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What Does Your Kidney Do For Your Body

The Urinary System Is One Of The Bodys Systems Which Helps Us To Dispose Of The Waste Products Naturally Produced Within The Body The Main Structures In This System Are:

How do your kidneys work? – Emma Bryce
  • Two kidneys which lie behind the other major organs in the lower back area. They are bean-shaped organs and measure about 11cm long, 6cm wide and 3cm deep. They have 5 main functions, which will be discussed at a later stage.
  • Two ureters which run from the kidneys to the bladder carrying urine.
  • One bladder which collects urine from the kidneys, via the ureters, and stores it temporarily.
  • One urethra through which the urine is excreted out of the body, allowing the bladder to empty and dispose of the waste.

Your Kidneys Are Vital

Your kidneys are located near the middle of your back, on either side of your backbone . They are protected from physical injury by a large layer of fat, along with your lower ribs and back muscles.

They are bean-shaped and each one is the size of an adult fist . Most people are born with two kidneys, but around one in every 750 people are born with just one. The good news is that you can still lead a healthy life with just one. One kidney alone can provide up to 75 per cent of normal kidney function.

The entire organ is not one big filter. Each kidney is made up of about one million tiny filters called nephrons. Blood enters your kidneys through the renal artery and goes back into your body by the renal vein.

Your kidneys have four incredible powers. They:

  • Clean your blood and circulate a fresh supply around your body 12 times every hour. This works out to a total of around 200 litres of blood per day.
  • Process excess fluid and unwanted chemicals and waste in your blood. The result is about one to two litres of urine that you pass each day, detoxifying your body.
  • Keep your blood pressure regular by telling the blood vessels in your body when to expand and contract
  • Manage your bodys production of Vitamin D, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones and producing red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body.
  • Read on to find out how to keep your kidneys healthy.

    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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    Where Are The Kidneys

    Most people have two kidneys, which sit deep in the abdomen in the small of the back, either side of the spine.

    Shaped like a bean, each kidney weighs anywhere between 40 grams to 190 grams depending on gender and can very between left and right kidney. A kidney is about 10-15cms long.

    Many people are able to lead healthy and active lives with just one functioning kidney. Some may have been born with one kidney, others may have had a kidney removed due to illness or injury and some people may have donated one of their kidneys to someone with kidney failure .

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    If you regularly take over-the-counter pain medication, you may be causing kidney damage. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , including ibuprofen and naproxen, can damage your kidneys if you take them regularly for chronic pain, headaches, or arthritis.

    People with no kidney issues who take the medicine occasionally are likely in the clear. However, if you use these medicines daily, you could be risking your kidneys health. Talk with your doctor about kidney-safe treatments if youre coping with pain.

    If youre at high risk of kidney damage or kidney disease, its a good idea to have regular kidney function tests. The following people may benefit from regular screening:

    • people who are over 60 years old
    • people who were born at a low birth weight
    • people who have cardiovascular disease or have family with it
    • people who have or have a family history of high blood pressure
    • people who are obese
    • people who believe they may have kidney damage

    A regular kidney function test is a great way to know your kidneys health and to check for possible changes. Getting ahead of any damage can help slow or prevent future damage.

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    Kidney Failure Definition And Facts

    • Kidneys are the organs that filter waste products from the blood. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body.
    • Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling, and confusion. Inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. Initially, kidney failure may cause no symptoms.
    • There are numerous causes of kidney failure, and treatment of the underlying disease may be the first step in correcting the kidney abnormality.
    • Some causes of kidney failure are treatable and the kidney function may return to normal. Unfortunately, kidney failure may be progressive in other situations and may be irreversible.
    • The diagnosis of kidney failure usually is made by blood tests measuring BUN, creatinine, and glomerular filtration rate .
    • Treatment of the underlying cause of kidney failure may return kidney function to normal. Lifelong efforts to control blood pressure and diabetes may be the best way to prevent chronic kidney disease and its progression to kidney failure. As we age, kidney function gradually decreases over time.
    • If the kidneys fail completely, the only treatment options available may be dialysis or transplant.

