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Having tender area in lower back. Test done for cholesterol and blood pressure. Should I be worried?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Hello, today I found out that my BUN level is 37 (it was 20 in March), my creatine level has consistently been 1.3 or 1.4 for the past year. I have a very slight "tender area" in my left lower back (beneath ribs and above waist).. Mycholesterol is below normal. My blood pressure was 118/78....BMI is 19.64 kg/m2 Do I need to be totally scared? I gave more blood today to get B12 serum-total only and Iron (Fe) total oh, my HCT waas 31.3(L)

Any help would be appreciated. Frankly, I am afraid. I am a woman in what I believed was excellent health...and am 63 years of age. Thanks so much.
Posted Sat, 4 Aug 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Prasad 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query. I have gone through the details submitted diligence and let me try to provide you with useful information pertaining to your query.

First let me tell you that I do not find anything very concerning. So be rest assured the problem you have seems to be sinister.

1. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine levels as you know are markers of renal functions. The levels of these are greatly influenced by hydration and pain killer usage. Dehydration can make your blood urea nitrogen go high with moderate elevation or normal creatinine values. I would probably relate your mildly elevated BUN to hydration or recent pain killer usage.
At the age of 63, serum creatinine values of less than 1.5 are normal.

2. If you have had enough water (at least one and half litre of water) the day before the test, the elevated BUN and lower back tenderness might be related to renal stone. I would not evaluate further if the pain has disappeared now. We can plan an ultrasonography if the pain is still troubling you, just to make a note of the stone, its size and location.

3. Hematocrit (HCT) is a bit low. Perhaps you might be anaemic. Try and ask the lab assistant who took the sample to check your hemoglobin level too. Iron and Vitamin B12 levels will definitely be informative.

4. It's nice to see a lady with low cholesterols; at least you aren't not one among those with high cardiac risk. I do not know how low the cholesterols are, but adding quality food to your diet can improve the levels if they are very low.

To summarize, the reports are not very bad and definitely not very threatening. You may monitor the levels again after 3-6 months. Drink enough fluids and avoid taking pain killers without the advice of your doctor.

Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any more inquiries.
If you do not have any more queries, please close this discussion.

To your good health!!

Dr. Prasad
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