The science behind our health tests
Vitamin D Check
The science supporting the Vitamin-D check
Why should I take a Vitamin D test?
Vitamin D is an immunity booster as it helps to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Hence during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Vitamin D testing has shown great importance. Vitamin D levels are severely low in the ageing population hence the people are at high risk of viral infection due to COVID-19. At Allergy Test Australia, we aim to do everything that we can to ensure that you can stay on top of your health and give you the best chance to prevent diseases keeping your immune system healthy and in the best shape possible.
The facts about Vitamin D:
The prevalence of Vitamin D deficiencies in several countries is one of the major factors fuelling the growth of the Vitamin D market. According to the estimates of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in 8.0% of Americans (1). In the UK, a quarter of the population is deficient in Vitamin D (2).
The deficiency of Vitamin D causes rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. It has also been associated with common cancers, hypertension, and infectious diseases. Children need Vitamin D for the development of skeletal structure and tooth enamel. The deficiency of Vitamin D in infants can have adverse consequences such as growth failure, lethargy, irritability, rickets, and a predisposition to respiratory infections during infancy.
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency:
- Getting sick or infected often.
- Fatigue and Tiredness
- Bone and Back pain
- Impaired wound healing
- Hair Loss
- Muscle pain
Is a high level of Vitamin D dangerous and what is the optimal level?
Hypervitaminosis D is a rare but potentially serious condition. It occurs when you take in too much Vitamin D. It is usually the result of taking high dose Vitamin D supplements. Too much Vitamin D can cause abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. This can affect bones, tissues, and other organs. It can lead to high blood pressure, bone loss, and kidney damage if not treated (3).
Some prescription medications used to treat high blood pressure and heart diseases can cause an increase in vitamin D in the blood.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Hypervitaminosis:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Irritability, nervousness
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea, vomiting
- Confusion, disorientation
- High blood pressure
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D for most adults is 600 (IU) international units a day. Doctors may prescribe higher doses to treat medical conditions such as vitamin D deficiency, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, for a short period of time (3).
25 OH Vitamin D or 1,25 OH Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone involved in the intestinal absorption of calcium and the regulation of calcium homeostasis. Two major forms of Vitamin D (Vitamin D3 Cholecalciferol and Vitamin D2 Ergocalciferol) with isomeric structures, but D2 is supposed to be less active than D3.
Physiological Vitamin D3 can also be produced from a cholesterol precursor, 7 dehydrocholesterol in the skin during sun exposure. D2 is obtained from plant sources and only represents less than 5% of the total Vitamin-D in the body.
The 25 OH Vitamin D test is the most used to test the amount of Vitamin D n the blood. In some cases, the 1,25 OH Vitamin D test is ordered if an abnormality associated with the enzyme that converts 25 hydroxy Vitamin D to 1,25 dihydroxy Vitamin D or kidney failure is suspected.
1,25 dihydroxy Vitamin D test is used exclusively in the following cases:
- Diagnosis of Parathyroid disorders (Hyperparathyroidism, Hypoparathyroidism, Pseudohypoparathyroidism, Renal osteodystrophy and Vitamin D resistant rickets)
- Kidney failure
What to do next?
Here at Allergy Test Australia we are offering you the possibility to use our 25 OH Vitamin D (D3 and D2) test to check the amount of Vitamin D in your bloodstream. This rapid test offers the chance for you to take control of your health today focusing on your immune system. Using this at-home test, you can check your immune system health and identify any issues due to deficiency of excess Vitamin D and make changes fast to prevent immunological problems in their earliest stages. Your GP will be able to assist you and book further tests if necessary, to further investigate your results. So, what you are waiting for? At Allergy Test Australia, we are here to inform and aid our customers with the most up to date scientific information about our tests, helping them taking the first step on the journey to find a better version of themselves.
The science supporting the Kidney Test
Kidney disease is a major public health concern. Kidney disease often goes undetected until it is very advanced. Unfortunately, this is when someone would need dialysis or a transplant.
- 33% of adults in the United States are at risk for kidney disease(1).
- Around 3 million people in the UK have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)(2).
- Uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure are the biggest causes of CKD(2).
- Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are five times more likely to develop CKD than other groups(2).
What is a Urinalysis?
A urinalysis is a simple test that looks at a small sample of your urine. It can help find problems that need treatment, including infections, Kidney disease. It can also help, liver disease and diabetes(3).
Urinalysis is normally composed of 3 parts:
- Visual exam: Foamy and cloudy urine samples can be caused by infections and kidney problems.
