Most people are born with two kidneys.
Each one is about the size of an adult fist. They are located on either side of the spine, just below the rib cage. While they are relatively small, the role they play in maintaining your body’s health is crucial.
Essentially, your kidneys perform the complex functions that keep the rest of your body in balance. When you eat your body takes what it needs from the food and the waste is sent into the blood. Your kidneys filter the blood, removing waste and excess water which become urine. If waste is not removed, it builds up in the blood and damages your body.
Your kidneys also:
- Release hormones that help regulate blood pressure
- Control the production of red blood cells
- Help manage the amount of certain nutrients in the body, such as calcium and potassium
- Make vitamins that control growth
- Remove drugs and toxins from the body
- Keep your bones healthy
Your Kidneys Are Related To Blood Pressure & Diabetes.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the United States. Because a cure for diabetic kidney disease has not yet been found, treatment involves controlling the disorder and slowing its progression to kidney failure. Research suggests that control of high blood pressure is a key factor in slowing this disease. Careful control of blood sugar levels and reduction of dietary protein intake are also important.
High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the United States and one of the most common problems that can seriously harm the kidneys. Severe high blood pressure causes kidney malfunction over a relatively short period of time; however, even mild forms of hypertension can damage kidneys over several years.