Kidneys: The Ultimate Multitaskers
Kidneys dont just clean your blood, they also play other vital roles in your overall health. On a daily basis, your kidneys work to:
- Release hormones to help regulate blood pressure
- Control sodium and fluid levels in your body
- Stimulate production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body
- Create vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium
Here’s How Kidneys Perform Their Important Work:
The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. Approximately two quarts are eliminated from the body in the form of urine, while the remainder, about 198 quarts, is retained in the body. The urine we excrete has been stored in the bladder for approximately one to eight hours.
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Control Your Blood Sugar
People with diabetes, or a condition that causes high blood sugar, may develop kidney damage. When your bodys cells cant use the glucose in your blood, your kidneys are forced to work extra hard to filter your blood. Over years of exertion, this can lead to life-threatening damage.
However, if you can control your blood sugar, you reduce the risk of damage. Also, if the damage is caught early, your doctor can take steps to reduce or prevent additional damage.
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What Do The Kidneys Do
Your kidneys have many important functions. They clean toxins and waste out of your blood. Common waste products include nitrogen waste , muscle waste and acids. They help your body remove these substances. Your kidneys filter about half a cup of blood every minute.
In the process:
The kidneys also:
- Control the acid-base balance of your blood.
- Make sugar if your blood doesnt have enough sugar.
- Make a protein called renin that increases blood pressure.
- Produce the hormones calcitriol and erythropoietin. Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium. Erythropoietin helps your body make red blood cells.
An adrenal gland sits on top of each kidney. It produces hormones, including cortisol, which helps your body respond to stress.
Cortisol also plays a role in:
What Happens When You Drink Too Much Water
While water intake is highly significant in our body, too much water drinking may lead to overhydration. It occurs when there is an excess of water in the body more than it loses.
Overhydration typically results in low sodium levels in the blood called hyponatremia, which can be fatal. Nevertheless, drinking a lot of water usually does not cause overhydration if the pituitary gland, kidneys, liver, and heart function normally. To exceed the body’s ability to excrete water, a young adult with normal kidney function would have to drink more than 6 gallons of water a day regularly.
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The Best Water Through Your Body
Now that we better see how water travels through the body and why water is so vital to your physical and mental health, we need to discover approaches to get the ideal water. Water filters are probably the most straightforward approach to reliably drink safe, healthy water without harmful toxins and contaminants.
Your body’s a powerful tool. However, it needs your assistance. With all the things above-mentioned, give it the possible opportunity to absorb all the goodness from your water! In any case, ensure it’s extraordinary water.
Capillary Network Within The Nephron
The capillary network that originates from the renal arteries supplies the nephron with blood that needs to be filtered. The branch that enters the glomerulus is called the afferent arteriole. The branch that exits the glomerulus is called the efferent arteriole. Within the glomerulus, the network of capillaries is called the glomerular capillary bed. Once the efferent arteriole exits the glomerulus, it forms the peritubular capillary network, which surrounds and interacts with parts of the renal tubule. In cortical nephrons, the peritubular capillary network surrounds the PCT and DCT. In juxtamedullary nephrons, the peritubular capillary network forms a network around the loop of Henle and is called the vasa recta.
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What Your Kidneys Do And Why Its So Important To Keep Them Healthy
Your kidneys are a remarkable biological machine. And just like any machine, when its doing its job well, its all too easy to forget that its even there at all. Your kidneys work hard for you all day every day but you might not even know their function, how they work and why its so important to keep them healthy.
Until a kidney stone or a Urinary Tract Infection comes along and you realize that you shouldve been taking better care of your kidneys.
What do your kidneys do?
Kidneys are essentially your bodys water regulators. These smart little organs know exactly how much water your body needs and will expel excess water as urine when there is too much. When your water stores are low they will also help your body to retain as much water as possible to allow your body to function. As well as ridding your body of excess water, they also filter out toxins, dispelling them from your body in your urine.
Kidneys also produce important hormones that help to regulate the production of red blood cells, keep your blood pressure under control and maintain just the right balance of calcium in your body.
Drink lots of water every day and your kidneys will reap the benefits which means the rest of your body will, too!
How Do The Kidneys And Urinary Tract Work
Blood travels to each kidney through the renal artery. The artery enters the kidney at the hilus , the indentation in middle of the kidney that gives it its bean shape. The artery then branches so blood can get to the nephrons 1 million tiny filtering units in each kidney that remove the harmful substances from the blood.
Each of the nephrons contain a filter called the glomerulus . The fluid that is filtered out from the blood then travels down a tiny tube-like structure called a tubule . The tubule adjusts the level of salts, water, and wastes that will leave the body in the urine. Filtered blood leaves the kidney through the renal vein and flows back to the heart.
