The Normal Kidney
The kidneys are extremely important organs for the daily workings of the body.
Most people have 2 bean shaped kidneys located either side of the spine below the rib cage.
Some people are born with one kidney or lose a kidney through illness or accident. The body can manage very well with one kidney.
If neither kidney is functioning death will occur quickly.
What do the kidneys do?
- Act as a filtration unit clearing waste products from the body produced during the body’s metabolism.
- Regulate body fluids and salt levels regardless of the environment a person is living in.
- Clear medications/drugs from the body.
- Regulate the body’s salt, potassium and acid content.
- Release hormones which help to control blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.
- Activate vitamin D, produced in the skin, and produce Erythropoietin (EPO) a hormone that promotes the formation of red blood cells by the bone marrow.
How do the kidneys work?
The kidneys, Ureters and bladder are part of the Urinary system.
The nephron is the functional unit of filtration and collection in the kidney.
Each kidney has over a million nephrons/ filtering units.
Each nephron includes a tiny filter called a glomerulus attached to a tubule.