Avoid Kidney Failure or Kidney Transplant: Important Information about your Kidney.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on each side of the spine just below the rib cage. Each is about the size of a fist. Their main function is to filter and remove waste, minerals, and fluids from the blood by producing urine.
Kidney is important in homeostasis. The kidney makes urine by taking waste products and other unwanted substances out of your blood. Substances are filtered out of the blood as it passes through the kidneys. Important substances like glucose, some ions and the right amount of water are reabsorbed back into the blood. The substances that are removed from the body in urine includes: Urea, Ions and water.
Proteins and the amino acids that they are broken down into cannot be stored by the body, therefore, any excess amino acids are converted into fats and carbohydrates which can be stored in the in the liver. Ammonia is produced as a waste product as a result of the process. Ammonia is toxic so it’s converted to urea in the liver, urea is then transported to the kidneys where it is filtered out of the blood and excreted from the body in urine.
Ions such as sodium are taken into the body as food and then absorbed into the blood. If the ion or water content of the body is wrong, it could upset the balance between ions and water. Meaning too much or too little water is drawn into the cells. Having the wrong amount of water can damage the cells or means that they don’t work as well as normal. Some ions are lost in sweat this is not regulated, so the right balance of ions in the body must be maintained by the kidneys. The right number of ions is reabsorbed into the blood after filtration and the rest is removed from the body as urine.
The body must constantly balance the water coming in against the water going out. We lose water when from the skin in sweat and from the lungs when breathing out. Because we cannot control how much we lose during this in this process, the water amount is balance by the amount we consume, and the amount removed by the kidneys in urine.
Kidney Failure and Kidney Transplant
Kidneys remove waste substances from the blood and if the kidneys don’t work properly, waste substances build up in the blood and you lose your ability to control the levels of ions and water in your body and this eventually results in death.
People with kidney failure can be kept alive by having dialysis treatment where machines do the work of the kidney or they can have a kidney transplant. Dialysis must be done regularly to keep the concentrations of dissolved substances in the blood at normal level and to remove waste substances.
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly.
When your kidneys lose this filtering ability, harmful levels of fluid and waste accumulate in your body, which can raise your blood pressure and result in kidney failure (end-stage kidney disease). End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys have lost about 90% of their ability to function normally.
Common causes of end-stage kidney disease include:
- Chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Chronic glomerulonephritis — an inflammation and eventual scarring of the tiny filters within your kidneys (glomeruli)
- Polycystic kidney disease
People with end-stage renal disease need to have waste removed from their bloodstream via a machine (dialysis) or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
It is important to have a routine health check to know how your kidney is functioning ask your doctor to know your blood results of Urea, Creatinine, Alt, AST, eGFR and Sodium.