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Kidney functioning
:: Kidney information
:: Urine information

:: Bilirubin
:: Blood
:: Glucose
:: Ketones
:: Leukocytes
:: Nitrite
:: pH of urine
:: Specific gravity
:: Urobilinogen

Malaria information
:: Lifecycle of parasite
:: People at high risk
:: Prevention
:: Symptoms

HIV / Aids information

Ovulation and fertility

The prostate glad
Prostate cancer

Breast health
:: Breast cancer

Drug information


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:: Links


The kidneys and their functions

The kidneys are found on each side of the backbone, situated between the thick muscles of the back and abdomen and are shaped like a bean.


It measures about 4 ˝ inches ( 11.4 cm) in length and about 2 ˝ inches (6.3 cm) in width and is about 1 inch (1.5 cm) thick.

The kidneys perform several essential functions:

  • They filter the metabolic wastes from the blood plasma and excretes it from the body.

  • They participate in the maintenance of the constant extracellular environment, required for proper cell functioning.

  • They excrete waste products of metabolism - such as urea, creatinine and uric acid.

  • They excrete water and electrolytes to match water intake and endogenous production.

  • They are able to regulate the excretion of water and solutes by changing the tubular re-absorption or excretion.

  • They secrete hormones that participate in systemic and renal hemodynamic regulation (renin, prostaglandins, bradykinin), red blood cell production (erythropoietin), as well as calcium, phosphorus and bone metabolism (vitamin D).

  • They also perform other functions such as catabolism of peptide hormones and synthesis of glucose (glyconeogenesis) when fasting.

Each kidney contains about 1,000,000 to 1,300,000 nephrons, which is the basic functioning component of the kidney, and are specialized in such a way that it can move material back and forth between blood plasma and urine in order to conserve essential materials while still eliminating wastes.

Each nephron consists of a glomerulus (it is a tuft of capillaries between two arterioles) and a series of tubes.

The glomeruli are found in the outer part of the kidney (the cortex) and the tubes are present both in the cortex as well as the inner part - the medulla.

Urine is formed when the nephrons filter the blood plasma and the filtrate (or wastes) is converted into urine. This action clears the blood plasma of wastes and non-essential materials.

The blood plasma is filtered across the specialized glomerular membrane (in the glomerulus) into the nephron tubes.

By active and passive membrane transport the nephron tubule reabsorb essential materials from the filtrate and return it to the circulating blood.

The nephron tubule cells can also actively secrete certain materials from the blood to the filtrate to increase the efficiency of clearing the blood plasma.

The kidneys can control the volume and electrolyte composition of urine by either diluting or concentrating the urine formed.

Should the blood plasma become too diluted the kidneys can reabsorb more solutes and less water - leading to more diluted urine, but when the plasma becomes too concentrated, the kidneys will absorb more water and less solutes, which will produce more concentrated urine.

The kidneys also play a function in regulating the pH of the body, which is done by secreting ions and reabsorbing bicarbonate ions.

Our home test kits
Urine test strips - testing for:
:: Glucose
:: Ketones
:: Blood / Hemoglobin
:: Protein
:: Nitrite
:: pH
:: Urobilinogen
:: Bilirubin
:: Leucocytes
:: Specific gravity

Breast Aware (breast examination pad)

Alcohol breathalyzer (disposable)

Ovulation tests (testing fertility periods or periods when you won't conceive)
Malaria test kit - testing for:
:: Plasmodium falciparum (Pf)
:: Plasmodium vivax (Pv)
:: Plasmodium ovale (Po)
:: Plasmodium malariae (Pm)

Prostate test (PSA test)

HIV test /Aids test (testing for HIV 1 and 2 antibodies)

Drug test (5-in-1 assay) testing for:
:: Cocaine (crack and cocaine derivatives)
:: THC (marijuana, weed, grass, hashish etc)
:: Amphetamines (speed, uppers, base)
:: Opiates (morphine, opium, heroin)
:: Methamphetamines (meth, ice, e, ecstasy)


Information pages
Urine testing
:: Kidneys and their functions
:: Kidney function regulating body fluids
:: Bilirubin in urine
:: Blood in urine
:: Glucose in urine
:: Ketones in urine
:: Leukocytes in urine
:: Nitrite in urine
:: ph of urine
:: Protein in urine
:: Specific gravity of urine
:: Urobilinogen in urine
:: Parameters of urine test strips (dip sticks)

:: Drug detection periods
:: Most common drugs
:: Drug slang words
:: How do drugs work
   ::: Amphetamines - speed, uppers
   ::: Cocaine - crack, nose candy
   ::: Methamphetamine - ecstasy, e, ice
   ::: Opiates - morphine, opium, heroin
   ::: Phencyclidine hydrochloride - pcp, angel dust
   ::: THC - cannabis, marijuana

Breast cancer
:: Description and function of the breasts
:: Diseases of the breast
:: Benign breast conditions
:: Malignant breast conditions
   ::: Types of breast cancer
   ::: Symptoms of breast cancer
:: Causes of breast cancer
:: Diagnosing breast cancer
:: Treatment of breast cancer
:: Living with breast cancer

Prostate health
:: Prostatism or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
:: Prostatitis
:: Prostate Cancer
   ::: Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
   ::: Cause of Prostate Cancer
   ::: Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
   ::: Treatment for Prostate Cancer
:: Living with Prostate Cancer
:: Depression
:: Erectile Dysfunction
:: Incontinence
:: General information on malaria
:: Types of malaria
:: People at high risk of malaria infection
:: Lifecycle of the plasmodium parasite
:: Preventing malaria
   ::: Protective clothing
   ::: Insect repellent
   ::: Bed / sleeping mosquito nets
   ::: Room management
:: Diagnosing malaria
:: Symptoms of malaria infection
:: Anti-malarial drugs
   ::: Doxycycline
   ::: Mefloquine (Larium™)
   ::: Atovaquone and proguanil combination (Malarone™)
:: Testing for malaria
   ::: Home testing
   ::: Laboratory testing
   ::: Other tests that could be done
:: Consequences and outcome of malaria infection
:: Malaria in Southern and South Africa

HIV / Aids
:: General information
:: Symptoms
:: Facts and frequently asked questions
:: Spreading the virus
   ::: Kissing
   ::: Oral Sex
   ::: Vaginal Sex
   ::: Anal Sex
   ::: Condoms
   ::: Female condoms
   ::: Drug Use
   ::: Tattoos
:: Health care workers and you
:: "Rapid" home Aids Tests
:: Approved drugs and treatments
:: Schematic drawing of life cycle

Ovulation / Fertility
:: Fertility drugs
:: Ovulation calculator (period in which you are most likely to conceive)


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Information contained on this website is for general information purposes only and must not be used to treat or diagnose medical conditions, and all health problems must be referred to a health care professional. Statements made regarding the products and general information have not been evaluated by the FDA, or any other health authority, and should not be seen as health counseling, advice or statements.
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Our site was last updated on 26 March 2021.