The kidneys are a pair of bean – shaped organs on either side of the spine, below the ribs, and behind the abdomen. The left kidney is located around the T12 to L3 vertebrae, while the right kidney is slightly lower due to partial displacement by the liver. The upper parts of the kidneys are partially protected by the 11th and 12th ribs. Each kidney weighs about 125 to 175 grams in men and 115-155 grams in women. They are about 11 to 14 cm long, 6 cm wide and 4 cm thick.
Function of the Kidneys
The function of the kidneys is purification the blood. Healthy kidneys filter about half a cup of blood every minute and convert water and waste products into urine. Urine enters the bladder through each of the two narrow tubes called the ureter from each kidney. The bladder is a place to store urine. Blood enters the kidneys, waste products are removed, and salt, water, and minerals are adjusted as needed. Then the purified blood returns to the body and urine collects in the renal pelvis, which is a funnel – shaped structure. And it drains into the bladder through a tube called the ureter.
Each kidney has about one million small filters called nephrons. Nephrons contain a tubular network called the glomerulus, which is responsible for purifying the blood. The thin wall of the glomeruli allows water and small molecules such as sodium to pass through it, and large molecules such as proteins and Blood cells remain.
Taking Care Of Kidneys
No smoking. Smoking can affect the medications used to treat high blood pressure, which is a major cause of kidney disease. Smoking also slows blood flow to important organs such as the kidneys and worsens kidney disease.
Abstain from too much alcoholic drink The kidneys purify the blood of harmful substances, one of which is alcohol. So Alcohol affects the kidney cells that do the filtering work. Also, the function of other parts of the kidneys, which is the regulation of body water, is affected by alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption causes dehydration and this affects the normal functioning of cells and organs, especially the kidneys.
Limit salt intake in food Sodium – rich diets increase blood pressure. High blood pressure damages the kidneys over time and is a major cause of renal failure.
Do not forget to pay attention to the label of ready and semi-prepared foods and amount calories, fat and other substances especially sodium and potassium.
Therefore labels can help you see which foods are best for your diet.
Control your weight
Obese people are more likely to develop diabetes or high blood pressure, which are the leading causes of kidney disease and renal failure. So, control your weight.
Drink enough water
Drinking enough water and maintaining body fluid balance can be an important factor in preventing some diseases such as kidney stones or urinary tract infections.
Have a healthy diet
Consumption of foods from different groups, especially fruits and vegetables is useful. And of course, eat foods low in fat and sugar.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease
- High blood pressure.
- Change in the amount and frequency of urination.
- Changes in the color and appearance of urine and especially blood in the urine.
- Swelling in the legs, around the ankles, or around the eyes, and also pain in the kidneys.
- Fatigue, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, Headache.
- Poor concentration.
- Shortness of breath.
- nausea and vomiting, Bad breath, and a metallic taste in the mouth.
- Muscle cramps, Tingling in the fingers or toes.
Regarding diseases of the urinary tract, especially kidney diseases such as kidney stones, infections, and renal failure, will be explained in detail in the following posts.