What is eGFR?

eGFR is short for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Your eGFR is a number based on your blood test for creatinine, a waste product in your blood. It tells how well your kidneys are working.

The eGFR is a good test, but it’s not right 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 do I know my eGFR?

You will have a blood test to see how much creatinine is in your blood. Creatinine is a waste that comes from your muscles. Healthy kidneys take creatinine out of your blood.

Your doctor will figure out your eGFR using the result from your creatinine test, your age, your gender and your race.

What does my eGFR mean?

A normal eGFR is 60 or more. If your eGFR is less than 60 for three months or more, your kidneys may not be working well. If you eGFR is below 15, you may need to start dialysis or have a kidney transplant. Use this scale to see what your eGFR may mean.

No matter what your eGFR is, ask your doctor when you should be tested again and what other tests you should have. Your doctor may want to look for other signs of kidney problems by doing more testing. These tests might include:

  • Urine (for protein or blood)
  • Blood (for other wastes)
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar

What should I do next?

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 three months or more. Ask your doctor when you should be tested again.

Whether your eGFR is above or below 60, you can take steps to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible:

  • Keep a healthy blood pressure (less than 120/80 for most people)
  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
  • Follow a low-salt, low-fat diet
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco
  • Talk to your doctor about medicines that might help protect your kidneys.

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