The kidneys are two fist-sized organs located around the lower back. They are responsible for producing more than urine and are essential to the overall health of the body. Let’s take a look at the fighting power of the kidneys.
How the Kidneys Fight for your Health
The kidneys’ job is to remove the possible harmful waste from your blood by breaking it down and filtering it. The food we need for energy and self-repair goes back into the body to use it. Toxins, drugs, and other wastes are removed through the urine. If not removed, it would build up to harmful levels that could damage the body.
Each kidney contains around one million nephrons. These are tiny blood vessels that intertwine with urine collecting tubes called a tubule. This is where the waste materials leave the blood and enter the urinary system to be removed from the body. Kidneys also regulate the body’s level of various substances; the right balance is necessary for life, such as:
- Sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus
- Release of hormones that assist in the following functions:
- Control your blood pressure
- It helps to keep your bones healthy
- Stimulate the bone marrow to make red blood cells
What Happens with Kidney Disease?
If you have adequate renal (kidney) function, your kidneys are free of disease and are working correctly. Even with one healthy kidney, you can live a normal life. If there is kidney disease present, it can take months or years to decline to a point where symptoms may be noticed. That’s because kidney disease happens slowly, and most people aren’t aware until its later stages. Symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry and itchy skin
- Increased or decreased urination
- blood in urine
- foamy urine
- puffiness around the eyes
- foot or ankle swelling
- reduced appetite
- muscle cramps
When caught early, a doctor will monitor your kidneys’ function to keep them working as long as possible. Specific treatments are available that help your body adjust to slowing kidney function. March is National Kidney Month, and there is no better time to prioritize your kidney health. Get involved with one of the many events this month, or help advance how we detect, treat, and prevent kidney disease in the future.
As a clinical research volunteer, you play a role in bettering the care of those with kidney disease. To learn more about upcoming kidney disease studies here at Endeavor Clinical Trials, call (210) 949-0807, or visit our website.