Pee leaves the kidneys and travels through the ureters to the bladder. The bladder expands as it fills. When the bladder is full, nerve endings in its wall send messages to the brain. When a person needs to pee, the bladder walls tighten and a ring-like muscle that guards the exit from the bladder to the urethra, called the sphincter , relaxes. This lets pee go into the urethra and out of the body.
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Right And Proper Timing
Since we now know that most water is absorbed within 120 minutes, we can assume that drinking a glass of water about 2 hours before heavy sports will give us the best benefit, as your body will be the most hydrated then.
It is also best to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning since youve gone for about 8 hours without a drink. And for those with a stronger bladder, drinking a glass before bed helps your body stay hydrated while you sleep. But if nightly bathroom visits are already a factor for you, take it easy before bed.
To make drinking water easier, keep it by you all day, whether at the office with a bottle that you sip from all day and can refill, or at home with a glass of water on your counter that you make yourself drink from every time you pass it. Having a bottle of water in your car is great, too, especially when youre out doing chores and cant get a good drink in for a few hours.
Kidney Function And Physiology
Kidneys filter blood in a three-step process. First, the nephrons filter blood that runs through the capillary network in the glomerulus. Almost all solutes, except for proteins, are filtered out into the glomerulus by a process called glomerular filtration. Second, the filtrate is collected in the renal tubules. Most of the solutes get reabsorbed in the PCT by a process called tubular reabsorption. In the loop of Henle, the filtrate continues to exchange solutes and water with the renal medulla and the peritubular capillary network. Water is also reabsorbed during this step. Then, additional solutes and wastes are secreted into the kidney tubules during tubular secretion, which is, in essence, the opposite process to tubular reabsorption. The collecting ducts collect filtrate coming from the nephrons and fuse in the medullary papillae. From here, the papillae deliver the filtrate, now called urine, into the minor calyces that eventually connect to the ureters through the renal pelvis. This entire process is illustrated in Figure 22.7.
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What Causes Kidney Damage
Your kidneys perform several important functions within your body. Many different disorders can affect them. Common conditions that impact your kidneys include:
- Chronic kidney disease: Chronic kidney disease may lessen your kidney function. Diabetes or high blood pressure usually causes CKD.
- Kidney cancer: Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer.
- Kidney failure : Kidney failure may be acute or chronic . End-stage renal disease is a complete loss of kidney function. It requires dialysis .
- Kidney infection : A kidney infection can occur if bacteria enter your kidneys by traveling up your ureters. These infections cause sudden symptoms. Healthcare providers treat them with antibiotics.
- Kidney stones: Kidney stones cause crystals to form in your urine and may block urine flow. Sometimes these stones pass on their own. In other cases, healthcare providers can offer treatment to break them up or remove them.
- Kidney cysts: Fluid-filled sacs called kidney cysts grow on your kidneys. These cysts can cause kidney damage. Healthcare providers can remove them.
- Polycystic kidney disease: Polycystic kidney disease causes cysts to form on your kidneys. PKD is a genetic condition. It may lead to high blood pressure and kidney failure. People with PKD need regular medical monitoring.
Countless other disorders can affect your kidneys. Some of these conditions include:
The Glomerulus Filters Water And Other Substances From The Bloodstream
Each kidney contains over 1 million tiny structures called nephrons. Each nephron has a glomerulus, the site of blood filtration. The glomerulus is a network of capillaries surrounded by a cuplike structure, the glomerular capsule . As blood flows through the glomerulus, blood pressure pushes water and solutes from the capillaries into the capsule through a filtration membrane. This glomerular filtration begins the urine formation process.
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How Much Do My Kidneys Weigh
The weight of your kidneys varies. Variances may include your height, weight, age, body mass index and location.
For men and people assigned male at birth, your right kidney may range from 1/5 to about 1/2 lbs. . Your left kidney may range from a little less than 1/5 to a little more than 1/2 lbs. . Your kidneys may weigh between the weight of one tennis ball and four tennis balls.
For women and people assigned female at birth, your right kidney may range from a little more than 1/10 to 3/5 lbs. . Your left kidney may range from 3/20 to a little less than 3/5 lbs. . Your kidneys may weigh between the weight of one tennis ball or five tennis balls.
How Do My Kidneys Work
Each of your kidneys is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule. The nephrons work through a two-step process: the glomerulus filters your blood, and the tubule returns needed substances to your blood and removes wastes.
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Is It Kidney Pain Or Back Pain
Kidney pain and back pain are similar, and people often confuse them.
