Detecting kidney disease can be tricky because the signs and symptoms occur late, after the condition has progressed and kidney damage has occurred. In fact, kidney disease is sometimes known as a “silent” condition because it’s hard to detect and most people with early stage kidney disease are completely unaware of it.
While watching for late-stage symptoms won’t help with early detection, it’s still important to be aware of the signs. Remember, you shouldn’t wait for symptoms before you take action.
What to do if you are at risk of kidney disease
If you are at risk of kidney disease, especially if you have high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes, it’s recommended that you get screened at least once a year for any evidence of kidney disease and to learn your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
Symptoms of kidney disease develop slowly over time. Many people in the earlier stages (stages 1 and 2) of kidney disease do not experience symptoms at all and may require testing to receive a diagnosis. You’re more likely to experience symptoms in the later stages (stages 3, 4, and 5) of kidney disease.
The earlier kidney disease is detected, the greater the benefit of early treatment.
What is eGFR?Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a measurement of how well your kidneys are cleaning your blood. It’s usually estimated from the results of a blood test, along with age and gender.