Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are located just below the rib cage. Kidneys are responsible for essential functions that keep our blood’s composition stable, allowing the body to function properly. In fact, each day your kidney filters 120 to 150 quarts of blood! Check out these Key Reasons to Take Care of Your Kidneys to learn other reasons kidney health is so important.
1. Kidneys Help Regulate Water
The body must contain the right amount of water for it to function correctly. The kidneys work to remove excess water or to retain water when the body needs more.
2. Kidneys Remove Waste
Not only do the kidneys remove waste – but they also keep substances found in the blood and bodily fluid at the correct level. This means they must remove excess minerals, like potassium and sodium, which are then excreted in the urine.
3. Kidneys Produce Important Hormones
When working properly, kidneys produce important hormones. These hormones regulate bodily functions like blood pressure, the uptake of calcium and the creation of red blood cells.
“Kidneys also create a hormone that guides bone marrow to make blood, so an unhealthy kidney can cause anemia,” informed Dr. Abha Saxena, nephrologist at UnityPoint Clinic - Diabetes and Kidney Center in Cedar Rapids.
4. Because Kidney Stones are NO Fun
Kidney stones develop when chemicals form crystals in the urine. These crystals can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. While small stones can be passed with little discomfort, larger stones can lead to severe pain.
5. To Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) happens when there is damage causing decreased kidney functions for a period of three months or longer. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), estimates 10 percent of adults in the United States will develop CKD. CKD can be inherited or acquired, often being caused by diabetes and high blood pressure.
6. To Prevent Kidney Failure and Possible Death
Stage 5 of kidney disease is also known as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). When this occurs, the kidneys do not function correctly, causing waste and excess fluids to accumulate. In order to maintain life at this stage, a kidney transplant or dialysis is needed.
“Advanced kidney disease causes major burden on life with decrease in overall well being and need for replacement therapy including dialysis,” said Dr. Saxena. “After a kidney replacement, patients are required to take medications for the rest of their life that make them immunocompromised and prone to infection and cancers, which can lead additional health problems.”
7. Because in 2014, Kidney Cancer took 13,860 U.S. Lives in 2014
Another scary complication that can come from unhealthy kidneys is kidney cancer. The most common form of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which occurs when a tumor grows within a kidney. Smoking, obesity and genetics all play a role in one's risk of developing kidney cancer.
Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy
Kidney health is essential to keep the body functioning, which is why it is important to take the necessary steps to keep this organ healthy. This is especially important for those who are at risk for kidney disease.
There are a number of simple ways you can support kidney healthy to help prevent ERSD, kidney stones and other complications that come from unhealthy kidneys. These include:
Limit alcohol intake.
Keep your blood pressure at a target set by your doctor.
Decrease your consumption of salt (aim for 2,300 milligrams each day).
Take steps to quit smoking.
For those with diabetes, control your glucose level
See a kidney doctor (called a nephrologist), which has shown to improve kidney function and delay kidney failure.
Be more physically active.
At Miami Kidney group our goal is to maintain your kidneys healthy. In the
United States the most common cause of renal disease is from having many
years of diabetes and or hypertension. It is imperative to have good control
of the diabetes and hypertension to help slow down the progression of your
renal disease. We work together with your primary care doctor to help
achieve better control of these factors. Monitoring the blood pressure and
the blood sugar levels at home is the first step for better health.