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How To Test For Kidney Failure

Pixel By Labcorp Kidney Health Test Package

Kidney Function Test – How to understand your renal labs

LabCorps kidney test is available for individuals aged 18 years and older. For the test, people need to provide a blood and urine sample.

According to LabCorps website, once customers buy a test, a physician reviews and approve their test request. Then, the individual visits one of the companys testing centers, where a trained technician takes their sample.

People generally receive their results through their online accounts, and if they require prompt attention, the company may contact them by phone or mail.

In addition, LabCorp states it performs its tests in CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified labs. The company also accepts HSA and FSA as payment options.

Advantages and drawbacks

Some advantages of LabCorps kidney test include the below.

  • The company accepts HSA and FSA as payment options.
  • Doctors review the customers test requests.
  • The company may call a person if they need to discuss their results.

However, people cannot perform this test at home. Instead, they need to visit a Pixel by Labcorp facility to provide their samples.

Glomerular Filtration Rate: Gfr And Egfr

The main function of the kidneys is to clear water-soluble waste products from the blood. The efficiency of clearance is measured using the GFR

  • The GFR is a measure of how much blood is cleaned by the kidneys in one minute. By using a blood test to measure creatinine levels we can calculate the estimated GFR, known as eGFR. We do this using a formula that takes body size into account. The average adult body size is 1.73 m2. A normal GFR is around 100 ml/min/1.73m2
  • Because the average normal eGFR is 100, the eGFR can be seen as a percentage of normal kidney function. However, values as low as 60 are considered normal if there is no other evidence of kidney disease
  • The eGFR is used to calculate the G stage of CKD
  • The eGFR calculation can be inaccurate in people who have much more, or much less muscle than average people of their age, sex, and ethnic origin. For instance, it can be falsely low in body builders, and falsely high in people with anorexia nervosa.

What Is Serum Creatinine

Creatinine is a waste product in your blood that comes from your muscles. Healthy kidneys filter creatinine out of your blood through your urine.

Your serum creatinine level is based on a blood test that measures the amount of creatinine in your blood. It tells how well your kidneys are working. When your kidneys are not working well, your serum creatinine level goes up.

Your doctor can also measure creatinine with a urine test.

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Tests For Kidney Disease

Medically reviewed by

The only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested. Kidney disease often has no symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged. Testing is especially important if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease.

Ask your doctor about these kidney tests. Finding and treating kidney disease early can help you slow or stop damage to your kidneys.

Understanding Kidney Health Checks

Renal Function Test

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, its wise to get a Kidney Health Check as soon as you can. You should repeat this check every year.

If you have any other risk factors , you should also get a Kidney Health Check but repeat the check every two years.

If you do not have any risk factors for kidney disease, theres no need for you to undertake a Kidney Health Check unless your doctor wants to conduct a test for other reasons.

A Kidney Health Check is accurate. In saying that, there can be several steps.

If your test results show positive signs of kidney disease, your doctor will repeat the test to make sure. Your doctor may also organise an ultrasound to see the size of your kidneys, and potentially locate any kidney stones, tumours, or other problems with the structure of your kidneys and urinary tract. In some instances, you may be referred to a kidney specialist, called a nephrologist, for further review.

A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease is only given when positive test results are consistent for three months or more. In this case, you will need to see your doctor for regular check-ups. You can find out more in our chronic kidney disease fact sheet.

Book an appointment for a Kidney Health Check by calling your doctor today.

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Best For Price Convenience: Pixel By Labcorp

Pixel by LabCorp

  • Test results: Depends on test
  • Sample type: Blood and urine sample

Pixel by LabCorps Kidney Health Test Package measures overall kidney function and indicates possible kidney damage with an easy-to-use kit that offers quick, online access to results.

  • Samples can be drawn both at home or in the lab

  • Online support and results on HIPAA-compliant portal

  • Easy access to physicians to review orders and test results

  • Complaints in online reviews about customer services

  • Limited testing options

LabCorps Kidney Health Test Package allows you to get kidney function test results at home. The kidney test includes all the measurements that will give a snapshot of your kidneys overall healthcreatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rates, albumin, and the albumin-creatinine ratiofor the price of one or two tests from competitors. Other tests can give you much more detailed information about your kidneys, but this $89 test kit will provide you with enough information to show any red flags or concerns. You may also find cheaper tests, but they may not include as many measurements within your lab results.

LabCorp doesnt bill insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, but you can use Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Savings Accounts to purchase these kits.

LabCorp also offers the more basic albumin-creatinine ratio test alone for $59. This test uses just a urine sample to detect proteins in your urine.

Can You Test Your Gfr At Home

The LetsGetChecked kidney function test checks for glomerular filtration rate which is a calculation that can determine how well your kidneys are filtering blood. This number is calculated using your creatinine results, your age, and gender.

