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Kidneys 101: Kidney Anatomy and Interesting Facts

Before we can start healing the kidneys we need to know exactly what we are treating, it is no good throwing any old herb, nutrient, or drug at them. In comparison it is just like changing the oil in a car, it is no good pouring any old oil, or liquid for that matter, hoping to get it right. There are many things to factor in to get it right, but also to prevent doing serious damage. So by knowing the inner working of your kidneys, having a good understanding of what they do and how they interact with the rest of the body, it puts you in a good position to heal the kidneys with precision.

Here is a list of informative facts about your kidneys:

  • They are located at the towards the back, just below the ribcage
  • They are the size of a fist (or a computer mouse)
  • They contain 8-12 ‘pyramids’ (also known as kidney medullas)
  • They filter 190 litres (200 quarts) of blood every single day
  • Of these 190 litres, roughly 1.9 litres (2 quarts) are excreted as urine
  • They are in the shape of a kidney bean (or is it the other way around?)
  • The most basic filtering unit within a kidney is call a nephron, and you have between 1,000,000 to 1,300,000 million of these.

So what exactly are kidneys and what makes them soooo special?

Well for starters, the kidneys have many biological roles that keeps your body healthy and within the homeostatic* zone; we all are well aware that the body excretes urine for the purpose of removing waste products and to regulate fluid levels, but did you know the kidneys also help produce red blood cells, vitamin D, and balance pH levels?

*Homeostasis: The ability of a body to regulate its internal environment to preserve a constant equilibrium; such as the ability of the human body maintain a constant body temperature.

But how does it do all that? What is its mechanism?

Here’s A Closer Look…

Kidneys 101: Kidneys, Carpet, and Cholesterol

As I set out to write the second entry of my new blog, it is brought to light again how much the kidneys and the urinary system as a whole, are swept ‘under the carpet’ and ignored. Not like the ‘sexy’ cardiovascular, hormonal, or immune systems that get all the media attention.

…I really wanted to make this first official ‘educational and informative’ post a great one, one that you would refer to time and time again to understand the inner workings of the urinary system and kidneys. So I blew off the dust and opened up my anatomy and physiology book (I haven’t seen my ‘old friend’ since college) looking to find the urinary system.  Flicking and flicking through the book, I realised I am not going to find what I am looking for without looking at the table of contents, so I jumped to the table of contents page, and began scanning … and scanning … and scanning… Ahhh there it is, near the glossary at the back of the book. What may seem like a silly thing to comment on (as there has to be something that ends up at the back of the book), but it is just a small reminder that the urinary system is an aspect of the human body which goes widely overlooked.