estimated GFR

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The Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) test is used to evaluate how well your kidneys are working by measuring the amount of waste products in your blood. The eGFR test is a simple blood test that can be done in a lab. The results of this test can help your healthcare provider determine if you have kidney problems and how severe they may be. The eGFR test is an important tool for monitoring kidney function, especially for people who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with kidney disease. In this description, we will give you more information about what the eGFR test measures, how it works, and what the results mean.

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One day

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Blood

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Purpose of the test

The eGFR test is a valuable tool for diagnosing and managing several conditions related to kidney function. The test measures how well your kidneys filter waste products from your blood, which can help your healthcare provider determine if you have kidney problems and how severe they may be.

Some of the possible reasons for the eGFR test include

- Diagnosing kidney disease: The eGFR test is often used to diagnose kidney disease in people who have symptoms such as fatigue, swelling in the arms or legs, itching, nausea, and vomiting. It may also be used to screen for kidney disease in people who are at risk because of factors such as age, family history, or other medical conditions.

- Monitoring kidney function: If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, repeated tests of your eGFR may be one component of your doctor's evaluation of the condition of your kidneys. The results of these tests can help your healthcare provider determine if your treatment plan is working effectively or if changes need to be made.

- Assessing the safety of medications: Some medicines can damage your kidneys over time. If you are taking a medicine that has the potential to harm your kidneys, your healthcare provider may order regular eGFR tests to monitor your kidney function and make sure the medicine is not causing harm.

It is essential that kidney problems are detected early through regular eGFR testing so that they can be treated and managed promptly. If left untreated, kidney problems can lead to serious complications such as high blood pressure, anemia, nerve damage, bone disease and even kidney failure. In addition to its diagnostic and monitoring capabilities, the eGFR test can also provide valuable information about a patient's overall health.

For example:

- The results of an eGFR test can help identify patients at risk for cardiovascular disease or other health problems.

- The eGFR test can be used to monitor the effects of lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, on kidney function.

Generally, the eGFR test is an important tool for diagnosing and managing kidney disease, monitoring kidney function and assessing a patient's overall health. Regular testing can help detect kidney problems early, allowing for timely treatment and management.

Who Should Get Tested

The eGFR test is recommended for certain groups of people who are at risk for kidney disease or who have symptoms that may be related to kidney problems.

Some of the groups that may benefit from eGFR testing include

- People with diabetes: Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease, and people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing kidney problems. Regular eGFR testing can help detect kidney problems early in people with diabetes.

- People with high blood pressure: High blood pressure can damage the kidneys over time, and people with high blood pressure are at higher risk for developing kidney disease. Regular eGFR testing can help detect kidney problems early in people with high blood pressure.

- People with a family history of kidney disease: If you have a family history of kidney disease, you may be at higher risk for developing the condition yourself. Regular eGFR testing can help detect kidney problems early in people with a family history of the condition.

- Older adults: As we age, our kidneys may not work as well as they did when we were younger. Regular eGFR testing can help detect age-related changes in kidney function.

- People taking medications that can damage the kidneys: Some medicines can damage the kidneys over time. If you are taking a medicine that can damage your kidneys, your healthcare provider may order regular eGFR tests to monitor your kidney function and make sure the medicine is not causing harm.

If you think you may be in one or more of these categories, talk to your healthcare provider about whether eGFR testing is right for you. Early detection and treatment of kidney problems through regular testing can help prevent serious complications down the road.

Preparing for the Test
Fasting
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Depending on the type of cholesterol test, you may be required to fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. This means avoiding all food and drinks except water. Fasting is usually required for a lipid panel, which measures LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Medications
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Inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements, as they can affect your test results.
Alcohol
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Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours before the test, as alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
Exercise
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Avoid heavy exercise for 24 hours before the test, as this can also affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Smoking
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Avoid smoking or using any nicotine products for at least 30 minutes before the test, as they can temporarily increase cholesterol levels.
Follow instructions
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Follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider, such as the time of day to take the test or any dietary restrictions.
Interpreting Test Results

The results of an eGFR test are usually given as a number in milliliters per minute per 1.73 square meters (mL/min/1.73 m2). This number represents how well your kidneys are filtering waste products from your blood.

The higher the number, the better your kidney function.

- Normal eGFR range: A normal eGFR range is usually between 90 and 120 mL/min/1.73 m2. However, this range can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and muscle mass.

- Mildly reduced eGFR: An eGFR between 60 and 89 mL/min/1.73 m2 is considered mildly reduced kidney function.

- Moderately reduced eGFR: An eGFR between 30 and 59 mL/min/1.73 m2 is considered to be moderately reduced kidney function.

- Severely impaired eGFR: An eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 is considered to be severely impaired.

When your eGFR test results are outside the normal range, it may indicate that you have kidney disease or another condition affecting your kidneys. Your healthcare provider will use your test results, along with other information such as your medical history and physical exam, to determine if further testing or treatment is needed.

Your healthcare provider may need to repeat the test, but it's important to note that a single abnormal result does not necessarily mean you have kidney disease or another condition affecting your kidneys. Your healthcare provider may order repeat tests to confirm the results and rule out other possible causes of abnormal results.

In conclusion, interpreting the results of an eGFR test means understanding what the numbers mean in terms of kidney function and how they relate to normal ranges for different populations. Your healthcare provider will use this information, along with other factors, to determine if further testing or treatment is needed.

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