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How is Kidney Disease Diagnosed?

Diagnosing chronic kidney disease involves a comprehensive approach, including personal and family history assessment, physical examinations, blood and urine tests, imaging tests, and sometimes kidney biopsy.

  • 13 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read


Chronic kidney disease, identified as chronic kidney failure, is defined by a slow deterioration in kidney function. The kidneys perform a vital function in filtering waste and surplus fluid from the blood to produce urine. During the advanced phases of chronic kidney disease, there is a risk of the body amassing hazardous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and waste products.

Individuals may encounter minimal symptoms or indicators in the initial phases of chronic kidney disease. Renal disease can go unnoticed until it progresses to an advanced stage, posing a challenge for detection without a comprehensive examination.

Diagnosis of Kidney Disease

Your doctor will first ask about your personal and family history to diagnose kidney disease. Your doctor’s inquiries may encompass various aspects, including but not limited to identifying a family history of kidney disease, assessing whether you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and determining if you are currently taking any medications that could impact kidney function.

After that, your doctor does a neurological exam and a physical exam, looking for any indications of heart or blood vessel issues.

You might also require specific tests and procedures to diagnose kidney disease to ascertain the stage and severity of the condition. Possible tests include:

  1. Blood Examinations: Tests for kidney function measure the amount of waste products in your blood, such as urea and creatinine. 
  2. Urine Test: By detecting anomalies that point to chronic kidney failure, urine analysis can assist in identifying the underlying cause of chronic kidney disease. 
  3. Imaging Tests: Your doctor may assess the size and form of your kidneys using ultrasonography. It is possible to use different imaging tests in some circumstances. 
  4. Extracting a Kidney Tissue Sample for Testing: Your physician might suggest a kidney biopsy, which entails extracting a sample of kidney tissue. A kidney biopsy typically entails the insertion of a long, thin needle through your skin and into your kidney while you are under local anaesthesia. A lab receives the biopsy sample to assist in determining the cause of your kidney problem.

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Navigating the diagnostic journey for kidney disease is paramount for early detection and effective management. The range of diagnostic methods, from routine screenings to advanced imaging and biopsies, underscores the significance of proactive healthcare. As individuals explore kidney disease diagnosis, considering the role of health insurance becomes crucial. Health insurance facilitates access to various diagnostic procedures and the effective management of the financial aspects related to the diagnosis and subsequent treatments of kidney disease. Prioritising regular check-ups, understanding insurance coverage, and fostering a proactive approach to kidney health contribute to a comprehensive strategy for early diagnosis and optimal healthcare management.

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