Kidneys (Anatomy): Function, Conditions, Treatments
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located in the lower abdomen, one on each side of the spine. They are responsible for filtering blood and removing waste products, including excess water, salt, and toxins. The kidneys also help to regulate blood pressure and produce hormones that control red blood cell production and vitamin D activation.
Some common kidney conditions include:
- Kidney stones: Hard deposits that form in the kidneys and can cause pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Kidney failure: A chronic condition in which the kidneys are unable to filter blood properly.
- Kidney infections: Bacterial infections that can cause fever, pain, and burning urination.
- Kidney cysts: Fluid-filled sacs that form on or inside the kidneys.
Treatment for kidney conditions depends on the specific condition and its severity. Some common treatments include:
- Medications: Antibiotics can be used to treat kidney infections, while pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to reduce pain and inflammation caused by kidney stones.
- Dialysis: A procedure that filters blood when the kidneys are unable to do so.
- Kidney transplant: A surgery to replace a damaged kidney with a healthy kidney from a donor.
There are a number of things you can do to help keep your kidneys healthy, including:
- Eat a healthy diet: Avoid processed foods and foods high in salt and sugar. Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of kidney disease.
- Control your blood pressure and blood sugar: High blood pressure and diabetes are two leading causes of kidney disease.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated helps the kidneys to function properly.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking can damage the kidneys and increase the risk of kidney disease.