The kidney is one of the most important organs in our body. It is typically a two-shaped organ, located at the rear of the abdominal cavity in the retroperitoneal space. The Kidney's are typically between 8-12 cm long.
What do your kidneys do for your body?
The Kidney performs several roles in your body. The essential functions are:
- Getting rid of the toxins in your blood: The kidney does this by filtering your blood through the glomerulus. The glomerulus is a network of capillaries located at the beginning of a nephron in the kidney. Your kidney filters your blood, all day long, 24-hours a day.
- Formation of blood: Another function of the kidney is that it produces erythropoietin (a variety of hormones) which is vital for your bones to make blood.
- Activation of Vitamin D: The Kidney also activates Vitamin D which controls the calcium level in your blood.
- Deposition of calcium: The Kidney regulates the deposition of the calcium in your bones.
How to keep your kidneys healthy
Like the majority of organs in our body, the kidneys are also susceptible to infections and tumors. Some of which include Nephrolithiasis (Kidney Stones), Pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney pelvis), Kidney Cancer and Diabetic nephropathy.
However, to keep your kidneys healthy and free from infections, you should do the following:
- Eat healthily: As much as you can, ensure that you only take diets that are balanced and low in sodium (salt). Furthermore, avoid eating high protein foods.
- Drink water regularly: We recommend that you drink at least 1.5 – 2.5L of water or more every day.
- Quit smoking: It is also important to stop smoking if you wish to keep your kidneys healthy. Smoking has been shown to cause significant damage to the kidneys.
- Be careful of the medications you take: Certain medications can damage your kidneys. For instance, long-term use of NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) is very harmful to your kidneys. NSAIDS are anti-inflammatory medications that include ibuprofen and naproxen which can affect the flow of blood to your kidneys. You should also be careful of other medications like chemotherapeutic agents and contrast dyes that are used for most radiologic tests.
- Control your blood sugar: If you have diabetes, it is also imperative to keep your blood sugar controlled. This is because the higher your blood sugar, the more damage will likely occur to your kidney.
- Control your blood pressure: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. Thus, we advise you always to ensure that you keep your blood pressure below 135/85mmHg.
- Visit your physician regularly: We encourage you to visit your physician on a regular basis and get blood testing at least every six months.
IN A NUTSHELL
All the things that we have discussed are important in keeping your kidneys healthy. So, make sure that you are drinking enough water, avoid cigarettes, and be careful of the medications that you take. Additionally, make it an obligation to visit your doctors on a regular basis and ask how your kidneys are doing.
At FKP, we are always available to help you in keeping your kidneys healthy. Visit us at our physical offices and also don't forget to check out our social media pages.