For a car to drive seamlessly, it needs all its vital components to work to perfection: the engine, steering column, and braking system, to name a few. If one of those components were to fail, it could be disastrous for the driver and passengers. The same can be said for your body and its organs. One of the most important organs is the kidneys. Although it is popularly referred to as the filters, the kidneys are much more than that.
Filters Out Waste
Their primary function that everyone knows is that the kidneys act like our body’s filters. Once you have eaten or drank, the food and liquid get broken down in your body. Those elements that are not used to repair your body or for energy get pushed to your blood. This is where your kidneys step in, acting as a bouncer deciding who will stay and who will go.
The lucky substances that will stay like all the vitamins, hormones, and glucose get the green light to continue their journey through the bloodstream. The excess fluids and waste get the boot out of your body. Only 2 cups of urine can be produced by your kidneys every 9-10 hours.
For your body to function normally, it needs hormones, and the kidneys secrete a number of these. Your blood pressure is controlled by one such hormone, renin. When your blood pressure is low, your body sends a mayday to your kidneys, which secrete renin to increase your blood pressure. The bone marrow produces red blood cells due to the hormone erythropoietin the kidneys secrete.
The vitamin D you swallow down your body is not what gives your strong bones and productive muscle function. It is seen as an inactive form of vitamin D until it goes through your kidneys, and they activate it by slightly altering the vitamin D.
Maintaining pH Levels
Your pH is made out of water and salt. The salt is a combination of potassium and sodium. Your kidneys maintain your pH levels by using what you drink. If you drink too little during the day or what you drink does not contain enough water, your kidneys will react by excreting a more concentrated urine. On the flip side, if you drink too much water, your urine will be more diluted.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is when your kidneys are failing. They are failing in many or all their functions. This can cause high blood pressure, weak bones and muscles, low red blood cell count, and much more. There is currently no cure and no way to repair damaged kidneys. However, there are treatments available like dialysis and kidney transplantation, and you must follow a special CKD diet.
The CKD diet is high in fish, seeds, beans, nuts, poultry, veggies, low-fat dairy products, fruit, and whole grain. It is low in red meat, fats, sweets, sugar and sodium. Luckily, you can function normally with only 1 kidney. Many people are on donor lists and waiting to help others live by donating their other kidney.