I love you with all my Kidney!
Celebrating National Kidney month, this past Saturday I participated in the 4th annual East Tennessee Kidney Foundation Lucky Kidney Run. The Lucky Kidney Run, benefitting the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation (ETKF), was a fun and family-oriented fundraiser that focused on prevention, detection, and education of kidney disease, dialysis and the need for organ donation. In the 4th year, this run/walk proceeds will be used to help support low-income households who cannot afford to reach their life-dependent dialysis treatments. This is a local effort, as there are over 1500 dialysis patients in East Tennessee.
Kidneys- What are they & what do they do?
Kidneys are vital organs, just like your heart and lungs. The two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist are located just below the rib cage with one on each side. They keep the composition of your blood stable and without it your body will not function. Their primary role is to filter waste and extra water out of your blood. The waste and extra fluid exits your body thru your urine, engaging the bladder to use as a holding place and the urethra, which is the tube where the urine flows thru when leaving your body.
On a daily basis, the kidneys filter 120-150 quarts of blood (almost 30 gallons!) and sift out 1-2 quarts of extra water and waste products. The filtering of waste happens in tiny units inside the kidneys called nephrons. Each kidney has about a million nephrons. The nephron includes a filter, called glomerulus, and a tubule. Nephrons work in 2 steps- the first is the glomerulus lets fluid and waste produces pass through it; however it prevents blood cells and large molecules, most proteins from passing. Secondly the filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes waste.
- Helps control your blood pressure
- Makes hormones that help keep your bones strong
- Makes red blood cells
- Regulates the level of your electrolytes, including sodium, potassium and phosphates
Obviously, when the kidneys are not functioning properly, removing waste or regulating blood pressure your health will decline. If your kidneys have been permanently damaged, it’s called chronic kidney disease (CKD) or kidney disease. If the damage is severe enough and your kidneys stop working, this is called kidney failure. Kidney failure results in dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.
How do you keep your kidneys healthy?
- Manage your diabetes – high blood sugar slowly damages your kidney
- Eat a heart healthy diet
- Keep a healthy blood pressure
We care about your overall well-being and we encourage you to incorporate these kidney healthy tips into your daily routine. CPR Choice is also committed to offering you life-saving skills such as First Aid, CPR and AED training. Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life! Sign your family up today and be equipped with the skills to help save a life, possibly a loved one.