Kidney tests are important because kidney disease often has no symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged. So, the only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested. This is especially important for people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease. 

Ask your doctor about these tests to check your kidneys. Kidney damage usually cannot be fixed. But if you find and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to keep it from getting worse.

Blood test: eGFR

The way doctors measure how well your kidneys filter waste from your blood is by the estimated glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR. Your eGFR is a number based on your blood test for creatinine, a waste product in your blood. The stages of kidney disease are based on the eGFR number. Learn more about the eGFR test.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5

eGFR in normal range (greater than 90) with other signs of kidney damage, like protein in urine or physical damage to the kidneys

eGFR in normal range (60-89) with other signs of kidney damage, like protein in urine or physical damage to the kidneys

eGFR 30-59, moderate kidney damage

eGFR 15-29, severe kidney damage

eGFR less than 15, the kidneys are close to failure or have already failed

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Urine 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, your doctor may ask you to take a urine test. Learn more about the two types of urine tests your doctor may use. 

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