How do kidneys work?
As you may already know, kidneys are the two bean-shaped organs responsible for filtering your blood and releasing any toxins and extra water in the form of urine.
But how exactly do they work?
A body is composed of an estimated 8 liters of blood which are filtered through the kidneys 20 – 25 times each day. This means that on average, the kidneys may filter up to 180 liters of blood on a daily basis and at any given moment, the kidneys may hold over 20% of the body’s total blood volume!
The blood enters the kidneys through the large renal arteries and it makes its way to the nephrons where most of the work happens. The nephrons are responsible for filtering the blood, reabsorbing nutrients and secreting waste and water your body doesn’t need.
Here’s an overview of the kidneys and their functions:
Why are the kidneys important?
During the day, we ingest different food and drinks that contain a variety of ingredients that may or may not be beneficial for our body. The kidneys take on the vital role of sorting through them and retaining the nutrients we need and discarding the rest (mostly toxins, wastes and excess fluids).
What if I have Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes affects the way body processes glucose. Often times, the excess glucose may be excreted in the urine. A urine test with elevated glucose levels could be a red flag on your overall health.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you may develop diabetic nephropathy which is when your kidneys’ cells and blood vessels are damaged and can no longer filter out the waste in your blood. If this happens, the waste may build up in your blood and may lead to kidney failure.
How can I keep my kidneys healthy?
You can prevent kidney complications by maintaining your glucose and blood pressure levels under control. Additionally, have your healthcare provider test your blood and urine every year to make sure your kidneys are working well.
Kidneys play an integral role in keeping our bodies functioning; therefore, taking care of them by eating healthy, exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water should be a priority.
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