Humans have two bean-shaped organs called kidneys. Each kidney weighs approximately 120-300 grams and has an average size of 11 cm in height, 9 cm in width, and 4 cm in depth. The kidneys are positioned on either side of the spine in the abdominal cavity.
Excretory: Urine production, removal of waste products and toxins from the body.
Regulatory: removal of excess salt and water to keep the body balanced (homeostasis), regulation of the acid-base balance.
Endocrine: hormone production for the regulation of blood pressure, bone stability and production of blood cells (erythropoietin, Vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone)
Why do we need kidneys?
Kidneys are complex organs that not only clean the blood but also fulfill several tasks for the body. Here are five jobs which our kidneys perform:
- Removal of waste and excess fluid (filtering function; waste and fluid build-up prevention)
- Control of blood pressure (by controlling fluid and salt levels)
- Production of red blood cells (renal hormones tell the bone marrow to make red blood cells)
- Keep bones healthy (Vitamin D activation to absorb calcium and phosphorous)
- Control of the pH level (acid and base balance)