Difference Between BUN and Urea

Diagnosing and screening the organs is a common practice carried out in medical science to detect severe diseases and medical conditions.

BUN and urea are two interrelated terms, measuring urea nitrogen and urea volume in the blood. Both of these screenings use different parameters and have various symptoms, respectively.

BUN vs Urea

The main difference between BUN and urea is that BUN is the blood urea nitrogen test. As the name suggests, this test evaluates or measures the amount of Urea nitrogen present in the blood. It will consequently detect whether the kidneys are working well or not. On the contrary, urea is formed by the liver and excreted as urine from the body. It is extensively used in various processes. If the level of urea increases, it may cause kidney failure.

BUN vs Urea

BUN is a blood urea nitrogen test that detects if the kidneys are working well. Various processes and mechanisms occur in the human body, and the breakdown of protein is one of them.

The liver breakdown the food protein into various sub-components, and urea nitrogen is one of them. The body uses only a small amount of urea nitrogen, and the residue is flushing out in the form of urine.

Urea is a chemical compound produced in the blood and created by the liver.

It is essential to maintain a constant level of urea in the blood because if the blood urea level increases, it may lead to severe medical consequences like heart failure, dehydration, uremic syndrome, or uremia.

To lower the blood urea level, one should avoid smoking and alcohol or eat more fiber.

Comparison Table Between BUN and Urea

Parameters of ComparisonBUNUrea
What is itBUN represents nitrogen content in the urea and it should be between 7-21 mg/dL.Urea represent the total amount of the urea component present in the blood.
SymptomsChange in urination, swelling in the legs or hands, feeling tired, Itching, fatigue, dehydration, vomiting, cramps, sleep disorder, and pale skin color Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, breath shortness, cramping, weight loss, altered taste, and sleepiness.
Measurement quantityBlood urea nitrogenBlood urea
UremiaHigh-level of BUN is not necessarily caused UremiaHigh-level of urea in the blood will lead to Uremia
Kidney involvementBUN involve the kidney as it determines kidney dysfunctionIt does not involve the kidney

What is BUN?

Routine health screening is essential to detect the effective functioning of the body organs. Body breakdown the food we eat in various sub-components.

Likewise, the liver breakdown the protein and produces urea nitrogen which further ends up in the kidneys.

Kidneys utilize a small amount of urea nitrogen in the blood while the residue is flushing out through urine.

If kidneys are not working well, then it is a bit difficult to remove the urea nitrogen from the blood, this increases the urea nitrogen level in the blood,

and hence the doctor suggests a BUN test to determine and measure the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood. The BUN test report decides if the liver or kidney is working well or not.

Few symptoms help to identify if something is wrong with the kidneys. It can be a change in urination, swelling in the legs or hands, feeling tired, Itching, fatigue, dehydration, vomiting, cramps, sleep disorder, and pale skin color.

BUN level must be between 8 to 21 mg per dL. If anyone has more than 21 mg/dL urea nitrogen in their blood, then they must consult with the doctor.

What is Urea?

Urea is a chemical compound present in the blood and formed by the liver during the breakdown of the food protein. Only a small amount of blood urea is used by the body while the remaining is flushing out through urine.

If urine level is high, it may lead to severe medical consequences like dehydration, uremia, and heart failure.

The high urea level is the result of: either the protein consumption is relatively high, or the kidneys are not capable of filtering the urea from the blood.

Multiple symptoms help to determine high-level blood urea. It includes nausea, vomiting, fatigue, breath shortness, cramping, weight loss, altered taste, and sleepiness.

BUN and urea breath tests are prescribed by the doctor to measure the level of blood urea.

Main Differences Between BUN and Urea

  1. BUN and urea are two different terms, but they are interrelated in one or another way. BUN is the blood urea nitrogen test that represents nitrogen content in the area, and the normal level of BUN should be between 7-21 mg/dL. On the contrary, Urea represents the total amount of the urea component present in the blood.
  2. Every medical condition has some symptoms that make the person realize that something is wrong with the body. BUN symptoms include the change in urination, swelling in the legs or hands, feeling tired, Itching, fatigue, dehydration, vomiting, cramps, sleep disorder, and pale skin color. While the symptoms of urea are Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, breath shortness, cramping, weight loss, altered taste, and sleepiness.
  3. BUN and urea represent two different components or quantities that are measured or determined, respectively. BUN determines the blood urea nitrogen while the area on the other side measures the total blood urea content.
  4. Uremia is a medical condition that can occur because of kidney infection or injury and chronic disorder, and its symptoms are quite similar to that of BUN and urea. An increase in blood urea will majorly lead to uremia, but an increase in BUN level does not lead to uremia.
  5. The food we eat breakdown into sub-components. Similarly, the protein breakdown into components, and urea is one of them. BUN involves the kidney as it determines kidney dysfunction, but Urea does not involve the kidneys.
Difference Between BUN and Urea

Conclusion

BUN and urea have their respective biological role and indicate the protein level in the body in (mg/dL) milligrams per deciliter. Both of these terms are essential to evaluate if the kidneys or liver are working well or not.

If the content of any of these increases, then it will result in severe medical conditions and also cause kidney failure or uremia. It is suggested to take the symptoms seriously and consult with the doctor.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc4149136/
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