Humans usually have 2 kidneys, but can sometimes survive on just one. The main purpose of the kidneys is to regulate blood concentration of waste, electrolytes, water, sugar, and acidity. They also play a directed role in the regulation of blood pressure. Wastes like urate, lactate, creatinine, medications, and excessive hormones are released from the body’s blood system and excreted by first being filtered through the kidneys. Excessive electrolytes, like sodium, phosphate, magnesium, and calcium, are excreted from the body by passing through the kidneys. If the kidneys are inadequate in their secretion of sodium, for instance, this may cause vasoconstriction and high blood pressure throughout the body.
The kidneys play a role in the production of blood sugar when the body is in a starvation state. If a person is starving and their kidneys do not function properly, they may have low blood sugar.
The kidneys are essential in the function of Vitamin D, of which is important in the digestion of calcium –to promote healthy bones. Damaged kidneys may have a direct affect on the absorption of necessary calcium into our system. Blood pH must be maintained at a strict level close to 7.41 within the arteries and 7.36 in the veins. A drop in blood pH below 7.0 (acidic) can cause dysfunction of the nervous system and result in coma or even death. Similar effects may occur, including death, when blood pH rises above 8.0 (basic). The primary mechanisms for regulating our blood’s acidity are through the kidneys and the lungs.
Breathing frequency produces a rapid change in blood pH, whereas kidney filtration takes a little longer to affect blood pH. For instance if you breathe rapidly for several seconds, your blood will increase slightly in pH (becoming more basic) and you may feel a little light headed. This is because you are releasing more PCO2 from your blood, exhaling it out through your lungs, and PCO2 helps maintain the acidity of your blood. (8D, 10)
30% of people with End Stage Renal Disease (Kidney disease) get it from type II Diabetes, which is directly affected by people who are obese or overweight. Diabetics who carefully regulate their blood sugar and blood pressure delay their progression to kidney failure; yet most will inevitably develop kidney disease and half will go on to end stage renal disease. High concentrations of sugar, as with Diabetes type II, break down kidney function. Dialysis and or kidney transplant may eventually be required for patients who have significant decreased blood filtering capabilities. (8C)
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