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Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)

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About Our Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)

Fasting Instructions:
Fasting is required for this lab test. You should not consume food or beverages other than water for at least 8 hours prior to visiting the lab. If you choose not to fast, it may affect your results.

Our Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) looks at your blood's electrolyte and fluid balance, your glucose levels, and your kidney’s overall function. A small blood sample will be drawn from a vein in your arm.

What is Included in a Basic Metabolic Panel?

The BMP measures the following:

  • Calcium - This test checks to make sure that your kidneys are producing the proper amount of calcium. Testing for calcium can sometimes help diagnose kidney stones.
  • Carbon Dioxide - The blood’s carbon dioxide levels are monitored and balanced by your lungs and kidneys. Looking at carbon dioxide levels can help to diagnose kidney disease.
  • Chloride - Chloride is one of the most important electrolytes in your blood. An increased level of blood chloride may indicate kidney disease or adrenal gland problems. Chloride helps to maintain your body’s proper blood volume and blood pressure. Most importantly, chloride keeps the ration of fluids inside and outside of your body’s cells at balance.
  • Creatinine to Bun Ratio (calculated) - The ratio of creatinine to BUN is usually between 10:1 and 20:1. A higher ratio may be caused by a condition that leads to a decrease in blood flow to the kidneys.
  • Creatinine with estimated GFR - Creatine is essentially a waste product that this created through the natural wear and tear of muscle tissue. Creatine is filtered through your kidneys into your urine. Your kidney’s capability of handling certain levels of creatine help determine the GFR (glomerular filtration rate). The average value for GFR is 90 or above, but it may lessen with age. A GFR under 60 means that your kidneys are not working correctly. A GFR below 15 indicates kidney failure.
  • Glucose - A glucose test measures the amount of a certain kind of sugar (glucose), that’s in your blood. High blood glucose levels can lead to damaged eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves.
  • Potassium - Potassium is both an electrolyte and a mineral. Potassium regulates the fluid ratio inside of your body and outside of your body. Potassium is a significant factor when it comes to keeping your nerves and muscles working. Kidney disease is the most common cause of high blood potassium. 
  • Sodium - Sodium, like potassium, is also both an electrolyte and a mineral. Sodium is primarily located in the blood and lymph fluid. A hormone called aldosterone is created by adrenal glands to communicate with your kidneys and let them know how much sodium needs to be passed into the urine. When your sodium levels are low, it could mean heart failure.
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) - Blood urea nitrogen is a byproduct of the breakdown of food proteins. Urea is created in the liver and passed out of your body through urine. A normal BUN level varies from 7 to 20. High BUN levels usually mean a decrease in kidney function.

What Does a BMP Test For?

This blood test is used to evaluate your body's kidney health, metabolism, blood glucose levels, electrolyte balance, and acid/base balance. 

The test is often performed during routine health exams, or after you have been hospitalized.

Notable fluctuations in your test results can hint at problems such as kidney failure, insulin shock, heart rhythm changes, respiratory distress, or diabetic coma.

What’s the Difference in the BMP and the CMP?

The main difference in the Basic Metabolic Panel and the Complete Metabolic Panel is the CMP’s added focus on liver testing. Liver testing includes tests for total protein, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), albumin, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase (Alk Phos). AST and ALT are both enzymes that are produced in the liver. High levels of either enzyme can indicate liver failure relating to anything from alcohol to a virus.

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