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Your Kidneys and You

It is the organ that inspired the name of a bean and the shape of countless swimming pools, the kidney. You are familiar with the shape, but do you know what the organ does for you?

Well first off you have two kidneys and they are located just below your ribs on either side of your spine. They are each about the size of your fist. Although they are small, about 0.5 percent your body weight, they are mighty and receive 20 to 25 percent of the blood pumped by the heart. The kidneys main purpose is to regulate the composition of blood, by:

  • keeping the concentrations of various ions (little bits of molecules) and other important substances constant
  • keeping the volume of water in your body constant
  • removing wastes from your body (urea, ammonia, drugs, toxic substances)
  • keeping the acid/base concentration of your blood constant

Essentially your kidneys filter out wastes and remove them from your body in the form of urine.

The kidneys also: help regulate your blood pressure, stimulate the making of red blood cells, and maintain your body's calcium levels.

About 1 in 10 Americans will experience a kidney stone in their lifetime. Drinking your recommended amount of daily water is one of the best ways to ward off kidney stones, as well as eating a diet low in salt and animal fat, as well as not exceeding the normal dietary amount of calcium.

Check out the FitSugar Calculator to find out how much water you should be drinking daily. Your kidneys will appreciate it greatly.

Join The Conversation
krisua krisua 10 years
And ANOTHER useful informtion! Thanks AGAIN!
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Another thing that can be helpful is drinking pure cranberry juice (not the sugary cocktail kind, the real stuff in the healthy food section of your grocery store). Most drugstores and grocery stores also sell cranberry capsuls, so it's concentrated. I try to drink some cranberry tea everyday.
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
yikes...i once had a UTI and didnt even know it (very minor one apparently). i took the antibiotics for it but now i have no health insurance. i better get it checked :(
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
Given how insanely painful a UTI is, I can't imagine leaving one untreated.
reeveske reeveske 10 years
ah yes im all too familar with my kidneys, ive had chronic kidney stones and UTI's and kidney tract infections my whole life. i was told by a doctor that it is more painful for women to have them, but more painful for men to pass them, which makes sense if you think about it. He also said that for women, it is supposed to be even MORE painful than childbirth. i dont know about that cause Im not a mom yet, but if that's true, then Im ready!! LoL he also told me that most ppl dont know is that untreated UTI's turn into kidney tract infections so taking care of it as soon as you relize you have one is important (trust me i learned that one the hard way).
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
omg what a coincidence! i woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in my side and the side of my back. i hadno idea what it was but someone suggested a kidney stone. it was awful and lasted for about 2-3 hours and the whole day i felt sore. anyway, im a huge water drinker and i realized i hadnt had much water for about two days. that might have done it. thanks for the info on kidneys!
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