Kidney disease usually progresses silently, often destroying most of the kidney function before causing any symptoms. Therefore, people at risk of developing kidney disease should be evaluated regularly. These people include those with diabetes, high blood pressure or blood vessel diseases, and close relatives of people with hereditary kidney disease.
Members of certain ethnic groups are also at high risk because of the greater incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure. These include people of Aboriginal, Asian, south Asian, Pacific Island, African/Caribbean and Hispanic origin.
You may develop kidney disease even if you do not fall into one of these groups. Recent estimates suggest that as many as two million Canadians have chronic kidney disease (CKD) or are at risk for it—most are unaware of it.
If you are over the age of 50 or fall into any of the aforementioned risk categories ask your doctor for a blood test. One simple test will indicate what is your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) or kidney function level.