We don’t often stop to think about it, but our kidneys play an important role in keeping our bodies functioning properly. Here are the 5 top jobs healthy kidneys perform:
Removing wastes and extra fluid
Your kidneys act like a filter to remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. Your kidneys filter about 200 quarts of blood each day to make about 1 to 2 quarts of urine. The urine contains wastes and extra fluid. This prevents buildup of wastes and fluid to keep your body healthy.
Controlling blood pressure
Your kidneys need pressure to work properly. Kidneys can ask for higher pressure if it seems too low, or try to lower pressure if it seems too high by controlling fluid levels and making the hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict.
Making red blood cells
Your kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin tells bone marrow to make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to supply all your body’s needs. Red blood cells give you the energy you need for daily activities.
Keeping bones healthy
The kidneys make an active form of vitamin D. You need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are important minerals for making bones strong. The kidneys also balance calcium and phosphorus so your body has the right amount.
Controlling pH Levels
pH is a measure of acid and base. Your kidneys maintain a healthy balance of the chemicals that control acid levels. As cells break down, they make acids. The foods you eat can either increase or lower the amount of acid in your body. Your kidneys balance the pH of your body by either removing or adjusting the right amounts of acid and buffering agents.
© National Kidney Foundation website