The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health past. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
- Blood tests—to look for:
- Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)—Measures how well the kidneys are filtering wastes. GFR drops as the kidneys fail.
- Increase in wastes in the blood. Items measured may include creatine and urea. The amount of wastes in the blood goes higher as the kidneys fail.
- Changes of substances in the blood that are normally controlled by the kidneys. This may include calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, blood electrolytes, and potassium.
- Urine tests—to look for:
- Excess protein in the urine. Damaged kidneys let more protein pass into urine than healthy kidneys.
- Amount of urine that is made. Little or no urine is made as the kidneys fail.
Imaging tests look for a cause of sudden changes in how the kidneys work. They can also look at the size and shape of the kidneys. Tests may be done with:
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd-in-adults. Updated January 18, 2019. Accessed July 19, 2019.
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr. Accessed July 19, 2019.
Murphree DD, Thelen SM. Chronic kidney disease in primary care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010;23(4):542-550.
O'Connor NR, Corcoran AM. End-stage renal disease: symptom management and advance care planning. Am Fam Physician. 2012;85(7):705-710.
What is kidney failure? National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/KidneyFailure. Accessed July 19, 2019.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 10/4/2019