THIS week is Kidney Health Week.
And with one in three Australians at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, there's never been a better or more important time to get your kidneys checked.
In 2011, diseases of the kidney and urinary tract were the 10th leading cause of death in Australia.
If you are a diabetic, over 60 years, a smoker, have high blood pressure, a family history of kidney disease, obese, or of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you are at risk.
Gladstone Base Hospital clinical nurse Alison Kernan said patients attended kidney dialysis two or three times a week.
"But if we pick it up early, with diet control and medication, we can stop them from progressing to stage five," she said.
The hospital currently has 11 patients on kidney dialysis.
"We also have more patients waiting for it in Rockhampton."
She said having your kidneys checked was simple and easy.
It involved a visit to your local GP for a blood test.