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The Kidneys in brief.

Your kidneys are two of the most important organs in the body. While you can't feel them, their malfunctioning could mean very serious health problems. Here's a brief look at them:

Picture of 2 golden yellow kidneys

What are the Kidneys?

Normally these are two organs found in the upper part of the back and on both sides.

They are very important. Among some of their key jobs in your body are:

?They clear the blood of waste.

?They help to maintain your blood pressure.

Its one of the jobs of the kidneys to help maintain fluid balance and hydration in the body.


Interesting Facts about Your Kidneys

Did you know that before we were born, the kidneys developed from tissues lying in the front of the abdomen and then travelled to their final location in the back?

One kidney - the Right one - is lower than the Left kidney. This is because of the liver which is also on the right side.

When kidney pain happens it’s usually in the back  - that area between the lower rib cage and hips - on either side.

The most common causes of kidney pain are Urinary Tract Infection and Kidney stones.


Your Kidneys and Hydration

One of the ways you can tell you are well hydrated is the appearance of your urine.

Light yellow, clear urine usually indicates you are taking plenty of fluids. 

Dark and concentrated urine indicates otherwise. 

When you sweat a lot you are losing fluid and if you don’t drink more you could get dehydrated.

Love your kidneys and keep them healthy.


Commonest Causes for Kidney Injury

Loss of Fluids

Losing a significant amount of fluid from your body can severely impact the function of your kidneys.

Kidney injury could happen after massive bleeding from any reason - this leads to 'hypovolemic shock'. Going into shock without prompt treatment can lead to death.

But very often kidney injury happens due to other body fluid losses. Illnesses where vomiting or diarrhoea feature can easily lead to dehydration.

It's really important - especially for people who are very young and very old to ensure thay when they suffer fluid loss like this, they do not get dehydrated.

Drugs

Several drugs are toxic to the kidney. This may be due to their action. Some drugs are diuretics.

A diuretic is also known as a 'water-tablet'. It works in a way to increase the amount of water your kidneys push out of the body. It therefore regulates blood pressure and we use diuretics to treat high blood pressure or heart failure.

If the dose of your diuretic is too high, too much fluid is lost causing kidney injury.

Other drugs used for treating High Blood Pressure, Cancer and some antibiotics may cause kidney injury.

Products used for skin toning ('bleaching') and some herbal supplements may contain very harmful chemicals that can damage the kidneys when used over prolonged periods of time.

There are several other possible causes - kidney infections that are not properly treated, blockage to the urinary tubes, diseases that begin in the kidney and so on.


Conclusion

Be good to your kidneys! Seek advice for illness, be especially careful with your drugs - creams or tablets.

Practice healthy living - diet, exercise, rest, hydration and your kidneys will lobe you right back!

What's been your experience with kidney problems?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Editing by AskAwayHealth Team

Disclaimer

All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly through info@askawayhealth.org

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