Why Kidney is an Important Organ?
The kidneys are pair of vital organs, located just below the rib cage (that is lower back in the body) one on each side of the spine. They have an unusual shape similar to beans. Human body has normally two kidneys that are the primary organs as no person can survive without them. Each kidney is approximately 4.5 inch in length and weighs around 4-6 ounces. Like any other organ in the body, kidneys are equally necessary to help the body system function well. Kidney has many important roles to play.
Both kidneys filter the blood regularly and generate urine, extract wastes and unproductive fluid. Kidney also generates a hormone that alarms the body when to produce more red blood cells. Kidneys pump around 400 gallons of recycled blood every day.
Each kidney has about a million of filtering units called nephrons. The nephrons include a filter called the glomerulus, and a tubule. These tiny filters purify blood in the body and eliminate waste materials that our body doesn't need. These two types of nephrons work together in a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it stops blood cells and large molecules (mostly proteins) from entering. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes. Then remaining fluid turns into urine.
Nephrons start declining by one percent each year, once a person crosses 40 years of age. However kidneys continue to work normally because the nephrons have a quality of expanding when they start falling.
Where is kidney located in the human body?
These kidneys are located against the back muscles in the upper abdominal area. The left kidney is located slightly higher than the right kidney due to the larger size of the liver on the right side of the body. Unlike the other abdominal organs, the kidneys lie behind the peritoneum that lines the abdominal cavity and are thus considered to be retroperitoneal organs
Do we need both the kidneys to sustain life?
Some people are born with only one kidney and some face trouble when their kidneys stop working due to an injury or disease. However it is a relieving fact that even half of one single kidney can perform the same job that is done by two kidneys collectively.
Even if kidney’s ability to work properly is reduced to minimum level, it can still sustain life. This happens because the nephrons are capable of enlarging. Our kidney has a unique quality of growing on its own to the size and weight that is equal to both kidneys. Normally people with one kidney have few or no health problems but when filtering capacity of the remaining kidney reduced to alarming state one needs regular medical treatment and dialysis.
Is Kidney Malfunctioning Dangerous for Life?
Approximately 10% of the global adult population suffers from some kind of kidney problem/damage. This becomes the prime reason of millions of premature deaths each year as Chronic Kidney disease (CAD) further increase the chances of cardiovascular (heart) diseases.
Whenever there is a problem in the kidney, our body does not give any warning signs or system until there is as much as 80% of total loss in function capacity. Malfunctioning kidneys can lead to the development of anemia. Studies reveal that most anemic patients usually suffer from some kind of kidney disease. When the kidney functions are completely lost, it is known as ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease).
Kidney disease can never be reversed. Its progression can only be slowed down. People suffering with ESRD can live longer with help of kidney transplant or dialysis.