The foods we eat contain glucose that is used by our body for energy. Electrolytes, such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium, can be found in our tissues, urine, blood, and other body fluids needed to balance the amount of water in our body. Our kidneys are responsible for keeping the balance of salt, water, and minerals in our blood. To measure all of these- glucose level, electrolyte, and kidney- you might need to take the BMP blood test. The following article helps you to know how to read a bmp blood test and normal bmp levels.
What Is BMP Blood Test?
A Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) test is a blood test that determines your blood sugar level (glucose), electrolyte balance (such as sodium and potassium), and kidney function.
What Is Included In the BMP Blood Test?
A BMP test allows you to determine the following;
- Blood Urea Nitrogen – To measure how well the kidneys are working, the nitrogen in your blood is measured.
- Creatinine – It is also used to reveal vital information about your kidneys.
- Glucose – The level of your blood sugar can be an indication of pancreatic issues.
- Carbon Dioxide – Bicarbonate test measures the level of carbon dioxide in your body, and this can indicate issues with your lungs or kidneys.
- Chloride, Sodium, And Potassium – These minerals can determine your body’s fluid balance.
- Calcium – It can indicate thyroid, kidney, or bone issues
Is BMP A Fasting Lab?
Fasting is not really required if you take the BMP test. Blood may be extracted on a random basis. But depending on the reason why you are asked to take the BMP test, you may be instructed to fast. Usually, you will be asked to fast for 10 to 12 hours before having a BMP test.
Normal BMP Values
|BMP Test||Normal Range|
|Blood Urea Nitrogen||7 to 20 mg/dL|
|Creatinine||0.8 to 1.2 mg/dL (Males)
0.6 to 0.9 mg/dL (Females)
|Glucose||64 to 100 mg/dL|
|Carbon Dioxide||20 to 29 mmol/L|
|Chloride||101 to 111 mmol/L|
|Sodium||136 to 144 mEq/L|
|Potassium||3.7 to 5.2 mmol/L|
How To Read A BMP Blood Test?
1. Blood Urea Nitrogen
As shown in the BMP values chart above, the normal range for blood urea nitrogen is from 7 to 20 mg/dL. If your result is higher than the said value, it may indicate that you have kidney function issues. Other reasons for elevated values are dehydration, certain medications, severe burns, or high-protein diet.
If your creatinine level is above normal, it may be a sign of kidney dysfunction. Your blood creatinine increases if your kidney disease progresses.
The blood glucose test is usually done at any random time of the day. Changes in your blood glucose level may be a sign of abnormal digestion. If you have high blood sugar, you may have hyperglycemia. If you have low blood sugar, you may have hypoglycemia.
It is worth noting that your blood sugar levels are low in the morning. But it increases an hour or two after you eat. The normal bmp range of your blood sugar is from 80 to 110 mg/dL. If a sample is drawn shortly after you eat, your blood sugar level can reach up to 140 mg/dL. But if it reaches around 200 mg/dL, it could be an indication of diabetes.
Your bicarbonate level may indicate that you have metabolic problems. If your result is above normal, then you may have metabolic alkalosis. If the result is less than normal, then you may have metabolic acidosis.
Increased levels of chloride may be an indication of overactive parathyroid glands, diarrhea, or kidney diseases. Low levels of chloride may be due to vomiting, heavy sweating, or kidney diseases.
High levels of sodium may be due to kidney disease, persistent diarrhea, or dehydration. While decreased levels may be due to pneumonia, liver disease, diabetes, or lack of sodium in the diet. This might also lead to nervous problems, arthritis, memory loss, acid reflux, osteoporosis, fatigue, bacterial infections, and kidney stones.
Increased levels of potassium may indicate antihypertensive ACE inhibitor medication and kidney failure. On the other hand, low levels may be due to persistent vomiting, heavy sweating, or diarrhea.
BMP test is necessary for you to determine your glucose levels, electrolyte levels, and kidney function. This test includes blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, glucose, carbon dioxide, chloride, sodium, potassium, and calcium. The result of this test may indicate a serious health condition which should be given immediate medical attention.
Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. He is the author of numerous health-related books and contributor to several medicine, health and wellbeing websites.