We human being have two kidneys and one on each side of the spine. They are located in the abdominal cavity, more specifically in the paravertebral gutter and lie in a retroperitoneal position at a slightly oblique angle. Right kidney is slightly lower than left kidney because of the liver on the top of kidney. The left kidney is approximately at the 12th rib and the right is slightly lower. Besides, the left kidney is typically slightly larger than the right.
Kidney is a bean-shaped rufous organ with weight between 125 and 170 grams. It is about 11 to 14cm in length, 6cm wide and 4cm thick. A kidney is normally composed of renal parenchyma and pelvis. Seeing from the longitudinal section of kidney, renal parenchyma is divided into two major structures: superficial is the renal cortex and deep is the renal medulla.
Renal cortex is composed of more than more million nepohrons which is made up of glomeruli, renal capsule and renal tubule that passes from the cortex deep into the medullary pyramids. Medulla is mainly composed of 10 to 20 renal pyramid which is usually surrounded by a portion of renal cortex called renal column. The major tissues of renal pyramid is a collection of renal tubules that drain into a single collecting duct.
Our kidney has a convex and concave surface which is called renal hilum. In normal cases, artery enters kidney at renal hilum and the renal vein and ureter leave. Beside the renal hilum, there are 2 to 3 major calyceses and each major calyces is composed of 2 to 3 minor calyxes. The tip, or papilla, of each pyramid empties urine into a minor calyx; minor calyces empty into major calyces, and major calyces empty into renal pelvis, which becomes the ureter.Back top
Our kidney is multifunctional and in our daily life, it serves us by:
1. Discharging wastes produced by our body
2. Keeping acid-base balance and electrolyte balance
3. Regulating blood pressure
4. Secreting hormone
5. Keeping water balance by regulating urine outputBack top
Kidney is so important in our daily life that we can not live without it. As one of the internal organs, kidney serves us in different way.
1. Kidneys help to discharge wastes
2. We produce wastes as long as we are alive. These wastes circulate with our blood and can reach any part of our body like heart, gastrointestinal tract, lung, liver, brain and so on. We can live normally with these wastes in a short time; however if we do not clear them away for a long time, our internal organs will be damaged seriously, which can push us into a very dangerous conditions. Therefore, renal excretion function is very important for a normal life.
3. Keep water balance, electrolyte balance and acid-basis balance
Keeping our body in balance is the key point for us to live healthily and during our daily life, our kidneys just play such a role. Kidneys regulate the water balance, electrolyte balance and acid-basis balance of the body by discharging excessive fluids and electrolytes.
4. Kidneys secrete hormone
Normal kidneys also make important chemical messengers called hormones which circulate in the bloodstream and regulate some body functions like blood pressure. Without these hormones, our body may live in an imbalanced and abnormal conditions. As we have mentioned above, keeping our body in balance is the key point for us to live healthily, so renal secretion function is essential for a normal life.
Importance of kidney is embodied in its function, so we should try every means to protect our kidney functions, so that we can live a high quality life. However, as many kidney diseases are not easily perceived, kidney diseases have developed to kidney failure once patients found there is something wrong with their kidney. In this light, regular kidney examination will be necessary.Back top
Kidney works as a filter and is responsible for discharging wastes and reserving nutrition in our body. A high pressure region within the glomerulus allows small molecules such as water, glucose,electrolytes and urea to pass on through the kidney while large molecules like hemoglobin and other proteins remain in the blood stream. The filtered material passes on to the renal tubule in which about 99% of the filtrate is returned to the bloodstream. The remaining fluid and substances are finally excreted out through ureter and we call it urine.
During the whole process, glomerulus works as a filter and renal tubule works by reabsorbing 99% of substances that leaked from glomeruli. With the combined efforts of glomerulus and renal tubule, wastes can be discharged effectively and meanwhile nutrition is kept in our body.Back top
Since kidney problem is not curable in many cases, we need to protect our kidney in advanced so as to avoid being affected by kidney problem. As for the protection of kidney, the following tips are helpful:
1. Reduce the stress on our kidney
2. High stress on our kidney makes us at a higher risk of developing kidney problem. In our daily life, we can give our kidneys a bit of break by drinking lots of waters, keeping blood pressure in the target range, keeping blood sugar in the normal range, preventing kidney infection and kidney stone by taking steps.
3. Avoid known kidney toxins
Some medications are toxic to our kidney and if we take them regularly, our kidneys will be in a dangerous conditions. Common medications that can cause kidney damages include painkillers that contain ibuprofen, naproxen or aceteaminophen. Besides, some antibiotics and chemotherapy also can cause kidney damages directly.
4. Kicking bad living habits
A healthy living habit is very essential for our health, especially for kidney disease patient's health. Therefore, if you have developed bad living habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, please kick them as quickly as possible.