Kidneys are bean-shaped internal organs, about the size of a fist, that are located below the rib cage, near the middle of the back, on both the left and right side of the body. One main function of kidneys is to remove waste and extra water from the blood, which forms urine.
There are many reasons to love your kidneys because they have many important functions including the following:
- Regulate fluid balance, by reacting to changes in the body’s water level throughout the day and adjusting accordingly
- Help regulate blood pressure. If blood pressure drops too low, the kidneys increase the pressure
- Prevent anemia by producing a hormone that makes red blood cells
- Filter over 200 liters of blood a day, most of which are returned to the bloodstream. The rest are removed from the body as urine
- Produce active vitamin D, which helps maintain calcium to keep bones strong
- Remove toxins from your blood
- Remove medications from your blood
- Regulate electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium
- Regulate acid levels from food intake to maintain balance
- Produce a hormone called rennin, which is involved with blood pressure
Chronic kidney disease occurs when both kidneys fail. Learn about kidney disease causes, warning signs and treatment options by reading this article.