Top 5 Most Important Kidney Health Numbers

August 12, 2014, 10:06am EDT

If you've gone for your annual physical recently, you're staring at a report that may as well have been written in a foreign language. Which numbers are especially important in predicting kidney health — and what's in the normal range?

  • Estimated GFR - Measures kidney function, over 60 is normal, under 60, talk to your doctor. GFR, or glomerular filtration rate, tells you how well your kidneys are doing their job of filtering the blood.
  • Albumin to Creatinine Ratio - Estimates the amount of protein found in your urine in a day. Protein in the urine is one of the earliest signs of kidney disease. Less than 30 is normal, over 30, talk to your doctor.
  • Blood Glucose - Checks for diabetes, the leading cause of kidney failure. While fasting: over 125  and after eating: over 200 indicates diabetes.
  • Blood Pressure - High blood pressure leads to kidney disease. If the upper number is over 140 and the lower number is above 90, your blood pressure is too high. The target may be lower (130/80) depending on the amount of albumin in your urine and if you have diabetes. Ask your healthcare professional what blood pressure level is right for you.
  • Total Cholesterol - Over 200, you may be at risk for heart disease.