Your kidneys are important to you. Protect them.
What are your kidneys?
You have two kidneys that are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located near the center of your back, just below the rib cage.
They are vital organs that perform many different functions to keep your blood clean and chemically balanced. These are important life-sustaining functions that the kidneys control. Understanding how your kidneys work can help keep them healthy and functioning normally.
What do your kidneys do?
The kidneys filter out wastes and extra water from the blood to form urine. Urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through the ureters. They cleanse your blood by removing waste and excess fluids, maintain the correct balance of salt and minerals in your blood, and help regulate blood pressure.
The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine, which flows to your bladder through tubes called ureters. Your bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom (urinate)..
What Is Kidney Disease?
When the kidneys become damaged, waste products and fluid can build up in the body, causing a swelling in your hands and feet, shortness of breath, problems with urination. If left untreated, diseased kidneys may eventually stop functioning completely. Loss of kidney function is a serious and potentially fatal condition.
Each bean-shaped kidney is about 4 to 5 inches long and contains about a million nephrons, which are like tiny pouches. Each nephron has a filter at one end, called a glomerulus, to filter your blood. Your overall kidney function can be measured by how quickly blood is filtered through these glomeruli. This measurement is called the glomerular filtration rate.
Testing Kidney Function
The most widely used screening tool for the evaluation of kidney function is the creatinine blood test. Also BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and the BUN/creatinine ratio. These are standard tests included in the Healics health risk assessment.
Why do kidneys go bad?
A diet that is high in refined carbohydrates or other simple sugars, and is deficient in healthy fats, may not be providing your kidneys with the raw materials they need to function best.
The kidneys function best when they excrete about two quarts of water a day. Two quarts equals 8 glasses, and this is one reason for drinking 8 glasses of water, not sugared or alcoholic drinks, per day.
Medications may hurt kidney function. An over the counter drug anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen, can damage the kidneys. Some people’s kidneys cannot handle the side effects of ibuprofen.
How do you protect them?
A healthy diet is important. Nutrition ideas are also covered in another category on our website and includes general healthy eating tips.
You can consider these supplements: carnitine, curcumin, coenzyme Q10, and taurine. You can find them in many health food stores.
These vitamins are a big help: Vitamins B6 and B12 plus folic acid and TMG
Some studies say that vitamin C helps protect your kidneys. The government’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for “C” is 75 mg for woman and 90 mg for men per day. Abundant data suggests that far greater doses are needed to support optional health. One expert recommends up to 1,000 mg a day with meals.
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