Understanding the Kidney and Kidney Disorders
Your body is like a factory that contains a number of machines, all of which
need energy in order to work together smoothly. The energy comes from the
food you eat. The food is broken down, during digestion, into energy-containing
substances that pass into your bloodstream. As the nutrients and energy
are used up, chemical waste products are produced in the cells. The waste
products are carried in your bloodstream to the two kidneys. In the kidneys
they are filtered out of the blood and combined with any excess water to
form urine. Thus production and excretion of urine are essential to life.
There are two kidneys, each about four to five inches long and about six ounces in weight. They lie in the abdomen underneath the liver on the right and the spleen on the left. Each kidney contains about one million tiny filtering units, known as glomeruli, which remove waste material and excess water from the blood to form urine. With all these intricacies of the kidney, it's no wonder the kidney is susceptible to nearly a hundred disorders, diseases, and conditions that can lead to progressive destruction of the kidneys.
The deterioration that characterizes kidney disease of diabetes takes place in and around the glomeruli. The damage is usually the result of inflammation caused by abnormal proteins that become trapped in the glomeruli. In a healthy kidney, the blood passes through the glomeruli, and certain chemical, not all of them waste products, are filtered out. Most of the water and certain chemicals such as glucose that are useful to the body are then returned to your blood stream. If more and more of the glomeruli are damaged, the affected kidneys become less and less efficient as a filter and regulator of the chemical content of your blood. Waste products accumulate and cause kidney failure.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) can be both a cause and effect of kidney damage. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder and, over time, can damage blood vessels throughout your body. If the blood vessels in your kidneys are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from your body. The extra fluid in your blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more. The result is a very unhealthy cycle. Although most people with high blood pressure do not have a kidney problem, the combination of frequent urination and high blood pressure will suggest the possibility, especially if there is a history of kidney trouble in your family.
The key to kidney disease is early detection. If kidney disease is detected in the earliest stages, kidney dysfunction can be stopped or reversed with treatment. The best way to assure early detection of kidney dysfunction is by doing a urine test that measures the levels of a protein called microalbumin.
Types of Diabetes |
The Facts Surrounding Diabetes
Common Questions On Diabetes
Diabetes - The Myths About Sugar
Diabetes - Who is at Risk?
Glossary of Terms commonly used with Diabetes
|The health and fitness materials provided on this Site (including links to information provided by other Web sites) are to be used for informational purposes only. The health and fitness materials are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional fitness and/or medical care.|