What To Expect When Getting Tested for Kidney Disease
The vast majority of people that suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD) are unaware of it. In fact, an estimated 90% of stage 3 CKD patients do not know they have it and that it's getting worse with each passing day. This is largely due to the fact that kidney disease does not exhibit symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly -- stage 3 is when the first signs surface. Because of this, it's important to know if you're at risk so you can get tested regularly, earlier.
However, when you finally do make the decision to get tested for kidney disease, it's important to be prepared and know what to expect. There are a couple methods, but how do doctors test for kidney disease?
Doctors will typically utilize two main methods of testing for chronic kidney disease, the first being a urine test. Depending on the situation, there are a few signs doctors look for:
Blood Test | Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
Glomeruli are the tiny filters in the kidneys that ensure waste does not enter the bloodstream. Your glomerular filtration rate measures the rate (in milliliters per minute) at which blood passes through the glomeruli. A lower rate indicates that smaller amounts of blood are being cleaned.
Doctors may also utilize scanning technologies in determining the severity of kidney disease. They may use ultrasounds and CT scans to check for tumors or abnormal growths on the kidneys.
In some rare cases, kidney biopsies may be conducted. These are usually only reserved for patients that are experiencing transplant rejection, or when doctors need to figure out the severity of physical damage done to the kidneys.