The kidneys are a special filter system for our body. Most people have two kidneys, one on either side of the spine under the lower ribs. They are reddish brown in color and shaped like kidney beans. The main job of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood and return the cleaned blood back to the body. The kidneys are as important to our well being as our lungs and heart. The early detection of kidney disease can be life saving. The following are things you should know about your kidney.
1. One of the main functions of the kidney is the removal from the body of waste products in the form of urine.
2. The kidney also helps to keep blood pressure under control and keep the right amount of fluid in the body. They also help to make red blood cells as well as vitamin D.
3. The average adult kidney is about 10-13cm long and weigh between 125-170grams in male and 115-155 grams in female. It is just about the size of your fist.
4. The normal range of urine excreted daily is 0.8–2 liters with a normal fluid intake of about 2 liters per day.
5. Everyday our kidneys filter about 90liters of blood through their 225kilometers of tubes
6. Our total blood supply is filtered by the kidneys about once every five minutes.
7. You can live with one kidney only. Just for the records, some people are born with just one kidney.
8. Common causes of kidney diseases are diabetes and hypertension. In addition, being Black, Asian or Hispanic and also having a family history of diabetes, hypertension and other
kidney diseases are risk factors. Another risk factor is being over 60 years.
9. Some over the counter drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can damage the kidneys.
10. In the early stages of kidney disease, most people do not have symptoms.
11. The common symptoms of kidney disease are puffy eyes, hands and feet usually called oedema, shortage of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, thirst, weight loss, yellowish–brown tint to the skin as well as a persistently itchy skin.
12. To support our kidneys, we need to stay hydrated and that means drinking a healthy amount of water which helps to rid the body of toxin and harmful bacteria. A good sign that you need water is dark yellow urine or headaches and fatigue.
13. The best ways to protect your kidney is to eat healthy meals get regular exercise, avoid smoking, avoid or reduce alcohol intake, loss weight if needed and keep blood sugar, blood pressure and
cholesterol under control.
14. A simple blood test to estimate your GFR (Glomerular filtration rate) is the best way to tell how well your kidneys are working.
15. Another simple urine test is called ARC (Albumin to Creatinine ratio) having protein in the urine is a sign of kidney disease.
16. Kidney or renal failure can occur as a result of impairment of kidney function caused by diseases, toxins or other causes.
17. The accumulation of urea and other nitrogenous waste in the blood (Uraemia) is one of the earliest signs of kidney failure.
18. Kidney failure may require treatment by dialysis or kidney transplant.
19. The first successful human kidney transplant was performed in 1954 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
20. Based on a world Health Organization activity data analyzed from 2008, it is shown that of the 100, 800 solid organ transplants performed every year around the world, kidney transplants account for 69,400.