BUN – Blood Urea Nitrogen refers to a natural waste product present in the blood. It forms as a result of body metabolism and breakdown of protein from eaten foods. Usually, it is removed from the body by the kidney. When kidney function reduces or in case you consume more protein, BUN levels rise.
Creatinine is a natural product generated from muscle metabolism. It’s produced from creatine which is responsible for energy production in the muscles. Usually, about 2% of the creatine is converted into creatinine each day. Creatinine is then transported through the blood to the kidney where most of it is filtered out and disposed of in the urine.
Both creatinine and BUN are filtered in the kidney and then excreted in the urine. Therefore, Creatinine and BUN can be used together to help measure kidney function. Units of measurements are mg/dL.
What is BUN Creatinine Ratio?
The BUN creatinine ratio is the ratio between the BUN and Blood Creatinine. The ratio is used by health practitioners to determine changes in your kidney health. The ratio is mostly used to find out the causes of dehydration or acute kidney injury.
BUN Creatinine Ratio Low Levels
A low BUN to creation level is below 10:1. The ratio may decrease as a result of decreased urea formation and malnutrition. Renal damage also causes a reduction in reabsorption of BUN thereby reducing the ratio of BUN: Cr.
Low BUN Creatinine Ratio Causes
The Following are the most Common Causes of Lower BUN: Cr Ratio:
- Severe Liver Disease
- Lower Protein Intake
- Increased Protein Synthesis
- Celiac Disease
- High Carbohydrates Intake
- Pregnancy – As a result of increased plasma volume
- High Growth Hormone
- Anabolic Steroids- They decrease protein breakdown
Low BUN Creatinine Ratio Symptoms
- Muscular weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle Stiffness and Pain
- Problems in Mobility
- Pale or Tarry Stools
Treatment For Low BUN Creatinine Ratio
You can Elevate a low BUN: Cr Ratio Levels by:
- Proper diet- consume foods with enough proteins, fruits, and vegetables
- Avoid drinking too much water- This can reduce creatine levels
- Avoid drinking alcohol- Alcohol can negatively affect the way your liver functions
- Exercises can also increase muscle mass
BUN Creatinine ratio High Levels
A high BUN: Cr ratio is the level above 20:1. An increase in this ratio can result due to a decrease in the flow of blood to the kidneys. For instance, is you have a BUN Creatinine ratio 24, it means you could be slightly dehydrating. In case you have a BUN Creatinine ratio 22, you may be just fine as it is barely above the normal range.
High BUNcreatinine Ratio Causes
An Increase in the BUN: Cr Levels May be Caused by
- Increased Consumption of Protein
- Gastrointestinal Bleeding
- Fever or infection
- Poor Circulation of Blood
- Thyroid Abnormalities – They cause abnormal kidney function
- Lower Growth Hormone- Usually, growth hormones can inhibit urea synthesis
High BUN Creatinine Ratio Symptoms
A high BUN to creatinine ratio is mostly associated with the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Bone and Joint Pains
- Itching and Swelling (in the extremities)
- Poor Appetite
- Discolored urine
- Muscle Cramping
- Nausea and Vomiting
Treatment for High BUN Creatinine Ratio
Treatment for an Elevated BUN Creatinine Ratio may Include:
- Consult a doctor for diagnosis
- Eat fewer proteins
- Drink more water or fluids
- Drink ginger- it can help remove urea in the blood
- Eat more fiber
- Manage stress
- Avoid vigorous exercises
- Avoid supplements containing creatine
- You can also use some treatment like salvia and WH30+ to treat renal failure and reduce creatine levels
BUN Creatinine Ratio Normal Range
The normal ratio range for the BUN to creatinine is commonly between 10:1 and 20:1. To maintain a normal BUN: Cr ratio you may have to take medication or to alter your diet. A normal level is important to avoid kidney related diseases. For overall healthy kidney ensure that you keep your cholesterol, sodium, potassium, and protein in check. This can also help to slow the progression of kidney disease.
BUN Creatinine Ratio Formula is: BUN concentration/creatinine concentration
Medically Reviewed By
Catherine is a dedicated freelance health and science writer committed to excellence and professionalism. She specializes in health topics including diet and nutrition, immune-related diseases, surgery, and cancer.