What Does High Urea Level In Blood Mean? Causes & Treatment

The level of urea in the blood is measured with the BUN or the blood urea nitrogen test. Normally, 7 – 20 mg/dL is considered the normal level; any value above or below signifies that there is some degree of anomaly in the body and needs to be investigated and managed appropriately.

On the other hand, normal ranges tend to vary as well, depending upon age and reference range used by your laboratory. Discuss with your doctor to explain your test results.

High levels of urea in the blood are an indication that the level of nitrogen waste products in the blood is high. This occurs because the kidneys fail to filter out the wastes as they should and consequently there are high levels of urea and nitrogen in the blood and this is toxic for the body.

Symptoms include – disorientation, fatigue and sluggishness, a pale skin, a dry mouth, increased thirst, reduced urine output, rapid heart rate, edema and loss of consciousness.

Excessive Amount Of Urea In The Blood

The blood urea nitrogen test demonstrates how well the kidneys and liver are functioning. It measures the quantity of urea nitrogen in the blood.

  • The liver synthesizes ammonia which contains nitrogen, after proteins have been broken down.
  • Nitrogen along with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, form urea, a waste substance.
  • Urea goes to the kidneys from the liver.
  • The kidneys filter urea and throw it out, via urine.

The blood urea nitrogen test reveals whether the urea nitrogen levels in the blood are higher than normal; which could imply that the kidneys or the liver may not be working properly.

In general, normal levels fall in the following ranges:

  • Men: 8 – 20 mg/dL
  • Women: 6 – 20 mg/dL
  • Children: 5 – 18 mg/dL

In case there is an elevation in the level of urea, it could mean that there is:

  • Congestive heart failure or there has been an episode of recent heart attack.
  • Severe dehydration
  • Shock
  • Bleeding in the GI tract.
  • High levels of protein in the body.
  • An obstruction in the urinary tract.
  • Some kidney disorder
  • Kidney failure

However, corroboration and discussion with your health care provider are very vital to understand the cause as well as implications.

Causes And Treatment Of Increased Urea In Blood

By and large, a high level of urea signifies that the kidneys aren’t functioning optimally. Likely causes include:

  • Urinary tract obstruction.
  • High protein diet.
  • Severe dehydration.
  • Kidney disease / kidney failure.
  • Congestive heart failure or recent heart attack.
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Certain medications
  • Severe burns
  • Shock

You need to talk to your doctor about the possible cause with respect to you and what factors could be contributing to kidney impairment and what steps are vital to control them.

Treatment of excessive urea in the blood

  • The condition is reversible if it is treated promptly without any delay and if no permanent damage has occurred to the kidneys.
  • The treatment management plan comprises of ascertaining the precise cause for the raised level of urea and aiming to manage the condition suitably.
  • Kidney diseases need to be constantly monitored and regular follow ups are very crucial.