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Diagnosis and Testing for Kidney Disease

Timely kidney disease testing is key to early detection and diagnosis. Taking action at each stage of kidney disease can help keep your kidneys working longer and delay the need for dialysis. If you receive a kidney disease diagnosis, you’ll be tested regularly to track any progression in your condition. Make testing a priority! Getting a regular kidney function test and following your doctor’s exact instructions can help you best manage your health.

How is kidney disease diagnosed?

A simple kidney function test can help your doctor determine whether you have kidney disease. Your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a measurement of how well your kidneys are cleaning your blood. It’s usually estimated from the results of a blood test, along with age and gender. Your doctor may also perform other tests before determining a kidney disease diagnosis.

 

An eGFR of 120 or less can indicate kidney disease. Each stage of kidney disease corresponds with an eGFR range. It’s important to know your eGFR so you can make informed decisions about your kidney health.

The 5 stages of kidney Disease

STAGE 1

Evidence of kidney disease with normal kidney function
eGFR of 90-120

STAGE 2

Mild to moderate loss of kidney function
eGFR of 60-89

STAGE 3

STAGE 3

Moderate to severe loss of kidney function
eGFR of 30-59

STAGE 4

Severe loss of kidney function
eGFR of 15-29

STAGE 5

End-stage renal disease/ kidney failure and the need for dialysis or transplant
eGFR of less than 15

The importance of testing

Be your own advocate! Getting tested to check your kidney health is critical to your current and future well-being.

If you have risk factors like diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension), or have a family history of kidney failure, you should talk to your doctor and get tested for kidney disease at least once a year.

Kidney disease should be treated as early as possible to slow progression. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, work together with your doctor to protect your kidneys—you will need to get certain tests on a regular basis to monitor your ongoing kidney health.

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