In-Home Testing for Chronic Kidney Disease

Healthy kidneys filter wastes and extra fluid from the body. They also help maintain normal blood pressure, bone health, and red blood cell supply. If the kidneys are damaged, a dangerous buildup of wastes and fluid can occur.1

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means there has been a permanent loss of kidney function. There may be no warning signs in the early stages of kidney disease. Testing is often the only way to know that kidney function has declined.1

Testing for kidney disease

Early detection of kidney disease gives you time to make changes to support kidney health and prevent complications.1

In-home testing is a convenient and affordable way to check for kidney damage. Home testing allows early detection of kidney disease without a doctor visit.2,3

What are the symptoms of chronic kidney disease?

Most people have no symptoms in the early stages of CKD. As kidney function declines, the following symptoms may develop:1

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Peeing more or less often
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Itchy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping

Kidney function tests

Doctors use blood and urine (pee) tests to check how well the kidneys are working.4

Urine tests

An early sign of kidney disease is protein in the urine. These tests can check protein levels in the urine:4,5

  • Dipstick urine test – Checks the urine for albumin (a protein made in the liver).
  • Urine albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR) – Compares the levels of albumin and creatinine (a waste made by muscles). A level of 30 or above may indicate kidney disease.

Blood tests

Doctors use blood tests to check how well the kidneys are working to remove toxins from the body. These kinds of tests may be used:1,4

  • Serum creatinine – As kidney function decreases, the amount of creatinine in the blood increases. A level over 1.2 for women or 1.4 for men may indicate kidney damage.
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) – The blood level of creatinine, age, and sex are used to calculate the GFR. As kidney function decreases, the GFR score goes down. A GFR below 60 is abnormal, and below 15 indicates kidney failure.
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) – Urea nitrogen is a waste product made from the protein in foods you eat. A build-up of urea nitrogen in the blood may indicate kidney disease. Normal levels range from 7-20, depending on your age and overall health.

Who should consider kidney testing?

Get your kidneys checked if you have one of the following risk factors:1

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of kidney failure
  • Other medical conditions that affect the kidneys
  • Symptoms of kidney damage

What in-home kidney tests are available?

Some people prefer the convenience and privacy of in-home testing. There are several in-home kidney tests to choose from:6-11

LetsGetChecked

The LetsGetChecked test details include:6

  • Ordering – Order online, and the test kit will be delivered to you.
  • Sample type – Blood sample from a finger prick.
  • Sample collection/return – Place a blood sample in a small tube. Return the sample to the lab using the prepaid packaging provided. Must be collected Monday through Friday and returned the same day.
  • Measurements – Urea, creatinine, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
  • Results – Results are available online in 2 to 5 days. Support from a clinical team is available. If the test results are abnormal, you will get a call to plan follow-up.
  • Cost/insurance – $99. Insurance is not accepted. Health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) are accepted.

Verisana kidney function test

The Verisana kidney function test details include:7

  • Ordering – Order online, and the test kit will be delivered to you.
  • Sample type – Blood sample from a finger prick.
  • Sample collection/return – Place a blood sample onto a test card and allow it to dry. Return the sample to the lab via UPS/USPS within 24 hours.
  • Measurements – Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (CREAT).
  • Results – Receive detailed results via email in about 3 weeks.
  • Cost/insurance – $119. Most insurances do not cover.

Kidney Check by Healthy.io

The Kidney Check by Healty.io test details include:8-10

  • Ordering – Order online, and the test kit will be delivered to you. Install the "Kidney Check: Home Urine Test" app on your smartphone. Follow the step-by-step instructions.
  • Sample type – Urine.
  • Sample collection/return – Collect a urine sample. Dip a test strip into the sample. Complete the test at home (no need to return the sample).
  • Measurements – Urine albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR).
  • Results – Get instant results using a smartphone app to scan a urine test strip.
  • Cost/insurance – The test is offered to members of select insurance plans at no cost.

How to choose an in-home test

Which test you choose will depend on the following:

  • Your doctor’s recommendation
  • Cost and insurance coverage
  • Type of test and method of sample collection
  • Support offered for abnormal results

Understanding test results

Each company has a different method for communicating results, including email, an online portal, or personal contact by a clinical support team.6-8,11

In-home kidney tests can be a helpful tool. However, it is critical to see a doctor if you have an abnormal screening test or signs of kidney problems. Additional testing may be needed. Early diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease can slow or even stop further kidney damage.1

This or That

In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?

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