Lab tests are very important for everyone. They’re especially important if you have kidney disease. Lab results will help you and your doctor know how your kidneys are doing. They will also help your doctor know what treatments will be best to help your kidneys.
Blood test results let your doctor know how well your kidneys are working. They also show important levels of electrolytes, vitamins, and hormones. Blood test results help your doctor know if your meds and lifestyle changes are helping.
Most people will need to get a blood test every time they see their kidney doctor. Generally, you will see your kidney doctor every 3-6 months. If your kidney disease progresses, you may have to see your kidney doctor more often. Here are some common tests your doctor may order:
- Spot urine test
Your doctor may need a urine sample to help understand how well your kidneys are working. You will need to give a small sample of urine for this test. Your doctor will check your urine for many things including how concentrated it is, as well as protein, pH, and sugar levels. Most kidney doctors will need a urine sample every time they see you.
- 24-hour urine test
Your doctor may also want to do a more extensive urine test. For this test, you will need to collect all of your urine for an entire day. Your doctor will give you supplies to collect and store your urine, which you will drop off at the doctor’s office. Some offices let people mail in their sample. This test is not very common. If your doctor asks for a 24-hour urine test, you will probably not have to do it very often.
A very small number of people need to get a kidney biopsy. A kidney biopsy will help your doctor figure out what caused kidney damage. This will help them figure out the best treatment plan for you. If you need a kidney biopsy, you will probably need this test only once.