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[IP] Lab analysis


    Creatinine is produced by your body, specifically muscles, at an almost
constant rate and is cleared by your kidneys so the test measures your
kidney's function indirectly.  Basically the higher the plasma level, the
lower the kidney function.  The best test to assess function would be a 24 hr
urine collection for creatinine clearance or, next best thing, 1st morning
urine for creatinine.  Has to be 1st morning urine because the plasma levels
increase through the day and after exercise.
    The 'normals' need to be corrected for body mass.  If you are a football
player, you're going to have a higher plasma creatinine than an 80 year old
nursing home patient.  The generic range given is roughly 0.5 to 1.5 mg/dl but
that can vary across the country.
    Potassium is one of the electrolytes that is key to normal function of
your body.  It is involved in everything from your heartbeat, to neural
messaging, etc.  It is extremely important for the heart.  Both high and low
potassium can cause disturbances in the electrical rhythm of the heart.
Surprisingly, these changes begin to show themselves after small changes
outside of the 'normal'.      Normals, again depending on where you are in the
country, vary from 3.5 to 5.1 mEq/L.
    In all honesty, if you have questions you ought to ask your doctor --
either the Endo or the PCP, if you go to a primary care doc as well.  That is
their job to explain this stuff so you can actively participate in making
judgments about your healthcare.

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