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Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Screening

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is usually an irreversible disease that happens over many years. When your kidneys become damaged, they can’t filter blood like they should. This causes waste to build up in your body, which can lead to health problems like heart disease, poor nutritional health, stroke, anemia, nerve damage and bone disease. The progression of CKD can often be stopped and/or slowed through medication and lifestyle changes. If left untreated, it can ultimately lead to kidney failure. The only treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis and kidney transplant.

Screening for Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Creatinine Screening
    • A simple finger-stick test used to assess how well your kidneys are functioning, a creatinine screening uses an FDA-approved device adopted by more than 250 hospitals nationwide. The test does not require fasting and results are generated in less than a minute.

Who should have a creatinine screening?

Other at risk groups include people 60 years and older, those with a family history of kidney disease, and certain ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians and Pacific Islanders. 

  • People with diabetes and pre-diabetes as well as those with high blood pressure or pre-hypertension (borderline high blood pressure
  • You’re 60 years and older
  • A family history of kidney disease
  • Certain ethnic groups including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians and Pacific Islanders

How often should I get a creatinine screening?

The National Kidney Disease Education Program* suggests the following screening guidelines:

  • For people with diabetes, once per year
  • For people newly diagnosed with high blood pressure; if hypertension is properly controlled by medication and in normal range, every 3 years
  • For people with a family history of kidney failure, every 3 years as long as test results remain normal
  • For people in high risk populations, less frequently, as long as test results remain normal

*Recommended guidelines only. Consult with your physician.

How do I prepare for a creatinine screening?

  • No special preparation is necessary

Warning signs

Although severe symptoms of chronic kidney disease may not appear until late in the course of the disease, there are several warning signs to be aware of:

  • Difficulty concentrating and sleepih2
  • Poor appetite, nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue/loss of energy
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood and/or protein in the urine
  • Decreasing glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is the best measure of kidney function.
  • More frequent urination, especially at night; pain or difficulty urinating
  • Puffiness around the eyes, especially in the morning; swelling of hands and feet

Risk factors

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Race and ethnicity (African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and American Indians and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk)
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Hereditary factors such as polycystic kidney disease
  • Abnormally elevated creatinine levels or decreasing glomerular filtration rates (GFR)

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