Your Kidneys and You: 5 Kidney Function Roles

Kidneys are essential workers that contribute to our body’s overall health. These tiny powerhouses work around the clock to keep us going. When your kidneys stop working, this can become troubling for your body. 

Here are 5 ways your kidneys work for you:

Removal of Waste

The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and act as the body’s own personal filtration system. 1-2 quarts of toxins and extra fluid are eliminated each day from the body in the form of urine. 

Production of Red Blood Cells

The kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin which signals the bone marrow to make red blood cells. These then carry oxygen from the lungs throughout the rest of the body’s internal organ system. 

Regulate Blood Pressure

Kidneys produce a hormone called renin which assists in controlling blood pressure by causing the blood vessels to constrict. Kidneys can send a signal asking for higher blood pressure if it seems too low or vice versa.

Produce Vitamin D

Our bodies naturally attain vitamin D from the sun’s UV rays and nutrition absorption. Kidneys convert it into an active form to be properly used in the body.

Control pH Levels 

The kidneys maintain a healthy balance of chemicals that control the acid levels in your body. As cells break down they create acids. What you eat can also alter the acid levels in your body. Kidneys work to remove and adjust the correct amounts of acid to keep a happy equilibrium. 

Chronic Kidney Disease and Early Detection

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the gradual loss of kidney function over a period of time. The millions of nephrons that make up the kidneys stop functioning with CKD. The fewer the nephrons, the less ability the body has to filter out wastes. The loss of kidney function can cause a buildup of fluid and electrolytes in the body. At KidneySPA, it is our goal to educate people about early kidney disease detection so they can make healthy choices to prevent it.

Family medical history plays a role when it comes to our health so it’s important to familiarize yourself with it to prepare. A few genetic conditions can make you susceptible to developing CKD later in life. Causes of kidney disease can include: 

  • Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Recurring kidney infection

  • Glomerulonephritis

  • Interstitial nephritis

  • Vesicoureteral 

CKD is a chronic condition but you can delay the progression. Early detection and intervention are crucial. This is possible by monitoring for symptoms such as: 

  • Feeling tired and having less energy 

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Dry and itchy skin

  • Feeling the need to urinate more often

  • Spotting blood in your urine

  • Urine is foamy

  • Swelling of feet and ankles

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Muscle cramping 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with your doctor about your family history and early testing. Early treatments can slow the progression of CKD and ensure a healthy future.