The kidneys are perhaps some of the most important organs in the body. Just like your body could not function without a beating heart, your kidneys are essential to your entire body. They do so much in your body that you may not even be aware of, and some of those functions are absolutely necessary for your entire body to function properly.
There are three main jobs that your kidneys are responsible for, that make them essential for a healthy functioning body. These are waste removal, hormone production, and fluid regulation. These three jobs are absolutely essential, and your body would not be able to function properly, or even at all, without them.
Your kidneys act much like filters for the entire body. Anything that is floating through your bloodstream, be it excess minerals, fluid, or food byproducts, are filtered through the kidneys. Anything that does not belong in your body or is not needed is discarded.
A good example of how this works is what happens when you eat asparagus. After you eat the asparagus, the food is broken down in your stomach and the byproducts of the food are let into your bloodstream. Any excess vitamins or other byproducts, including the very smelly “asparagusic acid”, are filtered by the kidneys and expelled through the urine. You see, or rather smell, the proof of this in your urine after eating the vegetable.
This function of the kidneys is the main reason why there are many dietary restrictions for kidney disease patients. When the body is unable to filter out excess waste properly, dangerous build up can occur. Certain things, like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium, can cause life threatening problems if they build up too much.
It is a little known fact that kidneys are responsible for the production of hormones. Hormones are basically the chemical messengers of your body, that tell different parts of your body what needs to be made or done to live and function. The hormones that the kidneys make are responsible for aiding in the production of red blood cells, regulating blood pressure, and even signaling the intestines to make calcium. All of these hormones, of course, are quite vital to the healthy functioning of your body.
One of the main jobs of the kidneys is also to regulate fluid. The kidneys both filter out and keep in fluid when it is necessary for the body. It is important that the kidneys are able to do this job properly because too much retained water can be very dangerous. In fact, water retention can cause swelling to the point of edema, high blood pressure, dizziness, and much worse.
Just based on these three very important jobs, you can see that the kidneys are absolutely essential to the well-being and healthy functioning of the body. It is of the utmost importance to keep your kidneys healthy, and follow your doctor’s orders if anything should go wrong. If you have any stage of renal disease, it is so important for you to pay careful attention to physician’s instructions, your diet, and overall health to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
For more answers about eating right with kidney disease click here.
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