What are the kidneys
The kidneys are two organs that are found just below the rib cage on either side of the spine they are shaped like a bean and is the size of a clenched fist.
When the kidneys are healthy they usually filter about a half cup of blood per minute, and their functions are to remove waste and extra water to make urine. The urine then flows to the bladder via two tubes made up of muscles which known as the ureters, these tubes are located on the sides of the bladder
The importance of healthy kidneys.
Healthy functional kidneys remove extra fluid and waste from the body. They also maintain a good balance of minerals, like sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus in the blood
Without the function of maintaining a healthy balance in the blood the nerves muscles and other tissues in your body would not work normally
The kidneys also produce hormones that help to
- Control blood pressure
- Make red blood cells
- Keep bones strong and healthy
How do the kidneys work
Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus
Each of your kidneys is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons.=(each of the functional units in the kidney, consisting of a glomerulus and its associated tubule, through which the glomerular filtrate passes before emerging as urine.) Each nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus,=( a cluster of very thin blood vessels around the end of a kidney tubule, where waste products are filtered from the blood.)and a
tubule. The nephrons work through a process that requires two movements: the glomerulus filters the blood, and the tubule returns the important substances to your blood and removes wastes.
How glomerulus filters the blood
As blood flows into each nephron, it enters the glomerulus. The walls of the glomerulus are very thin which allows very small pieces of waste and mostly water to pass into the tubule. Larger Pieces, such as much much-needed proteins and blood cells, stay in the blood vessel.
The separation of waste
A blood vessel runs beside the tubule and reabsorbs most of the water, nutrients, and minerals that the body needs excess acids are removed from the blood and the remaining fluid and waste in the tubule become urine.
How does blood flow through my kidneys?
Renal Artery is a large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the kidneys. The Renal Artery then branches into smaller blood vessels until the blood reaches the nephrons. In the nephron, your blood is filtered by the glomeruli =( a cluster of capillaries around the end of a kidney tubule), the waste product is then removed from the blood and then comes off the kidneys through the renal vein.
In a day about 150 quarts of blood is filtered through the kidneys most of what is filtered returns to your blood by the tubules only about 1-2 quarts are passed from your body as urine The process of the circulating and filtering of the blood through the kidneys occurs many times in a day.
What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?
There are five stages of kidney disease, however, the early stage of the disease may not be detected as there is usually no symptoms until it’s almost too late.
The test to detect kidney disease in its early stages is called glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
There are many causes of kidney disease but the two main causes are high blood pressure and diabetes.
These two diseases are responsible for up to two-thirds of kidney disease cases. So if either of these is present it would be wise to get a GFR test done.
Diabetes is caused when the blood sugar is too high this then damages
To the kidneys, heart, blood vessels, nerves and the eyes.
High blood pressure is a disease that occurs when the pressure of the blood against the walls of the blood vessel increases. Uncontrolled Blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack, strokes and kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged and the ability to function properly is decreased, waste can then build up to high levels in the blood and may cause some symptoms like.
- Anemia (low blood count)
- Weak bones
- Poor nutritional health
- Nerve damage
- High blood pressure.
Kidney disease not detected early cause the disease to progress which may eventually lead to chronic kidney failure and at this time dialysis or a kidney transplant is required to stay alive.
It is said that over 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease and millions of others are at risk, Early detection is the key to preventing the o kidney disease from progressing.
The major cause of death of patients with CDK is heart disease
The best estimate of kidney function is the Glomerular filtration (GFR)
Uncontrolled Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension
A persistent presence of protein in the urine means CKD is present.
Those who have the disease diabetes, high blood pressure or family history of kidney failure are considered high risk
People who are considered to be of high risk are African Americans, American Indians, Seniors Hispanics and Pacific Islanders.
Testing the urine for albumin and serum creatinine also checking the blood pressure are two simple test that can be done to detect CKD
What causes CKD?
Other conditions that affect the kidneys are:
A group of disease that causes Inflammation and causes damage to the kidneys filtering units these diseases are called Glomerulonephritis. This is the third most common type of kidney disease.
Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder which causes large cyst to form in the kidneys and damage the tissues. These cysts are nonfunctioning they range from microscopic to enormous they cause damage to the normal tubules causing them to become useless.
An abnormality that occurs as a baby develops in the mother’s womb, this maybe a narrowing in the tubes preventing normal outflow of urine and this causes the urine to back up in the kidney the kidneys will then become infected and this action causes damage to the kidneys.
Diseases that affect the immune system example Lupus
Anything that causes obstruction like Kidney Stones, tumors or enlarge prostate gland that can develop in men
Repeated urinary infections.
What are the symptoms of CKD?
There is hardly any severe symptoms until the disease is in the late stage of damage:
- Having less energy
- Having trouble concentrating
- Not having an appetite
- Having trouble falling asleep
- Muscle cramping at night
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Puffiness around the eyes, especially in the morning
- Itchy skin and dry skin
- Frequent passing of urine especially at night.
Anyone can get chronic kidney disease and at any age. Some people are considered more at risk than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:
- have diabetes
- have high blood pressure
- have a family history of kidney failure
- are older
- belong to an ethnic group of the population that has a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians
Here is a video on chronic kidney disease hope you find it informative
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