The kidneys are one of the most important organs in your body. Although they are most known for making urine, your kidneys do a lot to keep you healthy.
Here are just some of the things your kidneys do to help your body:
Get Rid of Waste
The main job of the kidneys is to filter the blood and remove waste products. Your whole body’s blood supply goes through your kidneys about 40 times per day.
Healthy kidneys send toxins and waste products to the bladder. The urine then removes them from the body. If your kidneys are not working well, these toxins can build up and harm you.
Your kidneys help make sure your body has the right amount of fluid. We sometimes refer to this fluid as water. When your body has too much fluid, the kidneys make more urine. If you are dehydrated, the kidneys will hold more water in your body.
Some people with kidney disease need to limit fluid. Ask your doctor how much water is right for you.
The kidneys help control the amounts of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals in our bodies. Sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium levels are all managed by the kidneys.
Each time you get a blood test, your doctors check these electrolytes (and more) to make sure they are in balance.
pH is a measurement of how much acid is in your body. Your body works best at just the right pH level. Along with your lungs, your kidneys help control how much acid is in your body. High acid levels in the body can put your bones at risk. They can also hurt your kidneys.
The kidneys help your body make important hormones. For example, they help produce vitamin D, which is important for bone health. Kidneys also make a hormone called erythropoietin, which is needed to make red blood cells. If you do not have enough healthy red blood cells, your body cannot get the right amount of oxygen to your body’s tissues. This is called anemia and can lead to symptoms like feeling tired, trouble focusing, pale skin, weakness, dizziness, heart palpitations, and cold hands and feet.
Taking care of your kidneys can help them work for years to come. Questions about managing your kidneys? Schedule a call with a Livongo expert coach today.