Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Day 122 - Kidneys

“The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine.

Every day, a person’s kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The wastes and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine until releasing it through urination.

In addition to removing wastes, the kidneys also make red blood cells, regulate blood pressure and maintain calcium in the bones and a normal chemical balance in the body.

Kidney function is now calculated using a blood sample and a formula to find the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The eGFR corresponds to the percent of kidney function available.

A person’s blood is tested to see how many milligrams of creatinine are in one deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Creatinine levels in the blood can vary, and each laboratory has its own normal range, usually 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dL. A person whose creatinine level is only slightly above this range will probably not feel sick, but the elevation is a sign that the kidneys are not working at full strength.”*


My GFR and creatinine levels were high in the test I did a few days ago (see Day 120 - Celiac Disease). I have therefore had to take another more detailed examination to find out exactly where the problem lies.

This is the first result in four months that has come out as abnormal, and it has certainly raised my hopes that I may finally be getting to the root of my inexplicable headache.

I called the GP again today to get the results of the second kidney test.

Everything was normal. She explained that creatinine values are so variable and can be affected by diet. I may not have drunk enough water or may have eaten something which influenced the results when I took the test the first time round.

Back to square one, yet again.

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