Many people with kidney disease don't have symptoms until their kidney damage is very advanced. For most people, the only way to know about your kidney health is through blood and urine tests. The blood test checks your GFR and the urine test checks for albumin. These two tests are also used to follow the progression of your kidney disease.
Know your GFR and urine test results. Keep track of them over time to see how your kidneys are doing. Kidney disease tends to get worse over time. Each time you get checked, ask how the results compare to the last results.
The key tests to track kidney health include:
The most important thing you can do to slow down kidney disease is keep your blood pressure at or below the target set by your health care provider. For most people, the blood pressure target is less than 140/90 mm Hg. This may delay or prevent kidney failure.
The GFR tells you how well your kidneys are filtering blood. GFR stands for glomerular filtration rate. You can't raise your GFR. The goal is to keep your GFR from going down to prevent or delay kidney failure.
Albumin is a protein in your blood that can pass into the urine when kidneys are damaged. You can't undo kidney damage, but you may be able to lower the amount of albumin in your urine with treatment. Lowering your urine albumin is good for your kidneys.
For people with diabetes: A1C test is a test that shows the average blood glucose level over the last 3 months. Lowering your A1C can help you to stay healthy.
Goal: Less than ___/___
Goal: Keep from going down
Goal: The lower the better
|A1C (for people with diabetes)
Other tests can also be used to monitor kidney health. Bring Your Kidney Test Results worksheet to your next visit.
Page last updated: September 17, 2014