While whats considered a normal GFR can vary by age, according to the National Kidney Foundation, the typical value is 90 or above while a GFR below 60 may indicate that your kidneys arent functioning as they should.

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Prevention Of Kidney Disease

Medication and changes to lifestyle, along with an early referral to a kidney specialist , can prevent or delay kidney failure.

Heathy lifestyle choices to keep your kidneys functioning well include:

  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables including legumes and grain-based food such as bread, pasta, noodles and rice.
  • Eat lean meat such as chicken and fish each week.
  • Eat only small amounts of salty or fatty food.
  • Drink plenty of water instead of other drinks. Minimise consumption of sugary soft drinks.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay fit. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases your heart rate on five or more days of the week, including walking, lawn mowing, bike riding, swimming or gentle aerobics.
  • If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do, quit. Call the Quitline or ask your doctor for help with quitting.
  • Limit your alcohol to no more than two small drinks per day if you are male, or one small drink per day if you are female.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Do things that help you relax and reduce your stress levels.

A range of medication is available for high blood pressure. Different blood pressure medications work in different ways, so it is not unusual for more than one type to be prescribed. The dose may change according to your needs.

What Happens During A Urine Test

Medical Tests required to evaluate Kidney Functions | Dr. Rammohan

During a urine test, you will urinate into a container with a lid that your doctor provides. You may have a urine test at your doctor’s office, or your doctor may give you urine sample cups and sterile wipes to collect urine at home.

To make sure the urine sample is not contaminated, use the clean catch method:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Clean the area around where your urine comes out using a sterile wipe.
  • Start to urinate into the toilet.
  • Stop the urine stream and then urinate into the container.
  • After you fill the container, finish urinating into the toilet.
  • Your doctor should follow up with the results of your urine test and discuss them with you. Ask questions if you do notunderstand what the results of your urine test mean for your kidney disease, or what to do next.

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    What Is The Best Way To Check Your Kidney Function At Home

    As well as common kidney infections, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and kidney inflammation are just some of the factors that can affect your kidneys health. There are a handful of different kidney function tests that can be used to check in on your kidneys, these include a blood test, imaging test, or urine test. Blood tests typically check urea, eGFR , and creatinine and can be taken from home with an at-home lab test.

    LetsGetCheckeds at-home Kidney Function Test checks urea, eGFR, and creatinine each of which can give insight into kidney performance and function and is one of the most reliable ways to check kidney function from home.

    The kidney function test will arrive in discreet packaging with a return envelope and clear instructions inside. It is a blood test that will involve a simple finger prick sample. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team is available throughout the process to answer any questions you may have and guide you through any other steps you should take. If you would like more detail about the sampling process, find out more here.

    Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

    You can help lower your risk for CKD or keep it from getting worse by eating healthy, being active, and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your target range. Make sure to take care of your kidneys if you are at risk for CKD. If you have diabetes, get tested for kidney disease once each year. Having your kidneys checked regularly gives you the best chance for finding and treating CKD early.

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    Will These Screening Tests Determine Exactly What The Underlying Cause Of The Kidney Disease Is

    Occasionally, specific changes in these screening tests will point to an infectious, inflammatory, or toxic cause for the kidney disease.

    However, because there are many underlying causes of kidney disease, and because the kidneys are able to compensate for damage so well, testing may not tell your veterinarian the exact reasons why the kidneys are malfunctioning. A reduction in kidney function characterized by either a decreased urinary concentrating ability, or an increase in serum BUN and creatinine, is not measurable until two thirds to three quarters of the kidney function is already lost. By this time, many kidney diseases have progressed to a chronic phase and the original cause can no longer be determined. This is one reason why the SDMA test described earlier is important, as it is able to detect subtle kidney disease much sooner.

    Nevertheless, it is still important to evaluate your pet using these tests. Not only will they allow your veterinarian to confirm that the cause of your pet’s clinical symptoms is kidney disease, but they will also allow your veterinarian to choose the most appropriate course of treatment and may indicate if further testing is required.

    How Do Physicians Test Your Kidney Function


    Jun 6, 2018 | Healthy Tips


    By Veeraish Chauhan, MD

    A common misconception that people often have is equating urine output to kidney function. Hence, the assumption is that if you are making urine, your kidneys are working just fine. However, nothing is further from the truth, and assessing the function of your kidneys requires lab testing and sometimes radiological imaging.

    Most people know that getting a stress test is a way to test your hearts function.

    But how do you test your kidney function? You might have heard doctors mention words like creatinine or GFR when checking how good or bad your kidneys are doing. Although there are a lot of methods by which the kidneys performance can be measured, I will explain the ones that are used most often in a clinical setting.

