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Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)

The blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test measures the level of urea nitrogen in a sample of the patient's blood. Urea is a substance that is formed in the liver when the body breaks down protein. Urea then circulates in the blood in the form of urea nitrogen. In healthy people, most urea nitrogen is filtered out by the kidneys and leaves the body in the urine. If the patient's kidneys are not functioning properly or if the body is using large amounts of protein, the BUN level will rise. If the patient has severe liver disease, the BUN will drop.


The BUN level may be checked in order to assess or monitor:

●the presence or progression of kidney or liver disease.

●blockage of urine flow.

●mental confusion. Patients with kidney failure are sometimes disoriented andconfused.

●abnormal loss of water from the body (dehydration).

●recovery from severe burns. The body uses larger than normal amounts of protein following serious burns.


The doctor should check to make sure that the patient is not taking any medications that can affect BUN results. These drugs include the antibiotics chloramphenicol,streptomycin, amphotericin B, methicillin, gentamicin, tobramycin, and kanamycin, as well as diuretics and corticosteroids.

The patient should be advised not to eat large amounts of meat the day before the test.

Normal results

Normal BUN levels are 5-18 mg/dL for children; 7-18 mg/dL for adults; and 8-20 mg/dL in the elderly.

What does the test result mean?

Increased BUN levels suggest impaired kidney function. This may be due to acute or chronic kidney disease, damage, or failure. It may also be due to a condition that results in decreased blood flow to the kidneys, such as congestive heart failure, shock, stress, recent heart attack, or severe burns, to conditions that cause obstruction of urine flow, or to dehydration.

BUN concentrations may be elevated when there is excessive protein breakdown (catabolism), significantly increased protein in the diet, or gastrointestinal bleeding (because of the proteins present in the blood).

Low BUN levels are not common and are not usually a cause for concern. They may be seen in severe liver disease,malnutrition, and sometimes when a person is over hydrated (too much fluid volume), but the BUN test is not usually used to diagnose or monitor these conditions.

Both decreased and increased BUN concentrations may be seen during a normal pregnancy.

If one kidney is fully functional, BUN concentrations may be normal even when significant dysfunction is present in the other kidney.

How to lower high BUN levels?

Well, if your high BUN level is caused by kidney damage, in addition to keep a low-protein diet, we do believe that repairing the kidney damage and recovering kidney function are what kidney disease patients really want. Just like elevated creatinine level, high BUN level is just one of symptoms of kidney damage. If the kidney function can be enhanced, not only high BUN level and other symptoms of kidney disease can be treated well, also Kidney Failure and dialysis can be effectively avoided. What is your BUN level? Do you mind telling us more about your condition? If you need the related information about natural and efficient way for high BUN levels, you are welcomed to leave us a message below, or you can send us an email to, we are glad to help.

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