Kidney disease often has no symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged. The only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested. This is very important for people who have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease.
Kidney damage usually cannot be fixed. But if you catch and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to prevent it from getting worse. Ask your doctor about these tests to check your kidneys.
Blood test: 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. Learn more about the eGFR test.
When your kidneys are damaged, they may let protein leak into your urine. This can be one of the earliest signs of kidney disease. To check for protein in your urine (called proteinuria), your doctor may suggest a urine test. Learn more about the two types of urine tests your doctor may use.
Get a free Kidney Health Tracker
Know your numbers!
Kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is very far along, so it's important to get tested as part of your regular check-ups. This is very important for people who have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease.
You can keep track of all your important kidney health numbers with the free Kidney Health Tracker from the American Kidney Fund. This handy card gives basic information about the risks and tests for kidney disease. It also lets you write down and compare your test results to the normal results for several common blood tests.
Bring it to your next doctor's appointment. Ask your doctor about tests to check your kidneys, and know your numbers!