Visiting your GP for your kidney health 1 May 2013 Did you know that having diabetes makes it more likely that you will develop chronic kidney disease when compared to the general population? And you might not even know that you have it! In most cases chronic kidney disease does not cause any symptoms until it is very advanced. Early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease is important to help keep you healthy. You should have your kidney health checked yearly by your doctor or diabetes specialist. What’s involved in a kidney health check? Your doctor or diabetes specialist will conduct the following three tests to help determine the health of your kidneys: A urine test to check your albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) A slightly raised level of the protein ‘albumin’ in your urine (albuminuria) is an early warning sign for diabetic kidney disease Creatinine is a waste product that is produced by the breakdown of muscles. It is usually removed from your blood by the kidneys and passes out in your urine. The urine for this test is collected when you first pass urine in the morning. If your urine test result shows albumin then this test should be repeated. If at least two out of three urine tests show albumin, then chronic kidney disease is said to be present. A blood test to check your serum creatinine and estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) Creatinine is a waste product that is produced by the breakdown of muscles. It is usually removed from your blood by your kidneys and passes out in your urine. – If your kidneys are not working properly, the blood test result will show higher than normal levels of creatinine. Estimated Glomerular Filtration rate measures how well your kidneys filter waste products from your blood. This estimation is calculated using your age, gender and serum creatinine level. A blood pressure check. Blood pressure should be consistently below 130/80mmHg for people who have diabetes. Your doctor will use these test results to pick up if you have chronic kidney disease, which stage the disease is at and the treatment options that are available to you. For further information about your risk of developing chronic kidney disease talk to your doctor or diabetes specialist.