It is the major organ of Excretory system, also called Renal system in our body. The nature has provided a pair of two Bean shaped Kidneys which are situated in abdomen area at left and right side just below Rib cage. The left Kidney is seen at higher level than right Kidney. However, the difference in their level is very small.
Functions of Kidney:
The main function of Kidney is to remove the waste and excess fluid from body through Glomular Filteration process and maintain the balance of water and other minerals including many salts like Sodium, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron etc. in blood vascular system.
Kidneys filter about 100 – 150 litres of blood daily out of which, about 2% (2 – 3 ltres) is converted into Urine, composed of waste materials and extra fluids.
The kidneys serve as a natural filter to perform homostatic functions in blood stream where, it regulates and maintains balance of acid-base level, pH value and electrolytes in blood. They also excrete excessive organic compounds like urea and other Nitrogenous waste products of matabolic processes in urine.
Kidney also produces Renin, Calcitrol and Erythropoietin Hormones for different physiological functions like RAAS (Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System) which is responsible for regulation of Blood pressure, Renal blood flow and Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), regulation of Hyperthyroidism and regulation of production of RBCs in Bone marrow respectively.
The blood supply in Kidney occurs through Renal Arteries and Renal Veins.
The useful filterate of Kidney is recirculated in body and waste fluid (about 2%) is sent to Ureter and then, into Bladder for urination.
Diseases of Kidney:
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): This infection usually occurs in lower Urinary system including Uretor, Urinary Bladder, Urethra etc, causing inflammation & pain.
Glomerulo Nephritis: The Glomerulus is a bundle of blood capillaries, called Tuft which is located at the beginning of a nephron. The Nephron is the functional unit of Kidney like Neuron in nervous system. The Nephron or, Renal tubule, containing Tuft of blood capillaries forms a capsule type shape and also known as Bowman’s capsule. The inflamation in these nephrons is called Glomerulo Nephritis.
Kidney Stones: The stones in Kidney are also known as Renal calculi, nephrolithiasis or, urolithiasis depending upon the source of stone formation from crystal creation or, urinary bladder. These stones are hard deposits of many minerals & salts in Kidney. The main reason of formation of Kidney stones is wrong food diet, excessive body weight, certain harmful medications etc.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): This is a Kidney disease which occurs due to formation of any cyst. It may be a genetic disorder also. Sometimes, the size of Kidney is enlarged and cyst(s) is (are) formed which may later cause Kidney damage also.
The PKD may be of two types viz: Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) and Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). Both are developed due to abnormal parental genes or, sometimes, it may also be developed spontaneously after undesired genetic mutation without having any parental history of this disease.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): If the functions of Kidney are deteriorating slowely & other parameters like Creatinin, GFR etc are disturbed (being beyond normal range) and if this condition prolongs for more than 3 months, then, such condition is called CKD. It has been observed that Diabetes and regular high blood pressure are mainly two reasons for CKD. As we know, high sugar level in blood and high b.p both damage many other organs of body e.g: Kidney, Blood vessels, Nerves, Eyes etc in long run. It is seen that about two-third cases of CKD, reported, are from patients, having Hyperglycemia & Hypertension.
Tips about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD):
- Approximately, around 800 per million population in India is affected by CKD and aound 150-200 per million population of India is facing End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) means when Kidney almost stops working.
- The progression of CKD can be prevented or, delayed provided it is detected at early stage by following regular diet, medicines etc.
- The Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and Heart related problem are major cause of CKD and vice-versa as well.
- Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimation of CKD.
- Continual presence of Protein in the urine (Protinuria) is also responsible for CKD.
Few blood tests are required to be done to rule out the possibility of CKD eig: Serum Creatinine, Total Protein, GFR, Sugar level (Fasting & HbA1C) & Blood pressure.
How to keep Kidney healthy:
Healthy diet, Regular exercise, Stress reducing activities, Enough water intake, maintaining normal Sugar level & Blood pressure, No Junk food, fried stuffs, No smoking, No Tobacco, No Alcohal etc are ways to keep Kidney healthy.
Dialysis: (Please go to following link for more details)
It is a minimal invasive procedure, meant to virtually perform filtering functions of Kidney. The blood is purified by filtered with the help of a machine which maintains the fluid-electrolyte balance in body. The dialysis is in use since 1940 to treat CKD.
National Kidney Foundation Guidelines recommend that the Dialysis should be started immediately when either, Kidney function drop is lesser than 15% or, severe symptoms like Shortness of Breath, Nausea, Vomiting, Fatigue, Muscular cramps are felt.