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Kidneys… You probably know that there are two of them, that they have a funny bean-shape, that they filter your blood, and that you can survive with just one. And you’re right. But there’s more to it.
The kidneys are located below the ribs and behind the belly, and its size is usually compared to the size of a fist. Here’s how they work:
When the blood arrives at the kidney through the renal arteries, a series of different processes start to take place. Besides filtering the blood and removing toxins, the kidneys are also responsible for controlling the body’s fluid balance and levels of electrolytes, reabsorb sodium, water, glucose, amino acids, and glucose, convert vitamin D into calcitriol and synthesize other proteins.
The blood then leaves the kidneys into the renal veins, while the waste gets turned into urine and leaves the kidney through a different exit – the ureter, that will proceed to carry it to the bladder.
Now that you are aware of the importance of the kidneys for body function, it’s also important to know what can cause damage to your kidneys and what you can do to prevent that.