    What Are The Parts Of The Kidney

    Your kidneys are highly complex organs with many parts. The main parts of your kidney anatomy include:

    Kidney capsule

    The renal capsule consists of three layers of connective tissue or fat that cover your kidneys. It protects your kidneys from injury, increases their stability and connects your kidneys to surrounding tissues.

    Renal artery

    The renal artery is a large blood vessel that controls blood flow into your kidneys. For most people at rest, the renal kidneys pump a little over 5 cups of blood to your kidneys each minute.

    Renal cortex

    The outer layer of your kidney, where the nephrons begin. The renal cortex also creates the hormone erythropoietin , which helps make red blood cells in your bone marrow.

    Renal medulla

    The renal medulla is the inner part of your kidney. It contains most of the nephrons with their glomeruli and renal tubules. The renal tubules carry urine to the renal pelvis.

    Renal papilla

    These pyramid-shaped structures transfer urine to the ureters. Dehydration and certain medications especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs may damage your renal papilla.

    Renal pelvis

    This funnel-shaped structure collects urine and passes it down two ureters. Urine travels from the ureters to the bladder, where its stored.

    Renal vein

    This vein is the main blood vessel that carries filtered blood out of your kidneys and back to your heart. Each of your kidneys has a renal vein.

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    What Are Common Tests To Check The Health Of My Kidneys

    Healthcare providers use several tests to measure kidney function and diagnose kidney problems. Your provider may recommend:

    • Advanced imaging: An X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or nuclear medicine image can show kidney abnormalities or obstructions .
    • Blood tests: Blood tests show how well your glomeruli filter your blood.
    • Kidney biopsy: During a kidney biopsy, your healthcare provider removes a small amount of your kidney tissue to examine it under a microscope.
    • Ureteroscopy: Your healthcare provider passes a tube through your urethra into your bladder and ureters to look for abnormalities.
    • Urinalysis: A urinalysis analyzes your pee. It measures specific substances, such as protein or blood.

    What Are Some Of The Causes Of Chronic Kidney Disease

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    Chronic kidney disease is defined as having some type of kidney abnormality, or “marker”, such as protein in the urine and having decreased kidney function for three months or longer.

    There are many causes of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may be affected by diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney conditions are inherited .

    Others are congenital that is, individuals may be born with an abnormality that can affect their kidneys. The following are some of the most common types and causes of kidney damage.

    Diabetes is a disease in which your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin properly. This results in a high blood sugar level, which can cause problems in many parts of your body. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease.

    High blood pressure is another common cause of kidney disease and other complications such as heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood against your artery walls increases. When high blood pressure is controlled, the risk of complications such as chronic kidney disease is decreased.

    Glomerulonephritis is a disease that causes inflammation of the kidney’s tiny filtering units called the glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis may happen suddenly, for example, after a strep throat, and the individual may get well again.However, the disease may develop slowly over several years and it may cause progressive loss of kidney function.

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    How Can I Keep My Kidneys Healthy

    Its important to have regular checkups and blood and urine tests to measure your kidneys health. You can reduce your risk of developing a kidney problem by:

    • Avoiding or quitting smoking and using tobacco products. Your provider can help you find ways to quit.
    • Cutting out excess salt, which can affect the balance of minerals in your blood.
    • Increasing daily exercise, which can reduce high blood pressure.
    • Limiting your use of NSAIDs. NSAIDs can cause kidney damage if you take them too much.
    • Watching your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

    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.

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    Where Are My Kidneys Located And What Do They Look Like

    Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs located near the middle of your back, one on either side of your spine. Each is about the size of a fist. Your kidneys are part of your urinary tract, which is the group of organs that make urine and remove it from your body. The urinary tract includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.

    How Does Kidney Disease Affect The Body

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    To stay healthy, the human body must remove toxins and excess fluids. Most people are born with two kidneys, which are a pair of fist-sized organs that filter toxins and excess fluid from about 50 gallons of blood a day. The body then eliminates the fluid and toxins through about two quarts of urine daily. Kidney disease prevents the kidneys from filtering blood, however, and this can affect the body in many ways.

