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Keep your kidneys healthy

90% of the 1.7 million Australians who have indicators of chronic kidney disease are largely unaware they have a potentially life threatening disease. Chronic kidney disease can be detected early with a kidney function test and managed appropriately which means deterioration in kidney function can be reduced by as much as 50% and may even be reversible.

The kidneys play a vital role in the daily workings of your body. Your blood supply circulates through the kidneys about 12 times every hour, and the kidneys make urine from excess fluid and unwanted chemicals or waste in your blood.

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The kidneys perform a number of key functions - when kidney function is impaired, this can be evident in the results of a kidney function test:

  • Cleaning blood – kidneys filter your blood to remove wastes and toxins.
  • Blood pressure control – kidneys keep your blood pressure regular.
  • Water balance – kidneys add excess water to other wastes, which makes your urine.
  • Vitamin D activation – kidneys manage your body’s production of this essential vitamin, which is vital for strong bones, muscles and overall health.

Bodybuilders and extreme athletes are more at risk of kidney failure due to high protein intake, excessive muscle breakdown from intense exercise, as well as anabolic steroid use.

What we test

Kidney Function

A blood test is used to find out the level of waste products in your blood and calculate what’s called your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

This kidney function test measures:

Helps regulate the water and electrolyte balance of your body, and is important in the function of your nerves and muscles. Too much sodium can indicate kidney disease.

Minor changes in serum potassium ca have significant consequences. An abnormal concentration can alter the function of the nerves and muscles for example, the heart muscle may lose its ability to contract.

Chloride, like sodium, helps to maintain the balance of fluid in the body. Raised levels can be caused by eating too much salt, dehydration, diarrhoea, certain medications and also kidney disease.

Higher than normal levels suggests trouble maintaining pH balance either by failing to remove carbon dioxide or because of an electrolyte imbalance. Elevations may be seen with severe vomiting, chronic lung problems and some hormonal disorders. Low levels may be seen with chronic diarrhoea, diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney failure.

A high concentration of this waste product can indicate dehydration or that your kidneys aren’t working properly.

A waste molecule generated from muscle metabolism, and an accurate marker of kidney function.

If too much urate is produced or not enough is excreted, it can accumulate and lead to gout – an inflammation that occurs in joints.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measures how well your kidneys filter the wastes from your blood and is the best overall measure of kidney function.

Urine Examination

A urine test is used to check for protein or blood in your urine, as well as to check for any signs of infection. Protein in your urine may mean that your kidneys are not filtering your blood well enough, and blood in the urine can be a sign of kidney disease.

This kidney function test measures:

This tests looks for the presence of microscopic blood in the urine. Heamaturia can be caused by vigorous exercise and sexual activity, but is also an indicator of kidney disease.

A urine glucose test is often performed to check for diabetes. In some cases, a urine glucose test may also be done to check for kidney problems or a urinary tract infection.

Kidney stones tend to form in a highly acidic or alkaline environment, and cause pain as they prevent urine from passing. The urine pH level test can also be an indicator or urinary tract infection.

A urine culture is a test that can detect bacteria in your urine. This test can find and identify the germs that cause a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Urine Protein

Protein in your urine may mean that your kidneys are not filtering your blood well enough, and blood in the urine can be a sign of kidney disease.

This urine test measures

Albumin in the urine can be temporary and harmless caused by stresses such as fever or exercise, but it can also be a sign of early kidney disease.

Creatinine is a waste product that your body makes when you use your muscles or when your body digests meat. Healthy kidneys remove creatinine from your blood, and it leaves your body in your urine. This test can find out whether your kidneys are working normally or to see if treatment for kidney disease is working.

Normal individuals usually excrete very small amounts of protein in the urine. Persistently increased protein excretion is usually a marker of kidney damage.

Test instructions

Ensure you are properly hydrated before your test.

Print out the pathology form that we email you.

Take your form to your local collection centre to have your sample taken - no need for an appointment.

Ready. Set. Go!
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