Not necessarily. The early signs of CKD may not be clear enough and therefore many people do not realize their problem. The symptoms may include high blood pressure, swelling, blood in the urine. The only way to find out is a blood test for creatinine and urine test for detecting protein in the urine. It is important for anyone to have an active role in his healthcare and understands his condition, whatever challenges he faces, it will be less complicated to adjust to.
What tests may be performed to gauge kidney function?
- Complete blood count (CBC)
It is a very common test that tells a lot about what is happening with the kidneys. There are three bacic types of cells in the blood: red cells that carry oxygen to body tissues and remove carbon dioxide, white cells that fight infections and any invador of the body and platelets that help stop bleeding. There are important to perform vital bodily functions.
- Creatinine and creatinine clearance
Creatinine is filtered out of the blood by the kidneys and then passed out of the body in the urine. It is a waste product of muscle tissue. A creatinine clearance test measures how well creatinine is removed from the blood by the kidneys and provides a more precise measure of how well the kidneys are working.
- 24-hour urine collection for protein in the urine
The amount of protein in the urine produced in 24 hours is measured in the laboratory. Normally there is little or no protein in the urine. Increased amounts of protein indicated impaired kidney function. Protein in the urine is called proteinuria. Very small amounts of protein in the urine are referred to as microalbumin. Microalbumin is an early sign of diabetic nephropathy in patients with diabetes.
- Urea, blood electrolyte tests
Urea is a waste product formed when protein is broken down in the body. Urea is produced in the liver and eliminated from the body in the urine. If the kidneys are not able to remove urea from the blood normally ,its levels increases. It is a blood test. Electrolytes are also filtered out of the body by the kidneys. If there is altered levels of the following electrolytes in the blood, it may mean the kidneys are not functioning well: potassium, sodium, phosphate, calcium, magnesium.
- Kidney biopsy
A diagnostic test where a small piece of kidney tissue is removed by a needle. The tissue is looked at under a microscope to determine the cause of kidney failure.
A blood test that gives an estimate of blood glucose control over several months.
How is percentage of kidney function measured?
It is measured by comparing the amount of waste products in the urine to the amount in the blood stream. The waste product most frequently measured for this purpose is creatinine, which is a a waste product of muscle tissue. Creatinine clearance is used to describe the ratio of the amount of creatinine in the urine to that in the blood plasma and is a tool to calculate kidney function. A normal creatinine clearance ranges from 80-130. Instead the doctor may uses a blood value and adjusts for the person’s size, age, gender and race. This formula is called Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). There are five stages of CKD based on GFR:
- Stage 1: GFR> 90
- Stage 2: GFR 60-90
- Stage 3: GFR 30-60
- Stage 4: GFR 15-30
- Stage 5: GFR <15
What can a person with CKD do to protect the function of his kidneys?
- Control high blood pressure (medication, life style)
- Control blood sugar
- Reduce amount of protein
- Maintain healthy levels of fat (lipids)
- Quit smoking