This month’s Back to Basics feature is a free wallchart to aid interpretation of the NHS Health Check results. Use this information with last month’s Back to Basics NHS Health Check chart to raise your patients’ awareness of cardiovascular risk factors and to determine the best lifestyle and medical approaches for each individual.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is now classified using a combination of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria measured by albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR). The aim is to more accurately define each patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease and worsening CKD, and to ensure that patients are monitored appropriately.
The World Health Organization has recommended that everyone should be eating more foods that contain potassium, and we routinely measure this electrolyte as part of the standard U&Es blood test. But why is potassium important for our health, and why do we need to worry if a patient’s levels are too high or too low?
In primary care, sending blood samples to the laboratory is so routine that it is easy to take these tests for granted. But it is important to understand the purpose of each test; when it is appropriate; and how to act on the results. Here red blood cell tests and their role in identifying possible causes for anaemia are discussed.
Urea and electrolytes (U&E) are the most commonly requested tests that we send to the laboratory. In fact, U&E are so routine that it is easy to take them for granted, but they are an essential aid to the diagnosis of kidney disease. It is important for practice nurses to understand why and when U&E are ordered, and how to act on the results if kidney problems are suspected.
Sending samples to the laboratory for investigation is so routine in primary care that it is easy to take these tests for granted. But, as this new series highlights, it is important to understand the purpose of each test and how to act on the results. This article examines thyroid function tests (TFTs), which are an essential part of diagnosing and treating thyroid disease.
Why bother checking a patient’s liver function? We look at when and how to use liver function tests in clinical practice.
The liver has many functions, and therefore diseases of the liver have numerous consequences. These can be detected and monitored with blood tests. This article provides a review of liver function tests, or LFTs, and how they relate to the key functions of the liver and some of the most common liver diseases.
We have all seen paintings of early physicians looking at flasks of urine to give an indication of a person’s health. And most of us can remember days of rows of urine pots lined up to test for new patients in primary care and in hospital outpatient clinics. We may assume that those days have gone in the era of blood testing and CT scans. So why are we suggesting that urine testing has a central role in finding patients with previously undiagnosed cardiovascular disease?