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Functions of the Kidney
Functions of the Kidney
The main function of the kidney is the maintenance of the interior composition of the body. Due to continued digestion and utilisation of food in the body, construction and destruction of the various body tissues, waste products are generated daily.
Excretion of waste products
If allowed to collect in the body, the function of the body is affected. These waste products are thrown out from the body by liver and intestines, lungs, skin and kidneys.
Kidneys excrete urea, creatinine and similar products in a concentrated form in urine. The amount of excretion closely balances the amount of production of these materials.
Water and salt balance
Kidneys maintain salt and water balance in the body. When healthy, a person may drink upto 10 liters of water or as low as ½ litre in a day. The kidneys increase and decrease urine appropriately to maintain the total body water.
About 1 litre of blood flows through kidney. Of this about 180 litres of water, some salts and small particle are filtered daily in the kidney. Of this 180 litres, only 1 to 2 litre is finally excreted as urine. The rest is absorbed back to the blood from urinary tubules. Thus kidneys can dilute or concentrate urine.
The body water in humans depends to a large extent on salt content of the body. In case of reduced intake of salt , kidneys limit salt wastage in urine and similarly if intake is high , kidneys try to excrete extra salt.
Kidneys also excrete phosphate, ammonia products, urates and various drugs ingested by humans.
Urine is acidic in nature as it has to carry the daily acids produced from metabolism and activities of daily living, exercise etc. by excreting acid the pH of the body tissue and blood is maintained in a narrow range.
Kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin or EPO in short. EPO stimulates bonemarrow to produces RBCs and hemoglobin. Lack of EPO production in the kidneys leads to anemia or decreased hemoglobin.
Vitamin D produced from the ultraviolet radiation from sun or ingested in food is inactive. The liver and kidneys transform this inactive form to active form. Lack of activation leads to various bone abnormalities, fractures, bone pains and muscle weakness.
For patients suffering from type II /adult onset diabetes :In type II diabetes, diagnosis is often late (after the disease has already been present for some time). In early days T2DM (short for the adult type of diabetes) are often without symptoms. Hence the delay in diagnosis. This means complications will be seen early after diagnosis. Foot Care :
Foot disease in diabetes may lead to difficulty in walking, pain and may lead to infections. If neglected amputation may be required.
Inspect feet with a mirror before going to sleep every night.
Use well fitting shoewear.
Do not walk bare feet even in the house.
Socks should be clean and correct size.
In case of deformities of feet, special shoes can be worn. Eye Care :
It is nowadays the commonest cause of blindness throughout the world. Continue Reading ~ Second Medical Opinion / Advice
Nephrotic Syndrome Kidneys receive approximately 1 liter of blood every minute. Of this, about 100 ml gets filtered in the kidney. This contains, small molecules and few large molecules. This is due to the intricate cellular structure that prevents proteins from getting filtered into the urinary space. A derangement of this filter results in passage of heavy amounts of proteins in urine. This condition is called HeavyProteinuria or Nephrotic syndrome or Nephrosis. Definition:
In the urine, the protein excretion is > 3.5 gm/day or in children, it is >50mg/kg of body weight. In most cases, the serum albumin is <3gm/dl (normal>4), and passage of lipids in the urine. The lipids in the blood increase and swelling of face and feet also occur. Causes of Nephrotic Syndrome:
In children, most cases are due to Minimal Change Disease, FSGS, MPGN etc. In adults, most cases are due to primary illness while upto 30% may be due to secondary illness. Clinical Features:
Apart from Edema, ther…
Asthma or Bronchial Asthma is a common disease. About 75 % cases start in childhood before 10 years of age. A large no of patients stop having symptoms at the time of puberty and some may again have the disease in the later years. It is uncommon after 50 years of age. It can be troublesome, disabling and if not treated properly may be dangerous.
The disease results from heightened reactivity of the airways in response to irritants, allergens, fumes and at times exercise. It is typically intermittent and a person feels well when there is no ongoing attack of asthma. Symptoms:
Symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, cough and whistling sounds during breathing. These symptoms may also be seen in a no of heart, lung or infective conditions. Hence the diagnosis is usually made by experienced doctors after a few episodes have occurred!
The important markers of the disease are rapid reversibility of the signs and symptoms with appropriate treatment or spontaneousl…