the level of urea in the blood is high, this can be a sign of impaired kidney function.

The level of urea depends heavily on the food we eat, a protein-rich diet increases its value. The substance is non-toxic and should not be confused with uric acid.

When does the doctor determine the urea value?

The urea laboratory value provides information about kidney function and protein metabolism. However, it is not a reliable parameter for the concentration of urea, since the determination shows an increased value in the case of increased protein intake through food, even in a healthy kidney. Therefore, the creatinine and uric acid value are also measured for verification.

The urea value is one of the blood values ​​that are not routinely tested (for example as part of the small or large blood count) - unless there is a previous illness such as diabetes. It also serves the doctor as a control value to assess the success of therapy in kidney diseases.

How is the urea value determined?

The urea concentration is determined in serum or blood plasma. The laboratory value can also be measured in 24-hour urine.

When is the urea level in the normal range?

For men and women, the normal value is between ten and 50 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dl).

Friends and enemies of the sick kidney

What can be the causes of an excessively high urea level?

If a patient eats a diet that is too protein-heavy (e.g. as part of strength training to build muscle), the blood count shows increased urea values. The value is also increased in the case of disorders of kidney function and kidney failure and dehydration of the body, as well as diarrhea and vomiting.

In the case of major injuries, burns, bleeding and after injuries, the body breaks down a lot of protein - increased urea values ​​can result. In addition, high fever and cancer can be the cause of an excessively high urea level.

What can be the causes of a too low urea level?

If the urea level is too low, liver disease or a lack of protein may be the cause. Values ​​that are too low also indicate a metabolic disease or malnutrition. Low urea levels can occur during pregnancy without a clinical cause.

Urea creams have no effect on blood levels

Certain skin conditions (for example psoriasis) and dry skin are common with Creams or ointments with urea treated because the fabric can bind a lot of water. In cosmetics it is used as a humectant, in the case of nail fungus, urea is used in high concentrations together with an antifungal agent for therapy. However, the use of these preparations has no effect on the urea level in the blood.

Blood count: important values ​​and what they mean