Kidneys are one of the most important organs found in the body of a human being. A normal human being has a pair of Kidneys that are strategically located in the abdominal cavity just along the Posterior muscular wall. This bean-shaped organ is found at the very end of a person’s rib cage just slightly behind the vertebral column. The location of your kidneys plays a part in how they carry out their functions hence their movement can result in health problems.
Because of the large size of your liver, the left kidney is somehow ranked highly as compared to the left kidney. Kidneys are termed as retroperitoneal organs since they are located behind peritoneum unlike the other abdominal organs such as your stomach. Kidneys are mainly protected from any external damage by back muscles and ribs that encloses them. For additional protection, there is a layer of tissues known as Adipose tissue, which surrounds both kidneys thus improving their safety.
The size of one’s kidney will depend on the size of their body. Once a person is aging or experiences a decrease in their mass then the size of their kidneys will reduce. You can measure the size of your kidney sonographically in a medical center or by using MRI and CT scans. A well-trained doctor who has the proper knowledge of controlling the machines used in estimating kidney size does this. A normal adult human kidney is supposed to measure between 10 to 13 centimeters although the left kidney is usually slightly longer than the left kidney.
Kidneys are bean-shaped organs that contains two sides i.e. the convex side and concave side. The convex side of your kidney is situated sideways whereas the concave side is found towards the middle. The concave side contains blood vessels that supply blood to and from the kidney. These blood vessels include the renal artery that is responsible for carrying oxygenated blood into the kidney and the renal vein that carries blood away from the kidneys.
Kidneys contain a soft inner tissue that needs protection in order for them to remain effective. This inner tissue is protected by a Renal Capsule that surrounds every kidney thus forming an outer shell.
A kidney has many parts that work together hence making it easier for them to carry out their function effectively. These parts include:
The most important part of a human kidney is the nephron. A single kidney contains more than one million nephrons that are responsible for taking in blood, process nutrients through metabolism and finally assist in getting rid of waste products from the blood.
- Renal Cortex
This is the outermost part of the kidney that is made up of convoluted and glomerulus tubules. With an outer covering (Renal Capsule) that covers the renal cortex, this part is tasked with the responsibility of protecting inner components found in your kidney.
- Renal Corpuscle
Renal Corpuscle also known as Malpighian body is the kidney part that receives blood from the nephrons. This part is made up of two components i.e. Glomerulus and Bowman’s capsule. The glomerulus serves the purpose of absorbing protein from blood as it passes through the Renal Corpuscle. On the other hand, the woman’s capsule is the route used by Capsular urine to access the renal tubules. Capsular urine is the fluid that remains once protein has been absorbed into blood by the glomerulus.
- Renal Tubules
Renal tubules are a set of tubes that start from the Bowman’s capsule with the target location being the collecting ducts. Each tubule is divided into three parts i.e. Proximal Convoluted Tubule, Loop of Henle and Distal Convoluted Tubule. Proximal Convoluted Tubule serves the function of absorbing glucose, sodium and water into the blood while the Loop of Henle reabsorbs potassium, sodium and chloride The Distal Convoluted Tubule takes in acids and sodium while at the same time absorbing additional sodium into the blood.
Functions of a Kidney
The kidneys perform quite a number of functions in your body and that is why they are regarded as one of the most essential organs. Some of the important functions performed by the kidneys include:
- Maintaining the overall body fluid balance
- Regulating the amount of minerals found in blood.
- Regulating the pH levels of blood
- Maintaining salt balance
- Regulation of blood pressure levels
- Removing nitrogenous waste products from the body
Kidneys may also be subjected to medical problems that may limit how they operate. Some of these medical conditions can go undetected while others start showing symptoms as soon as they are acquired. Regardless of the type of medical condition, one needs to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some of the medical conditions that may affect the kidneys include:
- Kidney failure
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Kidney Stones
- Kidney Cysts
- Urinary Tract Infections
Symptoms of Kidney Diseases
With kidney diseases come a number of signs and symptoms that indicate their presence. Some of the common symptoms witnessed by patients with Kidney problems include:
- Pain in the chest
- Pain in the side and back
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of the feet, ankle and sometimes the tongue
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary if you wish to avoid kidney diseases. This can be done by exercising on a regular basis, as it will increase the rate at which your kidneys will carry out their function. You can also decide to use natural remedies that prevent the development of kidney diseases. This may include a high intake of fluids such as water, lemon juice, and watermelon juice.
Kidneys are vital organs that help in the filtration of blood hence removing any waste product that may be present in your body. A human being can operate with one kidney since it can effectively carry out all the functions performed by the two kidneys. In case both kidneys fail to work, a person can undergo a kidney transplant by looking for a donor.