Kidney disease screening

Know your kidney numbers early and let us help you protect them!

The only way to know your kidneys are healthy is to get tested. How often should you get tested – your nephrologist will decide based on your risk.

How do I know if I have kidney disease?

In the early stages of kidney disease, a majority of people do not experience any signs or symptoms. The best way to detect damage in the early stage is to get a urine test done.

A urine test helps in checking small amounts of protein in the urine (albuminuria). Diabetic people should get their urine tested for albumin(Protein) to detect kidney damage at an early stage. Early detection and the right treatment can help prevent kidney disease from getting worse.

Kidney disease screening – when You see your nephrologist, ask him or her the following questions about your kidney health:

How often should I get my kidneys checked?

You are at very high risk of having kidney issues if you have any of the conditions like – diabetes heart disease, high blood pressure, and a family history of kidney disease.

You should get tested for kidney disease at least once every six months and please consult a nephrologist if any abnormality is detected.

The sooner you know, the better.

What should I do If I have diabetes?

It’s important to keep tight control of your diabetes and get your urine tested at regular intervals for albumin. Healthy kidneys do not leak albumin. Therefore, even a trace amount of albumin in the urine is an early sign of kidney disease. Read more: Diabetes and Kidney Disease

What is my glomerular filtration rate (GFR)?

It’s a parameter to assess your kidney function

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) – It’s the rate at which kidneys filter blood. Healthy and normal kidneys have a GFR of 100-120ml/mt. Generally, a GFR of less than 60% is considered to be abnormal, and less than 15% is considered kidney failure.

Remember – your kidneys get damaged silently. Therefore, you don’t have any symptoms whatsoever in the early stages of kidney disease

Routine screening tests for the detection of kidney disease

Urine albumin test: Normally kidneys do not filter albumin out of the blood. The presence of protein or excess amounts of albumin in urine indicates poor kidney function. The higher the albumin in the urine, the worse the kidney function

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR):  By checking creatinine levels in the blood sample we can get an estimation of kidneys or filtration rate (glomerular filtration rate). A low filtration rate (low GFR) suggests less efficient kidney function.

Urine Albumin/Creatinine Ratio (UACR): Healthy kidneys filter out chemical waste from the blood like urea, and creatinine into the urine, but no protein is filtered

The ratio of albumin to creatinine in urine gives an estimate of kidney damage.

UACR Less than 30 mg/g is normal and more than 30 mg/g can be a sign of kidney disease.

Your nephrologist will repeat urine tests if albumin is present in the urine sample. The urine test may be repeated one or more times to confirm the results.

How do I know if my kidney disease is getting worse?

You should be aware of the test results that you do routinely and frequently. Keeping a track of test results helps your nephrologist and you to know whether your kidney disease is stable or getting worse.

Your nephrologist will monitor the following if you have kidney disease:

Blood pressure and blood sugar levels

GFR, creatinine levels

Urine albumin /urine protein levels

Regular follow-up with your nephrologist is essential to manage your kidney disease. If you have any questions regarding kidney disease screening, meet Dr. Kavitha Gone.