DR. ASHOK SARIN is Specialist in Kidney Diseases, Dialysis and Transplantation, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi
Post MD : Trained at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
There are two kidneys situated on either side in the abdomen. Function of the kidneys :-
1) Excretion of nitrogenous waste products from the body.
2) Maintenance of Hb (Hemoglobin) level.
3) Maintenance of strength of bones by keeping the blood Calcium levels normal
What functions do healthy kidneys perform?
• They balance the body's water content.
• They remove waste products from the blood. Waste products come from body cells and foods that are eaten.
• They help keep body chemicals in balance.
The kidneys work hard to remove extra waste and fluid from your body.
Think of the kidneys as filters. Blood passes through the kidneys and is cleaned. Each day, the kidneys produce about 190 liters of fluid and reabsorb all but one to two liter, which come out as urine. How does this work?
1. First, the renal arteries supply blood to the kidneys.
2. Then, inside the kidneys, millions of filters called glomeruli filter the blood to form urine. Tubules attached to these filters save some things the body needs.
3. The excess waste products and extra fluid that the body does not need are removed.
4. The clean blood returns to the body through the renal veins.
5. The waste and extra fluid (urine) is carried from the kidneys to the bladder by tubes called ureters.
6. The bladder holds the urine until it is passed from the body.
Kidneys also help keep your body chemicals in balance.
Specifically, the kidneys produce different hormones and chemicals that:
1. Prompt the bone marrow to make red blood cells. Red blood cells help oxygen get carried through your body. Without enough red blood cells, you may develop anemia, which will cause you to feel weak, cold, and tired.
2. Help the body use vitamin D. Vitamin D keeps your bones strong and healthy.
3. Keep your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure is a very serious condition. It can lead to stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.
As you can see, it is important to keep your kidneys working well for as long as possible.