Category Archives: Kidneys
As you probably know, the body is composed of 70% water. It’s one of the reasons why we can’t last more than a few days without water, but we can last for weeks without food. You can imagine. Therefore, hydration is key to a healthy body, including a healthy urinary system. But, what exactly does water do for our urinary system, and how do we know we’re getting enough of it? First, water is critically important for every cell and structure in the body. Water makes everything work better, from bones and cartilage to tendons and muscles. Dehydration affects the brain and body at almost every level.
The kidneys, located in the mid-upper abdomen (around the back) are our bodies’ main filtration system, eliminating excess waste products, salt and water. Beyond this filtration, the kidneys also play a role in blood pressure and red blood cell regulation. The kidneys create urine, which is pass through the ureters, to the bladder and then eventually out of the body. As such, the kidneys are an incredibly important part of our overall function. Kidney diseases that require the removal of a kidney are not a death sentence, however. Our bodies can function normally on one kidney and even those who do not have working kidneys can survive with an external filtration process, known as dialysis. Although kidney cancer is one of the top 10 most common cancers in the United States, the number of new cases diagnosed each year (about 65,000) is less than 1/3 the number of breast cancer, prostate cancer, or lung cancer diagnoses. Much like other cancers, early detection is critical for treatment and survivability. However, even advanced forms of kidney cancer are being treated more effectively than ever before.
Your urinary system acts as the janitorial crew for your blood. After your body has taken the nutrients that it needs from what you consume and converts it into energy, your kidneys filter out the rest as waste and send it through the urinary system to be expelled as urine. Without your urinary system your body would become saturated with waste and toxins that can cause fatal results if left untreated. Luckily, there are things you can incorporate into your daily life to keep your urinary system happy!
The kidneys are an amazing filtration system and play a crucial role in our overall health. Similarly, keeping ourselves healthy also ensures that our kidneys work properly. When the kidneys do not work as they should, they can cause pain and discomfort. However, diagnosing kidney pain is not something that can be done simply by assessing the location of the pain. There are other organs and structures that can trigger pain receptors in that area. Before we get a little deeper into kidney pain, we must discuss exactly where the kidneys are located. Many people are surprised to know how high up they are. If you drop your arms to your side, your kidneys are somewhere at the level of your elbows, or slightly higher. This may help you understand that many cases of back pain simply do not originate in the kidneys.
It can be concerning to experience pain ‘down there’. Many questions of what could be causing the pain and discomfort run circles in your mind. Your first move might be calling your primary care doctor and declaring you have a UTI. Stop right there – the symptoms of UTIs and kidney stones can be similar, but treatment is very different. In this article, we will be discussing the similarities and differences between the two and when you should go see a doctor.
We each have two kidneys, located by midway up the back. And while the kidneys can certainly take a beating, it is important to keep them healthy. In fact, it is estimated that upwards of a third of Americans may be at risk for kidney disease. You could consider the kidneys as the water purifier of our bodies. We rely on our kidneys to filter out the bad stuff we consume and expel it as urine. Making sure that this bad stuff is removed from our bodies quickly and efficiently allows us to get through our days in better health and at our highest physical capacity.