Kidneys – Guardians of the Circulation
The kidneys are among the most important organs in the body whose millions of nephrons ensure the purification of the blood from harmful substances and also take care of the health of our bones.
The kidneys, with their ability to purify as much as 200 liters of blood per day, are quite amazing and extremely important organs, and it seems that kidney problems can bring down the whole empire.
If doctors who study the pathology of celebrities are to be believed, Napoleon III, nephew of the famous French emperor and his successor, lost the Franco-Prussian War due to the damage of kidney function caused by kidney stones! Pain affected his abilities and determined the course of history; after the defeat, he was dethroned and a republic was proclaimed in France. Even his uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte, according to retired Danish nephrologist Arne Soerensen, died at St. Helena due to kidney failure.
ONE IS ENOUGH!
Although we need every organ in our body, it is commonly known that the most important role of kidneys in the body is their ability to purify the blood from harmful substances, which are later discarded by urine. Even more fascinating is the fact that only half of one kidney could be sufficient to do the job of both organs; if we have only one kidney which is 75% functional, we can expect decent life quality!
Therefore, kidney donors can live as long and healthy as a person with both organs and have no higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease compared to others. The same applies to people who are born with only one kidney, and such babies are, at least in America where these data come from, one in a thousand.
CRAZY OR GENIUS?!
It is estimated that in developed countries 1 in 10 persons suffers from chronic kidney disease, and every year grows the list of people who need a new kidney. The statistics of the World Health Organization show that the kidneys are still the most needed organs for transplantation – namely, more than 60% of all transplants are related to the kidneys, and there is a global shortage of these organs. One of the most controversial solutions to this problem was offered a few years ago by American surgeons from the University of Maryland Baltimore.
Five patients received a kidney from which a tumor had previously been removed, and of these five tumors, three were malignant. 14 months after the procedure, one patient died from a non-related cause, and the others were doing fine. Surgeons suggest such transplants only in emergencies when there is “no other remedy”.
Returning to the role of the kidneys in the body, these two organs, each as large as a cell phone (about 13 cm long and weighing 120 to 140g), absorb and return to circulation 99.9% of blood volume and only 0.1% of filtered blood is converted to urine. In this way, a healthy person excretes one to two liters of urine a day.
D VITAMIN ACTIVATORS
Nephrons – more than a million basic building blocks of every kidney – are responsible for the purification of the blood to be possible. If it were possible to unravel and reconnect the tubes of all the nephrons, their total length would be 30 km. It is important to mention that once damaged nephrons cannot be restored.
In addition to filtering the blood, on the kidneys also lies the role of balancing the volume of fluid in the body (for example if we drink more we will urinate more and the other way around), active role in the formation of red blood cells, and last but not the least, their merit in activating vitamin D, protector of our bones. Simply put, vitamin D created by the skin due to the sun exposure could not be used in our body if there were no kidneys.
RECIPE FOR HEALTHY KIDNEYS:
To preserve the health of these vital organs, follow a few basic rules: watch your blood pressure and blood sugar, which are among the main causes of kidney disease, include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, reduce your intake of fried foods, salt, and eat less meat. Drink enough water and note that it will be more beneficial for the kidneys if you drink less several times a day than if you drink a large amount at once. Avoid smoking and alcohol, reduce your caffeine intake, and be physically active.
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