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Keep your kidneys in check

“It is so important for anyone with high blood pressure or even heart disease to get their kidneys checked.” - Nikki

I was diagnosed when I was 21 with stage 2 chronic kidney disease (CKD). I have had issues with my kidneys my entire life with several surgeries leading me to only having half a functioning kidney. I am currently stage 4 chronic kidney disease at age 30.

My kidney disease wasn’t caused by high blood pressure but I was put on medication for my blood pressure as soon as I was diagnosed. High blood pressure is really bad for your kidneys, it makes them work harder over time and can cause more loss of function. Although my blood pressure is now sorted with medication I need to continue on it as it helps stop my kidneys from working overtime and losing more function. The medication helps to turn down my kidney so it’s not overworked.

I know if I didn’t have existing issues I wouldn’t know how much blood pressure can affect your kidneys. So many people out there honestly don’t realise, I think it’s so important to get your kidneys checked. A lot of people with CKD don’t get symptoms until they’ve lost 90% function. Next time you’re at the doctors get your kidneys checked, it's well worth finding out how they are going.

Read More Real-Life Warrior Stories:

Kidney disease and high blood pressure: the facts

Managing high blood pressure can help slow the progression of kidney disease
High Blood pressure is the cause of 13% of kidney failure cases in Australia
Increasing blood pressure can be an early sign of kidney disease

Download Your GP Referral Letter

Here’s something to help you start the conversation with your GP.

This handy letter for your GP from Kidney Health Australia’s clinical director, Professor Karen Dwyer will help explain to your GP why you would like your kidneys checked, what tests need to be done and how they can access additional support if required.

Download a referral letter now and take it with you to your next GP appointment.

What does a Kidney Health Check involve?

A Kidney Health Check is very quick and simple.

1. A blood test to check how well your kidneys are working – your GP will order this test to check your eGFR which tells you how much kidney function you have left

2. A urine ACR test – this test will check for albuminuria, a type of protein in your urine. Damaged kidneys often leak protein into the urine

3. A blood pressure check – high blood pressure and kidney disease often occur together, so increasing blood pressure is often an early sign of kidney disease.

A kidney health check can be done as part of your regular GP visit. The tests ordered are covered by Medicare, however your doctor may charge you a gap for the doctor visit.

Don’t have a GP appointment coming soon? Make sure you book one in to get your kidneys checked. It's fast and easy.

Knowledge is power. Here's some helpful resources.

Watch video

This campaign has been developed and delivered by Kidney Health Australia in collaboration with Diabetes Australia.

Sponsored by AstraZeneca.