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Kidneys: What They Are, What They Are For, Pathologies And Treatments

What Are Kidneys?

The kidneys are two organs located in the posterior area of ​​the abdominal cavity. In people, every kidney is around 10.5-12 cm long, weighs about 160 grams, and has a specific shape, like that of a bean, of a dark red tone. The kidneys are organs that carry out a fundamental role for our body: they channel the blood by dispensing with squander substances through the pee and save the hydro-salt equilibrium in our body.

What Are The Kidneys For?

Meticulously describing the situation on the elements of these two organs, the kidneys :

  1. Dispense with squander, a few sorts of medications and substances brought into the body;
  2. They keep the body content of water, salts, acids, bicarbonates, and different substances in balance: they direct their disposal when in abundance or their maintenance in states of lack;
  3. They produce a few chemicals, for example, erythropoietin, which invigorates the development of red platelets by the bone marrow, and, for instance, renin and prostaglandins, which direct pulse;
  4. They produce the dynamic type of vitamin D, which is fundamental for the gastrointestinal retention of calcium and the calcification of the bones;
  5. They permit a few chemicals to complete their capability, like parathyroid chemical (PTH) created by the parathyroids, which are four minuscule organs situated close to the thyroid;
  6. They direct the pulse by keeping it at usual qualities by dispensing with an overabundance of salt and delivering different chemicals, like renin and prostaglandins.

How To Understand If The Kidneys Are Not Working Well?

Suppose the kidneys are unable to do their job correctly. In that case, it may happen that the elimination of waste products, substances that are useless or harmful to the body, does not take place completely, causing various imbalances such as:

  1. increased acidity of the blood, or acidosis, caused by impaired elimination of hydrogen ions;
  2. anemia, caused by impaired elimination of erythropoietin;
  3. increased phosphorus in the blood, bone changes, and changes in the walls of the arteries (vascular disease) caused by reduced elimination of phosphorus;
  4. high blood pressure and swelling (edema) caused by decreased excretion of sodium and water;
  5. decreased calcium absorption and bone changes caused by reduced elimination of vitamin D;
  6. hypertension and cardiovascular disease caused by impairment of the renin-angiotensin system;
  7. Inflammation, oxidative stress, vessel wall dysfunction, immunological alterations, and alterations of protein, fat, and sugar metabolism are caused by reduced elimination of toxins.

To ensure that the kidneys work properly for as long as possible, it is essential to have a healthy lifestyle since childhood: a correct diet low in salt in order not to promote hypertension and regular exercise to keep obesity and metabolic diseases. In addition, it is essential not to exaggerate with alcohol because excess alcohol is a risk factor for chronic renal failure that few people think about but is harmful.

Kidneys: Signs Of Suffering And Conditions Of Risk

The kidneys do their job silently, without giving any signal, even when not fully functional.

Suffice it to say that over 850 million people worldwide, of which more than two million alone, suffer from kidney disease. The chronic forms represent the sixth cause of death, with about 2.4 million victims yearly. Chronic kidney disease affects around 10% of the general population (up to 40% of the elderly) and is one of the leading causes of death in Italy: about 2.2 million people are estimated to be affected, but 60% of these do not know they have it. In comparison, 40% of patients arrive too late to the nephrologist.

Loss of kidney function is usually relatively slow. This allows the body to adapt to the reduced efficiency of the kidney without suffering excessively. For this reason, the patient often does not realize that they have kidney disease until it is in a very advanced stage. Unfortunately, when this function deficit exceeds a safety threshold, it is too late, and one must undergo dialysis or a transplant. The main risk conditions to be monitored are:

  1. Aging (over 65 years)
  2. Hypertension
  3. Diabetes
  4. Prolonged use of drugs without medical supervision
  5. Severe hypercholesterolemia
  6. Major obesity
  7. Sedentary life
  8. Kidney stones
  9. Recurring urinary infections
  10. Urinary tract obstructions
  11. Previous kidney disease
  12. Current immunological diseases
  13. Presence of kidney disease in family members

How Can We Take Care Of The Kidneys?

The kidneys continuously purify the body and regulate the composition of body fluids. They are complex organs that work silently but very effectively. Therefore, their well-being is an indispensable prerequisite for life and for the correct functioning of all body cells. The kidneys also have the task of modulating blood pressure values ​​​​and secreting hormones such as erythropoietin, responsible for the maturation of red blood cells, or vitamin D, essential for bone metabolism.

The kidneys don’t stop working, even at the limits of their abilities: 95% of their functionality can be lost without feeling disturbed. For this reason, kidney disease is often defined as silent: these organs send out signals when it is no longer possible to intervene except with dialysis or transplantation. Specifically, to ensure that the kidneys work properly for as long as possible, it is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle from childhood, namely:

  1. hydrate regularly;
  2. Follow a varied and balanced diet;
  3. Reduce the consumption of salt, which can promote hypertension;
  4. not smoking;
  5. Perform regular physical activity to avoid obesity and metabolic diseases;
  6. blood pressure monitors;
  7. Please do not overdo it with alcohol because excess alcohol is a risk factor for chronic renal failure that few think about.

Finally, it is essential to carry out regular checks to recognize early diseases that can affect the kidneys to be able to intervene in time and stop their progression with specific therapies.

How Should The Categories Most At Risk Of Developing Kidney Disease Behave?

Hypertensive, diabetics, and the elderly over 65 are the three categories most at risk of developing kidney damage. As well as accurately following the treatments recommended to control pulse and glucose, these individuals should look at renal capability at something like one time each year. Doing a pee test to gauge the amount of protein and egg whites is adequate. 

Assuming the kidney strainer no longer functions admirably, the lattices “enlarge,” and substances, for example, proteins, show up in the pee that is typically held. To this test is added a blood test with the dose of creatininemia. Creatinine is a byproduct of solid movement and should be sifted and ousted in the pee; nonetheless, it is estimated in both body liquids (blood and pee) since it is an immediate mark of the filtration limit of the kidneys.

What Are The Most Common Kidney Diseases?

In different kidney diseases, the functions of the kidneys are more or less impaired.

These diseases are numerous, and among these, the best-known and most widespread are:

  1. renal failure, which is divided into acute and chronic forms;
  2. glomerulonephritis 
  3. the nephrotic syndrome
  4. diabetic nephropathy
  5. the polycystic kidney
  6. kidney cancer


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