Blood Test: eGFR
What is eGFR (Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate)?
The eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) is a number based on your blood test for creatinine. It tells how well your kidneys are working.
The eGFR is a good test, but it’s not for everyone. For example, this test may not be accurate if you are younger than 18, pregnant, very overweight or very muscular. Talk to your doctor to find out if this test is right for you.
How can I get my eGFR?
Your doctor will test your blood for creatinine. Creatinine is a waste that comes from your muscles. Healthy kidneys filter creatinine out of your blood. Your doctor will use the result from your creatinine test, your age, your sex and your race to calculate your eGFR.
What does my eGFR mean?
A normal eGFR is 60 or more. A low eGFR number may suggest kidney disease. Use this scale to see what your eGFR may mean.
No matter what your eGFR result is…
Ask your doctor when you should be tested again. He or she might also look for other signs to make sure you are not at risk for kidney disease. Your doctor may look at your:
- Urine (for protein or blood)
- Blood (for other wastes)
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
Help protect your kidneys!
- Keep a healthy blood pressure (less than 120/80 for most people)
- Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
- Eat a heart healthy diet (low in fat and salt)
- Exercise most days of the week to keep a healthy weight
- Do not smoke or use tobacco
- Talk to your doctor about medicines that might help protect your kidneys
If your eGFR was LESS than 60…
Talk to your doctor soon! If this was your first eGFR test, you may need to be tested again in a few months. Your doctor will want to see if your eGFR is less than 60 for 3 months or more. Ask your doctor when you should be tested again.
Images courtesy of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, www.niddk.nih.gov.