What is a BMP

One of the most common test done at your doctor’s office is a BMP or a Basic Metabolic panel. The results can be confusing if you do not know what to focus on or what the symbols and letters stand for. Below is an example of a BMP result. We’ve  listed names of electrolytes and metabolic products on the right ,  normal expected ranges in the middle, and  units of measurement used on the far left.

What the results look like



Creatinine level is important because it gives a snapshot of how well your kidney’s are doing. Creatinine is produced from breakdown and metabolism of muscle and proteins.  Creatinine is excreted by the kidney’s. How well your kidney’s get rid of creatinine reflects how well they are filtering your blood. Along with your creatinine level, other personal information such as sex,  race, are used to come up with a number called  glomerular filtration rate, which is a score card of how well your kidneys are working.

Potassium and glucose

Other results to keep an eye out on are potassium, normally excreted by the kidney and maintained at a narrow normal range. If  you have chronic kidney disease, or are on dialysis, potassium levels can dangerously go up in response to a number of things including medications, food, etc.

Finally, glucose is an important indicator of how well your body handles dietary carb load. Non-diabetics can expect their blood sugar to increase shortly after a meal but this is quickly brought back down under control. Diabetics or those who are pre-diabetics, blood sugars stay  persistently elevated  for a longer period of time and may not come down to a normal range  unless treated with medications.