Learn if you are at risk for chronic kidney disease, and how to test and monitor your kidney health.
CKD describes the gradual loss of function in your kidneys,1 which play an important role in filtering your blood and removing waste products.
If your kidneys are damaged or have reduced function, waste products build up in your body, but the early stages of CKD often have very few symptoms
before irreversible damage occurs in the later stages of CKD.
Fortunately, a simple blood and urine test can help assess the health of your kidneys. The earlier you know, the earlier your doctor can help
manage your disease and monitor your health.
Know your kidney facts
96% of people living with kidney damage or mildly reduced kidney function are not aware they have CKD.1
You have two kidneys that work to filter your blood and remove waste products.
If your kidneys are damaged or have reduced function, waste products build up in your body.
CKD: silent symptoms
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can progress silently without many signs or symptoms, causing irreversible damage.
Recognize the risk factors
1 in 3 adults living in the U.S. with diabetes may have chronic kidney disease.2
Leading risk factors
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- Family history of diabetes or kidney disease
Additional risk factors
- Age over 60
- History of smoking
Take action to care for your kidneys
It's easy to check your kidney health.
Test for kidney health with a blood and urine test
- A blood test estimates kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate)
- A urine test detects or monitors potential kidney damage (Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (uACR))
Yearly follow up
Health organizations recommend that you should be screened for CKD at least once a year if you have any risk factors.3
Review your test results
Together, your two test results can help your healthcare provider diagnose CKD, if present, and determine your stage of kidney disease.
Two simple tests
Blood test: Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
Urine test: Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (uACR)
In early-stage CKD, your care will focus on understanding the cause, slowing progression and addressing any complications.4
In late-stage CKD, your kidneys are at risk of failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.5
Talk to your provider
Get answers for your kidney health.
If you have been diagnosed with CKD, discuss a plan with your provider. Ask how they can help you:
- Monitor your test results over time
- Manage your symptoms
- Reduce complications
- Slow or stop disease progression
New Race-Free Equation for Chronic Kidney Disease Testing
We are now using a new, race-free equation to calculate the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a test used to assess kidney function. This change supports health equity and better health outcomes.
What are the Signs
& Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
Chronic kidney disease can progress silently without many signs or symptoms.2 In fact, most people (96%) living with kidney damage or mildly reduced kidney function are not aware of having CKD3, highlighting the importance of talking to your doctor about testing if you have the following risk factors or symptoms:
Main CKD Risk Factors
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Family history of diabetes
Common Symptoms of
- Feeling tired
- Trouble sleeping
- Dry or itchy skin
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Blood or foam in urine
- Urge to urinate often
- Reduced appetite
- Muscle cramps
How Serious is CKD?
CKD is a progressive disease that gets worse over time and may lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a transplant.
To track your disease and determine which treatments can help limit or stop the progression of CKD, your doctor can order a laboratory test that measures creatinine (in your blood and urine) and albumin (in your urine).
With information from your test as well as the potential cause of kidney damage, your doctor can determine how well your kidneys are functioning, help diagnose your stage of kidney disease and discuss appropriate treatment decisions.
What type of test tells me if I have CKD?
Health organizations recommend at-risk patients, such as those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or who have a family history of kidney disease, should be screened at least annually for CKD.
It is recommended that at-risk patients have both of the following screening tests done:
- A urine test, known as the albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR), to detect or monitor potential kidney damage
- A blood test, known as the eGFR, to estimate kidney function
Talk to your doctor about your CKD risk and ask for uACR and eGFR testing.
What is uACR?
Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (uACR) is another important measurement that can provide early detection of kidney damage and also help monitor responses to treatments. Albumin is a protein that is normally found in the blood, but if the kidneys are damaged, albumin can leak into the urine. Creatinine is a normal waste product that the kidneys pass into urine.4 A laboratory test of urine measures the amount of albumin and compares it to the amount of creatinine detected to calculate your uACR.
What is eGFR?
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a calculation of how well your kidneys are functioning using results from your blood test. eGFR accounts for other factors such as your age and gender to help your doctor understand your risk or stage of kidney disease.
We have recently implemented a new race-free eGFR equation, as recommended by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the America Society of Nephrology.5
This equation may result in higher or lower eGFR values for some patients. See how your eGFR result may have changed with the NKF’s eGFR calculator.
Support & Resources for Living with CKD
If you have been diagnosed with CKD, there is no cure, but your doctor can help you manage your symptoms, reduce the likelihood of complications and slow or stop the progression of the disease. Controlling your blood pressure is important, as well as exercising and following a kidney-healthy diet. Talk to your doctor about the best ways you can care for your kidneys.
You may also want to explore other CKD resources online:
Healthy Kidneys are Happy Kidneys
Infographic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
NKF Patient Network
Join the first nationwide registry for people at all stages of kidney disease to transform kidney care and research together.
Get information about your kidney health with a few questions.
Compare how your eGFR may have changed due to the new race-free equation.
Learn more about the race-free eGFR equation.