The Kidneys (Human Anatomy): Function, Diseases, Medical Tests & Treatments

Your kidneys are two organs tucked towards the back of your abdominal region, and each of your kidneys is around 4-5 inches long, and it would fit perfectly in your fist.

Your kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood. All the blood present within the body has to travel through the kidneys many times during the day. The kidneys remove all wastes from the body, they regulate the balance of electrolytes and they regulate and control the balance of fluids within the body. Since they are responsible for filtering the blood, they also generate urine, which accumulates into a funnel shaped structure present in the kidneys, called the kidney’s pelvis. From the kidney’s pelvis, the urine travels down tubes known as ureters and eventually enters the bladder.

Both the kidneys contain over a million units termed nephrons, which are basically microscopic filters that filter the blood. Research reveals that even if the kidneys lose 90% of their normal functioning ability, the human body doesn’t experience any ailments or symptoms.

Kidney Conditions

1. Acute renal failure

Also known as kidney failure, this disease is diagnosed when the kidney functions get suddenly disrupted. This can be caused by kidney damage, dehydration, or a blockage in the urine flow.

2. Chronic renal failure

This kidney ailment is mostly caused by hypertension and diabetes. It refers to the permanent loss of several key kidney functions.

3. Diabetic nephropathy

In certain cases of diabetes, high blood sugar levels cause immense damage to the kidneys, and it eventually leads to a chronic kidney disease. It can also lead to the presence of protein in the urine, which is medically termed as nephrotic syndrome.

4. End stage renal disease (ESRD)

ESRD refers to complete lack of kidney function, and it is often caused by the progressive chronic kidney disease. ESRD patients required regular dialysis session in order to stay alive.


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