Know more about CKD

Disease Education

Introduction to your kidneys

What are kidneys???

Hello there !! We are kidneys! We are two bean-shaped organs that reside against the back muscles in your upper abdominal cavity. We sit opposite each other on either side of the spine. I, the right kidney sit a little bit lower than my partner, left to accommodate the liver.

So what do we do??? Think of us as a coffee filter. When you make coffee, the filter keeps the coffee grains inside, but allows water to pass through. We do something similar. We keep the things you need inside your body, but filter out things you don’t need.

Each of us has about 1.5 million filters called nephrons. Nephrons remove wastes and extra fluid from your blood in the form of urine. The urine flows through two tubes, called ureters, to the bladder.The urine is stored there until you go to the bathroom.

Did You Know

Kidneys are no bigger than a standard computer mouse or a cell phone.

When it comes to components of the urinary system, we are multi-functional powerhouses of activity. Our core actions include:

Waste removal:

There are many things your body doesn’t want inside of it. We filter out toxins, excess salts, and urea, a nitrogen-based waste created by cell activities and is transported through the blood to us for removal.

Water level balancing:

We react to changes in the body’s water level throughout the day. As water intake decreases, we adjust accordingly and leave water in the body instead of helping excrete it.

Blood pressure regulation:

We need constant pressure to filter the blood. When it drops too low, we increase the pressure. One way is by producing a blood vessel-constricting protein (angiotensin) that also signals the body to retain sodium and water. Both the constriction and retention help restore normal blood pressure.

Red blood cell regulation:

When we don’t get enough oxygen, we send out a distress call in the form of erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to produce more oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

Acid regulation:

As cells metabolize, they produce acids. Foods you eat can either increase the acid in your body or neutralize it. If the body is to function properly, it needs to keep a healthy balance of these chemicals. We do that, too!