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Is my kidney damaged?

Q: My glomerular filteration rate (GFR) was recently found to be 56. Does this mean I have kidney damage or disease? Should I see a specialist?

A:Persistent lowering of Glomerular Filtration Rate(GFR) especially if under 60 ml/min/BSA for over an extended period of time (more than 3 months) does signify presence of impaired kidney function. The next step should be further evaluation looking for signs of kidney damage (increased protein leakage in urine) and the cause. Among the tests are urinalysis (looking for abnormal findings like blood and increased protein in urine), 24 hour urine studies to quantify amount of protein leakage in the urine and imaging studies of kidney to study the size and the morphology of kidneys. You would be well served by being evaluated by a Nephrologist. Lower GFR becomes significant if someone has risk factors for chronic kidney disease like hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol.


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