Keep Your Strainer Clean!

Kidneys are organs that lie in the right and left side of your upper abdomen, to be more precise they occupy the left and right lumbar and hypocondrial regions. Your right kidney is slightly lower than the left kidney. The Kidney’s are located behind your back and they are usually not palpable or ballotable in normal conditions. However they can be felt or balloted in very thin individuals.

Just imagine a strainer that filters your morning or evening tea, without it you have to drink your tea with some deposits of tea leaves right? Well, the kidney does a similar job as the strainer with an additional function of secreting a hormone which syntheses red blood cells. Your blood is constantly filtered; essential elements like sodium and potassium are reabsorbed.( I am using the term re-absorbed because these elements where already absorbed in the small intestine initially.) So basically the dirty job of removing your wastes in the body like urea, excess salt ( sodium chloride), water and waste products derived from the liver all gets cleared out as urine.

I was taking a history of a 30 year old man; he did not have his left kidney since birth. I was hoping to find a ballotable kidney but his kidney was not ballotable. He has developed End Stage Renal failure. He waits for a kidney transplantion. In the mean time, he is receiving dialysis; ideally three times per week .Have you checked your kidneys? Are they at the right place? It’s absolutely possible for people to live with one kidney, but need to make clinic visits  for screening and they need extra precautions.

One of the most remarkable things about kidney diseases is that most of them are silent. People are not aware of the disease in the early state. Most symptoms that people complain are: mild fatigue, scanty micturation and pain over the loin. Fatigue in kidney disease arises to the lack of red cell formation; the diseased kidney can’t release erythropoietin (essential hormone of RBC production). Scanty urination arises because the kidney can’t filter much blood and pain over your loin might be a serious indication of any clot or stone obstruction which ultimately causes kidney damage.

Other causes of kidney disease these days is due to the heavy use of NSAID ( Indomethacin, Iboprofen, Ketoprofen) for any kind of pain especially pain which arises due to any kind of rhumatological diseases like cervical spondolysis, Rheumatic Arthritis etc. Pain medication is advisable only to those patients that have a good kidney status. The other interesting cause of kidney disease is the autoimmune mechanisms (self-induced destruction) produced by any kind of infection, early in childhood and later onwards. Extensive diarrheal episodes and extensive work load like practicing any kind of strenuous work can lead to muscle damage and later kidney damage, giving the condition the name Rabdomyolysis induced acute kidney Injury.

One of the best ways to keep your kidney healthy is drink plenty amount of water, minimum one liters per day. You can drink 2-3L per day as well. But over hydration has its implications as well, you might suffer serious electrolyte imbalances. Fresh, clean, distilled water is the key to resolve minor kidney problems. Control your Diabetes, your Hypertension. When was the last time you checked your Blood pressure?

Make sure you don’t take any kind of pain killers without a doctor’s advice.  For any disease, early prevention, diagnose and treatment is the main stay approaches to handle situations. Medical science has many new methods of early detection of kidney disease, renal biopsy can usually detect the exact cause of renal pathology and machines like dialysis have made the longevity of people increase.

Knowledge comes with great responsibility, the responsibility of cleaning and keeping your kidney healthy and checking the main indicators of kidney function like creatinine and blood urea. Checking your urine regularly for any kind of blood, it usually indicates a serious renal disease. Feel your body and go get a check up if you face any abnormalities in your daily life.