Did you know one in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease? Anyone can get kidney disease at any time. If kidney disease is found and treated early, you can help slow or even stop it from getting worse. Most people with early kidney disease do not have symptoms. That is why it is important to be tested. If you feel that you are at risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor about these two simple tests to check for kidney disease:
- Urine Test called ACR. ACR stands for “albumin-to-creatinine ratio.” Your urine will be tested for albumin. Albumin is a type of protein. Your body needs protein. But it should be in the blood, not the urine. Having protein in your urine may mean that your kidneys are not filtering your blood well enough. This can be a sign of early kidney disease. If your urine test comes back “positive” for protein, the test should be repeated to confirm the results. Three positive results over three months or more is a sign of kidney disease.
- Blood Test to estimate your GFR. Your blood will be tested for a waste product called creatinine. Creatinine comes from muscle tissue. When the kidneys are damaged, they have trouble removing creatinine from your blood. Testing for creatinine is only the first step. Next, your creatinine result is used in a math formula with your age, race, and sex to find out your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR number tells your healthcare provider how well your kidneys are working. Check with your doctor about having a GFR test.
How do I know if I am at risk?
Anyone can get kidney disease at any time. But some people have a higher risk than others. Certain factors can increase your chance for kidney disease. These conditions are called risk factors. You have a higher risk for getting kidney disease if you have:
- High blood pressure
- A family history of kidney failure
- Are age 60 or older
- Are African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or Pacific Islander