    More than 30 million people in the United States have kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation, and most do not know it. This is because kidney disease does not typically cause noticeable symptoms until it has reached a very advanced stage, known as renal failure or end-stage renal disease, in which the kidneys stop working altogether.

    Certain conditions, such as low blood pressure and diabetes, can increase the risk of kidney disease. Low blood pressure, known as hypotension, reduces the amount of blood flowing to the kidneys. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure in the nation. In patients with diabetes, the excessive sugar levels in the blood damage blood vessels in the kidneys, which prevent the kidneys from working well.

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    How Is Kidney Failure Diagnosed

    Doctors use a variety of tests to measure kidney function and diagnose kidney failure. If your doctors suspect you may be at risk for kidney failure, they may recommend:

    • Blood tests, which can show how well the kidneys are removing waste from the blood.
    • Advanced imaging, which can show kidney abnormalities or obstructions .
    • Urine tests, which measure the amount of urine or specific substances in the urine, such as protein or blood.

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    In this type of dialysis, your blood is cleaned inside your body. The doctor will do surgery to place a plastic tube called a catheter into your abdomen to make an access. During the treatment, your abdominal area is slowly filled with dialysate through the catheter. The blood stays in the arteries and veins that line your peritoneal cavity. Extra fluid and waste products are drawn out of your blood and into the dialysate. There are two major kinds of peritoneal dialysis.

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    What Does Potassium Do For Your Body A Detailed Review

    The importance of potassium is highly underestimated.

    This mineral is classified as an electrolyte because its highly reactive in water. When dissolved in water, it produces positively charged ions.

    This special property allows it to conduct electricity, which is important for many processes throughout the body.

    Interestingly, a potassium-rich diet is linked to many powerful health benefits. It may help reduce blood pressure and water retention, protect against stroke and help prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones (

    This article provides a detailed review of potassium and what it does for your health.

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    What Are The Kidneys

    The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that filter your blood. Your kidneys are part of your urinary system.

    Your kidneys filter about 200 quarts of fluid every day enough to fill a large bathtub. During this process, your kidneys remove waste, which leaves your body as urine . Most people pee about two quarts daily. Your body re-uses the other 198 quarts of fluid.

    Your kidneys also help balance your bodys fluids and electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals that include sodium and potassium.

    What Could Go Wrong With The Kidneys

    When the kidneys are not working correctly, waste products and excess fluid can build up and the levels of sodium, potassium, phosphate and calcium are not regulated correctly. When these substances gather together, this causes the symptoms of kidney disease, which can include high blood pressure, excessive tiredness, fluid retention and possibly lower back pain.

    Kidney damage can occur for a number of reasons diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and a group of diseases that affect the glomerulus. The kidneys also need an adequate supply of blood, so if there is something wrong with the blood vessels to the kidney, such as a narrowing, this will prevent the kidneys from working efficiently.

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    Where Are The Kidneys And How Do They Function

    There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage. Each kidney contains up to a million functioning units called nephrons. A nephron consists of a filtering unit of tiny blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule. When blood enters the glomerulus, it is filtered and the remaining fluid then passes along the tubule. In the tubule, chemicals and water are either added to or removed from this filtered fluid according to the body’s needs, the final product being the urine we excrete.

    The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. About two quarts are removed from the body in the form of urine, and about 198 quarts are recovered. The urine we excrete has been stored in the bladder for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours.

    When Things Go Wrong

    Kidney Cancer

    A little more than 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 20 show evidence of kidney disease. Some forms of kidney disease are progressive, meaning the disease gets worse over time. When your kidneys can no longer remove waste from blood, they fail.

    Waste buildup in your body can cause serious problems and lead to death. To remedy this, your blood would have to be filtered artificially through dialysis, or you would need a kidney transplant.

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    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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