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Kidney diseases – which symptoms show what

How is the Anatomy of the kidneys?

The kidneys are paired organs located in the human body on either side of the spine between the abdominal cavity and the back muscles at the level of the lower ribs. More specifically, between the twelfth thoracic vertebra and the third lumbar vertebra, with the right kidney sitting a little lower because of the large right lobe of the liver.

The position of the kidneys depends on breathing. Like the diaphragm, they move down when we breathe in and move back when we breathe out. The kidneys are brown-red, bean-shaped and vary in size depending on the size of the human being, about twelve centimeters long, six centimeters wide and three centimeters thick.

The crescent-shaped adrenal gland sits on top of both kidneys. The smallest functioning unit of the kidney is called the nephron. Each kidney is made up of about one million nephrons.

What are the tasks of the kidneys?

The kidneys are the “purification plants” of the human body: they cleanse it of harmful substances and regulate blood pressure, water and salt balance. In addition, they form a number of vital hormones that control, among other things, blood formation (through erythropoietin) and the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestine (so-called active vitamin D).

Our kidneys are the “sewage treatment plants” of the human body.
They filter the entire blood volume up to 300 times a day. Up to 1,800 liters pass through the kidneys every day.

They can do all of this for a long time, even with impaired kidney function. But once kidney tissue has been destroyed, it cannot be repaired.

What are Causes of Kidney Disease?

The function of the kidneys can be disturbed by various diseases. Common causes of kidney disease are: diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure, in the western world these “diseases of affluence” are the main causes of chronic kidney failure.

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