To keep your body functioning properly, waste products and excess fluid must be removed on a regular basis. To do this, you have two bean-shaped kidneys… each about the size of your fist… located on either side of your spine just below your rib cage.
Your kidneys filter and return to the bloodstream about 190 litres of blood every day. In doing so they produce up to 2 litres of urine that contain the waste products your body needs to get rid of.
The urine flows from your kidneys to your bladder. Once your bladder is full, you get an urge to pee and the urine and the wastes it contains leave your body.
Why are your kidneys vital?
But your kidneys do much more than simply remove waste products from you bloodstream… they stabilize the make-up of your blood. This is critical to keep your body functioning properly.
Specifically, your kidneys:
- prevent the accumulation of wastes and extra fluids in your body
- remove drugs from your body
- stabilize the levels of the electrolytes that balance your body’s fluids
- make hormones that help: (a) regulate your blood pressure, (b) make red blood cells, (c) produce an active form of vitamin D that keeps your bones strong and healthy