How do Kidneys function?

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Our body is a complex machine which performs different functions with the help of various organs present in our body. Their functioning is correlated and dependent on each other. Hence, it’s necessary that every organ should perform its function well. Many times infection or disease to one organ can result in disruption of body’s whole functioning unit. Kidney too is one of the most important organs of our body and plays a pivotal role in the excretory system’s working.


What is a Kidney?

Kidney consists of two small organs which are placed near the vertebral column very near to the middle back and exactly below rib cage. Both the kidneys are located on either side of the spine. The right kidney is placed lower to the left kidney. These bean shaped twin kidneys are 10 cm long and 6.4 cm wide, almost a size of a fist.


How do the Kidneys work?

The working of kidneys can be compared to the working of sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, kidney of a body process around 200 quarts blood so as to sluice out the waste products of 2 quarts along with extra water. This extra water and waste converts into urine and flows into the bladder from where it is thrown outside via ureters. The urine remains stored in the bladder till it is released during urination. The urine is formed by the kidney by removing wastes and water present in blood. When the active tissues like muscles and also food breakdown normally, they form wastes in the blood. The body generates energy from the food and repairs itself. The wastes are the leftovers of this process and if kidneys fail to remove them, wastes get saturated in the blood which can cause damage to the body.


How do the different internal units of Kidney function?

The kidney consists of tiny units internally called as nephrons which remove the wastes from the body. Each kidney generally consists of million nephrons. Glomerulus is a tiny blood vessel or even a capillary which entwines with tubule- minute tube collecting urine. Glomerulus performs the function of filtering unit and only sifts the extra fluid and wastes while retaining the normal protein cells. When the waste material is being sluiced out the body experiences complex chemical exchange process. When the waste materials reach the tubule, it also consists of important chemicals necessary for the body. These tubules in the kidney separate the important chemicals like potassium, phosphorus, sodium and return them back into the blood. Thus, kidney performs the function of regulating the level of body. Kidney also gives out three essential hormones:

  • Erythropoietin or EPO, which induces bone marrow for producing RBCs
  • Renin, for regulating blood pressure
  • Calcitriol is an active type of D vitamin and helps maintain necessary calcium for You do not have access to view this node and also maintains chemical balance in the body. These kidney functions are also called as renal function.


What are the causes of kidney diseases?

When the kidney diseases make an attack on the nephrons, they loose the ability to filter. Injury or poisoning can be the main reason for damage to kidney. Although nephrons get hurt quickly most kidney diseases destroy them slowly and the disease comes to the fore after years or even decades of disease infliction. Generally, the diseases attack both the kidneys at the same time. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and genetic history of kidney diseases are the main causes of kidney diseases.


What are the regular kidney diseases and conditions?

Some of the very common kidney diseases are nephrosis, polycystic kidney disease, lupus nephritis, rhabdomyolysis, diabetic nephropathy, renal tubular acidosis, and kidney stones etc. 40% people with diabetes are prone to suffer from kidney damage.

Dialysis and transplantation are the only solutions for complete kidney failure.


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