- Microscopic exam: Using a microscope to analyse particles that are not in normal urine samples: red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals.
- Dipstick test: A dipstick is a paper strip with patches impregnated with chemicals that undergo a colour change when certain constituents of the urine are present or in a certain concentration. The strip is dipped into the urine sample, and after the appropriate number of seconds, the colour change is compared to a standard chart to determine the findings.
What kidney does?
The most important functions of the kidney are(1):
- Regulate the body’s fluid levels.
- Filter wastes and toxins from the blood.
- Release a hormone that regulates blood pressure.
- Activate vitamin D to maintain healthy bones.
- Release the hormone that directs the production of red blood cells.
Five main risk factors to develop kidney disease are(4):
- High blood pressure
- Heart Disease
- Family history of Kidney disease
3 essential tests are:
- Blood pressure test
- Proteins in urine
- Glomerular Filtration Rate (blood test)
Here at Allergy Test Australia we are giving our customers the possibility to use our Kidney Health Test kit and perform a urine test to check 3 important markers (urine creatinine, specific gravity, and proteins), that can help your GP investigate and catch kidney problems at early stages.
What markers our Kidney Health test includes and why they are important?
Our Kidney Health test includes:
- Urine Creatinine: Creatinine is a waste product created from the normal wear and tear of muscles. It is produced from creatine(5). Its production reflects lean body mass, and because this mass changes little from day to day, the production rate is fairly constant. Women, children, and older people tend to have lower levels of creatinine compared to adult men because they have less muscle mass(5,6). Creatinine is removed from the body by the kidneys, which filter almost all of it from the blood into the urine. Thus, urine creatinine levels can be used as a measure of kidney health(5,7).
If kidney function is impaired, creatinine levels in urine decrease. Higher creatinine levels can be due to a variety of factors and conditions, including having above-average muscle mass, a diet high in meat and protein, dehydration, early diabetes, and obesity.
- Specific Gravity: A urine specific gravity test gives information about how well the kidneys concentrate the urine and a person’s hydration status. The primary function of the kidneys is to maintain a healthy fluid and electrolyte balance. The kidneys excrete excess water and minerals from the body in the form of urine. When the body needs more water, the kidneys retain fluid(8). The normal urine specific gravity values are between 1.002 and 1.035. Urine specific gravity tests can give a more precise measurement of the urine’s concentration than just looking at the colour alone.
- Urine proteins: Protein is an important building block in the body. Everyone has protein in their blood. But it should only be in your blood, not your urine. Healthy kidneys remove waste products and extra water from your blood but leave behind the things your body needs, like protein. Normal total protein excretion does not usually exceed 150 mg/24 hours or 10 mg/100 mL in any single specimen. More than 150 mg/day is defined as proteinuria. Proteinuria > 3.5 gm/24 hours is severe and known as nephrotic syndrome.
This test offers the possibility for our customers to be able to take control of their health. Using this simple urine home test, you will be able to check the health of your kidney and be able to prevent kidney disease. Prevention is essential in kidney diseases. Your GP will be able to assist you if any of the results are not in the normal range and book further tests to investigate better. So, what you are waiting for! We are here to help our customers with the most up to date scientific evidence about our tests, helping them take the first step into the journey to find a better version of themselves.
The science supporting the Liver Test
Why should I take a urine health test to check the liver function?
Liver disease is on the rise. Since 1970, deaths due to liver disease have increased by 400%. Every day, over 40 people die from liver disease in the UK. This is in stark contrast to other major killer diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, in which the number of deaths has either remained stable or decreased (1). At Allergy Test Australia, we aim to do everything that we can to ensure that you can stay on top of your liver health and give you the best chance of avoiding these nasty illnesses, and that starts with a liver function test.
The facts about Liver disease:
- Liver disease is the third leading cause of premature death in the UK.
- 90% of liver disease is preventable.
- Three-quarters of people are currently diagnosed at a late stage when it is too late for lifestyle changes or intervention.
What is Urinalysis?
A urinalysis is a simple test that looks at a small sample of your urine. It can help identify a range of health issues, including infections, liver disease, and diabetes.
Urinalysis is normally composed of 3 parts:
- Visual exam: Observing the look of the sample. It is normal for the colour of pee to vary throughout the day, changing based on how much fluid you have had, and what foods and medications you have ingested. Even so, observing dark-coloured urine should serve as an alert that something is off. In general, dark urine could be a signal that the liver is struggling to function properly (2).