Back pain usually occurs in your lower back.
Kidney pain is deeper in your body and higher up your back. Youll likely feel pain in your sides or your middle- to upper-back area . The pain may progress to other areas, including your abdomen or groin.
Kidney pain results from swelling or blockage of your kidneys or urinary tract. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting or pain when you pee.
How Can You Keep Your Urinary Tract Healthy
You can help keep your urinary tract healthy by following some basic tips.
Drink enough liquids, especially water. If youre healthy, try to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day. You may need to drink more if you have kidney stones or bladder stones. At least half of your liquid intake should be water. You might need to drink less water if you have certain conditions, such as kidney failure or heart disease. Ask your health care professional how much liquid is healthy for you.
Keep your bowels regular. Regular bowel movements are important to your bladder health. You can promote both bowel health and bladder health by
- making healthy food choices. You can keep your urinary tract healthy by sticking to an eating plan that includes lean proteins, whole grains, fiber-rich breads, nuts, colorful berries, fruits, and vegetables to promote regular bowel movements.
- living a healthy lifestyle. Get regular physical activity, limit your alcohol intake, cut down on caffeinated food and drinks, and dont smoke.
Go whenever you need to. Often, people will hold their urine because its not a good time to go to the bathroom. However, holding in your urine for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make it harder for your bladder to empty completely. Urine left in your bladder can allow bacteria to grow and makes you more likely to develop a urinary tract infection .
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Kidneys: The Main Osmoregulatory Organ
The kidneys, illustrated in Figure 22.4, are a pair of bean-shaped structures that are located just below and posterior to the liver in the peritoneal cavity. The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and are also called the suprarenal glands. Kidneys filter blood and purify it. All the blood in the human body is filtered many times a day by the kidneys these organs use up almost 25 percent of the oxygen absorbed through the lungs to perform this function. Oxygen allows the kidney cells to efficiently manufacture chemical energy in the form of ATP through aerobic respiration. The filtrate coming out of the kidneys is called urine.
Why Do Dialysis Patients Have To Restrict Liquid Intake
For patients on dialysis, too much liquid intake can raise blood pressure and cause other dangerous complications. This is because your kidneys control the waste leaving your body, so when they arent functioning well, you may urinate very little or not at all. Dialysis takes over the function of clearing waste from the blood, but it cant remove excess liquid as often as necessary like urinating naturally can, so dialysis patients must carefully track and control their liquid intake.
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Why Are The Kidneys Important
Your kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. Your kidneys also remove acid that is produced by the cells of your body and maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and mineralssuch as sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassiumin your blood.
Without this balance, nerves, muscles, and other tissues in your body may not work normally.
Your kidneys also make hormones that help
What Are The First Signs Of Kidney Problems
Most kidney problems dont have signs in their early stages. As kidney damage progresses, you may notice:
- Cramping muscles: Electrolyte imbalances cause your muscles to stiffen.
- Dark urine or urine with blood in it: Damage to your kidneys filters lets blood cells leak into your urine.
- Foamy urine: Bubbles in your pee can signal excess protein.
- Itchy, dry skin: An imbalance of minerals and nutrients in your blood leads to itchy skin.
- More frequent urination: Problems filtering waste cause you to pee more often.
- Puffy eyes or swollen ankles and feet: Reduced kidney function can cause your body to hold onto protein and sodium, resulting in swelling.
- Sleep problems, fatigue and lack of appetite: If toxins build up in your blood, your sleep, appetite and energy levels may be off.
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When Is The Best Time To Drink Water
A friend forwarded me an interesting facebook post that claimed that the best time to drink water was just before going to bed. Upon careful reflection, it seems to me that this would be the worst possible time to drink water unless you really enjoy waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
First off, as we have mentioned before, it is a myth that we must drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to be healthy. So right off the bat, drinking water deliberately to prevent disease is largely a wasted effort. Any excess water you drink must be eliminated from your body in your urine . In short, if you drink more water you will produce more urine.
There is however a commonly held belief that if you drink more water and produce more urine this will cause you to filter your blood to a greater degree and thereby remove any potentially harmful substances lurking within. This logic, however, is flawed for several reasons.
Firstly, I believe most people know that it is your kidneys that produce urine. These unsung heroes of human physiology perform a remarkable task. They are capable of filtering a huge amount of blood. Normal kidneys will filter about 100-120 ml of water per minute. This varies a bit depending on your height and weight, but these numbers will serve us well for our numerical example. For anyone who is interested in knowing how much their kidneys filter, the number shows up on most routine blood tests as the estimated glomerular filtration rate .