Today is world kidney day + I am a medical student + I do research in nephrology (kidneys) = only fitting that I write a post in celebration of this day (March 10, 2016). FYI kidneys are really important organs so make sure to show them some l♥ve, not just today, but everyday.
A FEW THINGS KIDNEYS DO
- Filter our blood. Kidneys absorb substances the body wants to keep (for example, glucose, salt, amino acids, water, bicarbonate) and excrete substances the body needs to get rid of in urine (urea, drugs, excess glucose, hydrogen atoms).
- Regulates our blood pressure. Kidneys can detect a drop in blood pressure or when a higher blood pressure is needed (flight or fight response), in response kidneys secrete the enzyme renin. Renin secretion leads to a blood pressure increase through blood vessel constriction, increased reabsorption of salt and water by the kidneys and increased thirst sensation.
- Increase red blood cells (RBC) in blood. Kidneys secrete the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) in a response to a drop in blood oxygenation. EPO stimulates the bone marrow to increase production of RBCs, as well as protects the cells from destruction.
- Activate vitamin D. Vitamin D is mainly synthesized by the skin (dependent on exposure to the sun); however, it is produce in an inactive form and has to be activated by the liver and kidney before it’s functional in the body. The second step of vitamin D activation occurs mainly in the kidney. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc.
I.e. your kidneys are IMPORTANT
A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD DOTO KEEP YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY
- Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink lots of water each day, but foods also contain water to. Cucumber, radish, celery, blueberries, watermelon, etc. are all foods with a high % water content.
- Try to avoid fatty foods!!!
- Quit smoking
- Try to reduce stress. Exercise and meditation can help with this!
I.e. being healthy in general helps to reduce your risk of kidney disease along with many other diseases!!!