- Microscopic exam: Using a microscope to analyse and identify any particles that are unusual in a urine sample, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals.
- Dipstick test: A dipstick test is a paper strip with patches containing chemicals used to identify the presence of certain components in urine and their concentration, indicated by a colour change. The strip is dipped into the urine sample for a short time and then the colour change is compared to a standard chart to determine the findings. Many disorders may be detected in their early stages by identifying substances that are not normally present in the urine and/or by measuring abnormal levels of certain substances. Some examples include glucose, protein, bilirubin, red blood cells, white blood cells, crystals.
What does the liver do?
The liver has many essential roles in keeping us alive, including (3):
- Blood purification: Blood from the stomach and intestines is filtered by the liver.
- Detoxification: The liver detoxifies infectious organisms, alcohol, heavy metals, drugs, chemicals, toxic byproducts, and other poisons from the blood.
- Digestion: The liver produces bile; a substance needed to digest and absorb fats. Bile aids in digestion by helping the body absorb fat and certain vitamins, including Vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Manufacturing: The liver manufactures a variety of important proteins, including enzymes, hormones, blood proteins, clotting factors, and immune factors.
- Processing: Considered to be the biochemical factory of the body, the liver metabolizes substances in the bloodstream.
- Storage: The cells of the liver also act as a storage facility to house many crucial substances, such as iron, certain vitamins, minerals, and glycogen until they are needed.
Because the liver’s ability to function properly impacts almost every system in the body, damage to this organ can be a major problem. With any type of liver disease whether it is the accumulation of fat, a chronic hepatitis virus or cancer there is a greater urgency to take care of the liver.
How do I get tested?
Bilirubin in urine test measures the levels of bilirubin in your urine. Bilirubin is a yellowish substance made during the body’s normal process of breaking down red blood cells. If your liver is healthy, it will remove most of the bilirubin from your body. If your liver is damaged, bilirubin can leak into the blood and urine. Bilirubin in urine may be a sign of liver disease.
Here at Allergy Test Australia, we are committed to allowing our customers to use our urine health test to check 10 important markers that can help your GP catch liver problems at their early stages.
What markers do our urine health tests include and why they are important?
Our Urine Health test includes:
- Leukocytes: A positive leukocyte esterase test results from the presence of white blood cells either as whole cells or as lysed cells. A negative leukocyte esterase test means that an infection is unlikely and that, without additional evidence of urinary tract infection, a microscopic exam and/or urine culture need not be done to rule out significant bacteriuria.
- Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a yellowish substance made during the body’s normal process of breaking down red blood cells. Bilirubin in urine can indicate liver damage before other symptoms appear.
- Urobilinogen: A by-product of the breakdown of Bilirubin. Smaller levels are normal, but larger levels could indicate liver disease.
- Specific Gravity: A urine specific gravity test gives information about how well the kidneys concentrate the urine and a person’s hydration status. The primary function of the kidneys is to maintain a healthy fluid and electrolyte balance. The kidneys excrete excess water and minerals from the body in the form of urine. When the body needs more water, the kidneys retain fluid (8). Urine specific gravity tests can give a more precise measurement of the urine’s concentration than just looking at the colour alone.
- Urine proteins: Protein is an important building block in the body. Everyone has protein in their blood, but it should only be in your blood, not your urine. Healthy kidneys remove waste products and extra water from your blood but leave behind the things your body needs, like protein. Normal total protein excretion should not exceed 150 mg/24 hours in any single sample. More than 150 mg/day is defined as proteinuria.
- Blood: A serious Urinary tract infection/Cystitis can cause blood in urine as well as other issues such as kidney stones or bladder/kidney cancer.
- Nitrates: A positive nitrite test indicates that bacteria may be present in significant numbers in urine. Gram-negative rods such as E. coli are more likely to give a positive test.
- Ketones: Resulting from either diabetic ketosis or some other form of calorie deprivation (starvation).
- Glucose: Excess sugar in urine generally means diabetes mellitus (Type 2).
- pH: Depending on the acid-base status, urinary pH may range from as low as 4.5 to as high as 8.0.
This test offers the chance for you to take control of your health today. Using this rapid result, at-home urine test, you can check your general health and identify any issues in their earliest stages including your liver health. Your GP will be able to assist you and book further tests if necessary, to further investigate your results. So, what you are waiting for? At Allergy Test Australia, we are here to inform and aid our customers with the most up to date scientific information about our tests, helping them taking the first step on the journey to find a better version of themselves.