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Kidney disease diagnosis

If your doctor thinks you might have kidney disease, he or she will talk to you about your health, and about the health of your family.

You will probably also be asked to have a number of tests. These include:

  • checking your blood pressure
  • examining your eyes (some conditions that cause kidney problems also cause eye problems)
  • urine tests (to look for blood and/or albumin, a protein that damaged kidneys leak)
  • blood tests (to measure the level of waste products in the blood for example, creatinine and urea)
  • an Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) test (a blood test that measures kidney function )
  • imaging tests (for example, an ultrasound or CT scan to look for abnormalities in your kidneys and urinary tract).

If these tests show you have kidney damage, you may be referred to a specialist kidney doctor, called a nephrologist.

Last reviewed: February 2017

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eGFR stands for ‘estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate.’ The glomerular filtration rate measures how well your kidneys filter the wastes from your blood and is the best overall measure of kidney function.

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The urinary system cleanses the blood and rids the body of excess water and waste in the form of urine. It consists of two kidneys, two ureters (one from each kidney), tubes that drain urine from the kidneys into the bladder (a storage sac), and the urethra (the tube that transports the urine out of the body). Muscles help control the release of urine from the bladder. See DaVita: How Kidneys Work for an explanatory video and NIDDKD: The Kidneys and How They Work for more details on how the kidney functions.

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