Hundreds of thousands of Americans are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease every year. While there are many common risk factors, such as diabetes, family history, and poor lifestyle habits, the larger problem is that most Americans lack a basic understanding of the kidneys’ functions. Understanding what normal kidney function entails is one of the best ways to plan prevention strategies.
At Durham Nephrology, kidneys and kidneys’ functions is our specialty. We are here to help you as you journey through figuring out the health of your kidneys. To fully understand your situation, it can be helpful first to learn what that area of the body is in charge of. We are here to teach you all about that with firsthand experience and resources.
What Your Kidneys Do
The kidneys’ functions start to serve by filtering blood, removing waste products, and excreting them through urine. This helps to regulate the body’s electrolyte balance, including sodium and potassium, among others.
As the body detects certain levels of electrolytes or blood concentration, it can stimulate the production of red blood cells, in addition to helping regulate blood pressure in the body. The receptors on kidneys help to provide auto-feedback to the body to help maintain optimal levels of blood health. They are essential to keeping normal body processes moving successfully.
Where Are They Located?
The body has two kidneys that are located just below the ribs on both sides of the body, running toward the back. Like all organs, the kidneys are made up of millions of cells organized into filtering units called nephrons.
These nephrons are a complex filtering system that responds to the detection of high or low levels of certain chemicals in the bloodstream. This stimulates the production or removal of these or other chemicals that are needed for the body. The vast majority of the fluid that runs through the kidneys is returned to the body, with only a small amount being excreted daily. Knowing where they make it easier to understand your kidneys’ functions.
Factors That Impact Kidney Health
Kidney health is usually relatively easy to maintain with a healthy diet and proper fluid consumption to maintain the kidneys’ functions. However, if conditions such as diabetes or hypertension are present, the kidneys will be under added stress that may cause kidney disease. The risk is even greater when a family history of kidney disease is present.
Fortunately, many kidney diseases can be successfully treated if they are detected early on. Working with a nephrologist will help ensure you take all the necessary steps to allow your kidneys to function properly in their role of filtering the blood and removing waste, promoting overall blood and fluid health in your body. That is why one of the most important parts of meeting with a nephrologist is being honest about your health and family history. There are often important things to note that doctors hear once running through that information with you.
About Durham Nephrology
Durham Nephrology cares for people with kidney diseases and high blood pressure. With locations in Durham and Oxford, the team of physicians, nurses, and staff have been devoted to the welfare of patients for more than 30 years to stop or slow illness progression to improve and sustain kidney health and your kidneys’ functions. We are here to help you in any way we can to find the treatment methods that best match your way of life.
Have you been struggling with CKD? It may be time to reach out to our team to get ahead of any further damage to the kidneys and kidneys’ functions. There has never been an easier way to get ahold of us: call (919) 477-3005 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.