Kidneys Facts

Kidneys Facts
Each human has two kidneys, one on the right side, and one on the left side, in the middle of the back, which are both protected by the rib cage. The kidneys filter all of the waste products from your blood and pass them into the urine. Your kidneys are also responsible for keeping things in your blood balanced - acid, electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, sugars, and proteins. Someone who doesn't have any kidney function must have dialysis (a medical machine that filters the blood) or they will get very sick and can die in a few days. Read more fun facts about the kidneys!
Interesting Kidneys Facts:
Inside each kidney are right around a million nephrons. These are tiny filters that catch all of the stuff going through your blood. All of the waste from your blood goes out into your urine.
The kidneys keep the amount of fluid constant in your body. Adults have around 7-8 liters of blood, and this is constantly filtered by the kidneys, as much as 400 times per day! If someone is dehydrated (not drinking enough water), the kidneys will not make much urine until the person starts drinking again and their blood volume goes up.
If the kidneys aren't getting enough blood pressure, they can send a signal to the rest of your body to make the blood vessels smaller, which increases the pressure. This makes sure that blood can get to all parts of your body.
The kidneys also sense the amount of oxygen in the blood. If they aren't getting enough oxygen, they will make a hormone that sends a signal to your body to make more red blood cells, which are the cells in blood that carry oxygen.
Your body can work with only a single kidney. Sometimes people who don't have good kidneys can get a kidney donated to them - this usually comes from a family member. This way, both people will live with one kidney.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that is produced when you are exposed to sunlight by special cells in your skin. It isn't in a form your body can use though - the one made by your skin is processed by your liver. But, even that one can't be used by your body - your kidneys are responsible for activating the vitamin D!
If you have ever seen a kidney bean, then you know what the kidney is shaped like. Each kidney is about the size of a cellular phone, or a computer mouse.
The kidneys are connected to your bladder (a large sac that holds urine) by tubes called ureters. When your bladder is about half full, your brain gets a signal that you need to go to the bathroom. When you go pee, the urine leaves your bladder and out your body through another tube called the urethra.
Drugs like tobacco and alcohol make your kidneys work harder, and can even damage them. Stay away from drugs so your kidneys will be kept healthy.
Some kids don't have kidneys that work, and have to be on dialysis. This takes several hours a day for 3 days a week usually. Remember that even though they are on dialysis and their kidneys don't work, they are still kids and need friends, and fun. Try to be a good friend and spend time with them during their dialysis sessions if you can.

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