Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be diagnosed with blood and urine tests.
In many cases, CKD is only found when a routine blood or urine test you have for another problem shows that your kidneys may not be working normally.
See your GP if you have persistent symptoms of CKD, such as:
Your GP can look for other possible causes and arrange tests if necessary.
Because CKD often has no symptoms in the early stages, some people at a higher risk should be tested regularly.
Regular testing is recommended if you have:
You’re also more likely to develop kidney disease if you’re black or of south Asian origin.
People taking long-term medicines that can affect the kidneys, such as lithium, omeprazole or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), should also be tested regularly.
Talk to your GP if you think you may need regular testing for kidney disease.
The main test for kidney disease is a blood test. The test measures the levels of a waste product called creatinine in your blood.
Your doctor uses your blood test results, plus your age, size, gender and ethnic group to calculate how many millilitres of waste your kidneys should be able to filter in a minute.
This calculation is known as your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
Healthy kidneys should be able to filter more than 90ml/min. You may have CKD if your rate is lower than this.
A urine test is also done to:
Alongside your eGFR, urine tests can help give a more accurate picture of how well your kidneys are working.
Sometimes other tests are also used to assess the level of damage to your kidneys.
These may include:
Your test results can be used to determine how damaged your kidneys are, known as the stage of CKD.
This can help your doctor decide the best treatment for you and how often you should have tests to monitor your condition.
Your eGFR results is given as a stage from 1 of 5:
Your ACR result is given as a stage from 1 to 3:
For both eGFR and ACR, a higher stage indicates more severe kidney disease.
Page last reviewed: 29 August 2019
Next review due: 29 August 2022
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