    Broadly speaking, you could check kidney function through either:

    Radiological imaging

    Blood Tests

    This is the most common and usually the most reliable method. Doctors will often order tests that could be variously worded like basic metabolic panel ,chem 7,renal function panel,GFR, etc. Essentially, what they are measuring is the levels of electrolytes and two other chemicals called blood urea nitrogen and creatinine.

    BUN measures the amount of nitrogen present in your blood in the form of urea, hence the name BUN! In other words, what we are measuring is the urea level in the blood.

    BUN: An Imperfect Test

    Creatinine Is a Better Alternative

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    Albuminuria: The Urine Albumin: Creatinine Ratio

    A simple urine test called the urine Albumin:Creatinine ratio is also performed to look for signs that protein is leaking into the urine . This is an important sign of kidney damage. The ACR is used to calculate the A stage of CKD .

    There are three recognised stages of albuminuria:

    • A1 normal to mildly increased urine protein levels
    • A2 moderately increased urine protein levels
    • A3 severely increased urine protein levels

    Combining your ACR ratio with your eGFR can help doctors try to predict whether your kidney disease is likely to progress and whether you are more likely to develop complications such as heart and circulatory problems. Other factors are also taken into account, e.g. age. In general, the higher the A stage, the more likely it is that you will benefit from blood pressure-lowering treatment.

    Blood Tests For Kidney Disease

    The best measure of kidney function is the glomerular filtration rate , which can be estimated from a blood test that checks the blood for creatinine .

    A normal GFR result is higher than 90 mL/min/1.73 m2. If the result is persistently less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 for at least three months, this confirms that the person has chronic kidney disease.

    Blood tests can reveal other abnormalities of kidney function, such as:

    • high levels of acids
    • anaemia
    • high levels of potassium
    • low levels of salt
    • changes to the levels of calcium and phosphate.

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    Kidney Disease And Cardiovascular Risks

    Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in people with chronic kidney disease. Compared to the general population, people with chronic kidney disease are two to three times more likely to have cardiovascular problems such as:

    This increased risk is partly caused by factors common to both chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure. However, researchers are discovering that chronic kidney disease is, in itself, an important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, and a history of cardiovascular disease is a risk factor for the development of chronic kidney disease.

    The kidneys regulate water and salts, remove certain wastes and make various hormones. Kidney disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in many ways, including:

    Who Is Kidney Function Testing For

    Kidney Function Tests, Animation
    • People with diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, or pre-hypertension are most at risk for developing kidney disease.
    • All adults age 50+, especially those with a family history of kidney disease, diabetes, and/or high blood pressure
    • Certain ethnic groups: African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk of developing kidney disease and should consider getting a kidney test

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    Taking Control Of Your Kidney Health

    The only way to know whether you have any stage of kidney disease is to undertake a Kidney Health Check with a doctor. Going for checks regularly is key to early detection this empowers you to slow the progression of end-stage kidney disease if you are diagnosed. This can also make a huge difference to living your life to the fullest with kidney disease.

    Imaging Tests For Kidney Disease

    Tests that create various pictures or images may include:

    • x-rays to check the size of the kidneys and look for kidney stones
    • cystogram a bladder x-ray
    • voiding cystourethrogram where the bladder is x-rayed before and after urination
    • ultrasound sound waves are bounced off the kidneys to create a picture. Ultrasound may be used to check the size of the kidneys. Kidney stones and blood vessel blockages may be visible on ultrasound
    • computed tomography x-rays and digital computer technology are used to create an image of the urinary tract, including the kidneys
    • magnetic resonance imaging a strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to create a three-dimensional image of the urinary tract, including the kidneys.
    • radionuclide scan.

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    What Causes Kidney Failure

    The most common causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. Sometimes, though, kidney failure happens quickly due to an unforeseen cause.

    When the kidneys lose function suddenly , its called acute kidney failure . This type of kidney failure is often temporary. Common causes of acute kidney failure can include:

    • Autoimmune kidney diseases
    • A urinary tract obstruction
    • Uncontrolled systemic disease like heart or liver disease

    Kidney failure usually doesnt happen overnight. Chronic kidney disease refers to a group of health conditions that affect how well your kidneys function over time. If left untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.

    The biggest causes of kidney failure from chronic kidney disease are:

    • Diabetes: Unmanaged diabetes can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Consistently high blood sugar can damage the bodys organs, including the kidneys.
    • High blood pressure: High blood pressure means blood travels through your bodys blood vessels with increased force. Over time, untreated high blood pressure levels can damage the kidneys tissue.

    Other causes of chronic kidney disease include:

    • Polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition where cysts grow inside your kidneys.
    • Glomerular diseases, such as glomerulonephritis, which affect how well the kidneys can filter waste.
    • Lupus and other autoimmune diseases that can affect multiple body systems.


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