Whether you’re considering an at-home test or already opted in, we’re so excited you’re here. It shows your commitment to your health. We are happy to support you every step of the way—starting with these helpful FAQs.
If you haven’t already, check out the Teladoc Health At-Home Labs Program FAQs. They detail the specifics of the at-home program, like eligibility, cost (there is no cost to you!), our partnership with LetsGetChecked, how to access your results and more.
These FAQs outline everything you need to know about your at-home kidney test. Our hope is that you’ll have all the information you need for a successful collection.
If you’re a first-time user, go easy on yourself. There may be bumps along the way, but we’re here to answer your questions. And remember to reward yourself for a job well done. You deserve it!
Why is it important to test your kidneys?
Your kidneys filter your blood and remove waste products through your urine. They also manage water retention and control electrolyte concentrations and the pH balance of your blood.
People with diabetes should get their kidneys tested every year. This is because their kidneys have to work extra hard to filter out excess sugar from the blood. An annual test can help people with diabetes know their risk of developing kidney disease. You and your care team can use your results to make treatment decisions.
What does the kidney test measure?
A kidney test monitors your kidney function and performance. Your kidney kit includes directions to collect urine and blood samples that measure:
- uACR (urine albumin-creatinine ratio): This calculation compares how much of the albumin protein is in the urine to how much creatinine is in the urine. Without kidney damage, very little albumin protein is found in the urine compared to the normal waste product creatinine. Kidney damage from diabetes (or other factors) causes albumin to increase in the urine.
- eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate): This is a calculation that indicates how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. It is based on how much waste product creatinine is found in the blood.
Do I need an at-home kidney test if I get it done at my doctor’s?
Great question! The at-home kidney test isn’t meant to replace the test you get from your doctor. It’s meant to serve as a checkpoint to provide more insight into your health.
There’s no harm in doing the test. You can share the results with your doctor. Together, you can figure out next steps.
Who is eligible for an at-home kidney test?
We provide at-home kidney tests to people with health plans or employers that sponsor this offer. If you’re eligible, you’ll get an opt-in message on your blood glucose meter. After tapping “Yes, ship it to me,” you’ll get an email with next steps. You will also get communication with an invitation to participate.
How can I mentally prepare for my kidney test?
It’s important to know what to expect going in to your at-home kidney test. It’ll help you map out your testing day and plan your steps. We recommend scheduling time to do the test just like you would for an in-person appointment.
Here’s what we suggest:
- Set aside about 30 minutes any weekday morning. This will help you block out distractions, focus on reviewing the step-by-step guide and do the test.
- Know that you need to wait at least 30 minutes for your blood sample to dry. After you complete the test, you’ll need to wait at least 30 minutes before you can seal the package. Set an alarm, then return your kit.
- Be prepared to send your kit back on the same day you complete your test. By returning your kit on the same day, you’re helping to prevent issues with processing. This will help you get accurate results.
How can I physically prepare for my kidney test?
We recommend that you avoid protein-heavy meals before taking this test. High protein intake can affect your test results. This includes foods such as red meat, protein shakes and supplements.
When’s the best time to test?
First thing in the morning! We encourage you to complete and return the test on a weekday to avoid any processing issues or delays.
How do I complete my test?
Your kit comes with a step-by-step guide that outlines how to collect your urine and blood samples. You can follow this video that details steps for a successful collection.
Do I need to prick my own finger?
For this test, a capillary (finger prick) blood sample is required. Your kit includes a lancet that you’ll use to collect your sample.
Many people do not like to prick their fingers. We get it! But don’t let that discourage you. Here are a few things to expect:
- You’ll hear a little pop and then see a bubble of blood. Simply take your finger and touch the end or tip of the strip.
- The card with the circle targets for blood suggests you’ll need more blood than for a blood glucose test.
Worried that you’re not going to get enough blood? See if you can get someone to help you.
Can I use my own lancet?
No. Your blood glucose meter lancet will not work for this sample. Because it’s smaller, it will not produce enough blood. This means that you risk having to reprick, squeeze or rub your finger against the test paper until you get enough for your sample. And none of that is pleasant!
We understand that you may feel more comfortable using a lancet you’re familiar with. However, the larger lancet provided in your kit can help you get enough sample the first time!
Who can I contact if I need help with my test?
You can call LetsGetChecked at 866-688-2701 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. They have nurses available to walk you through the test if you need support.
When do I need to mail the test kit back?
The same day you do the test! After you complete your test, you’ll need to wait at least 30 minutes for the blood sample to dry. Once it’s dry, seal the package and return the kit.
By returning your kit on the same day, you’re helping to avoid issues with processing. This will help you get accurate results.