How Is Your Kidney Doing?

healthOne may have a strong stomach and one’s heart may be in the right place, but the question of the health of one’s kidneys is very important.

The fact is chronic kidney disease continues to plague millions of people around the world.

It’s important therefore for one to ask his or her medical health care practitioner about risk factors for kidney disease as well as getting tested to find out about one’s kidney health.

The kidneys aren’t very large—each is just the size of a computer mouse—but they’re hard-working.

They filter all the blood in your body every 30 minutes, removing wastes, toxins, and excess fluid.

In addition, they help control blood pressure, stimulate production of red blood cells, keep the bones healthy, and regulate blood chemicals that are essential to life.

Each kidney is made up of millions of tiny filters called nephrons.

Over time, nephrons can become damaged by diabetes, high blood pressure, or other causes and stop working, a condition called chronic kidney disease[1.08 MB], or CKD.

Healthy nephrons can make up the difference for a while, but if not treated, CKD usually gets worse. CKD can lead to kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or stage 5 CKD.

A person with ESRD will need regular dialysis (a treatment that filters the blood) or a kidney transplant to survive.

Readers Bureau

Edited by Jesus Chan

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