Kidneys are important organs for the body. A person with severe kidney damage may require dialysis because the person is not functioning optimally.
Not only producing urine, the kidneys have many important roles for the body. What are the functions of this bean-shaped organ? To understand better, come on, read this article to the end!
1. Get rid of excess fluid
The kidneys have many functions, one of which is to regulate the balance of body fluids. Verywell Health launches, the kidneys regulate water levels in the blood by removing excess fluid in the blood.
For example, when it’s hot and you don’t drink enough water, the kidneys will retain fluid so that the amount in the body remains balanced. As a result, the color of the urine will become more concentrated. Meanwhile, when we drink enough water, the volume of fluid in the blood increases. Well, this excess fluid will be removed by the kidneys so that the color of the urine looks clearer.
2. Get rid of excess electrolytes
One of the other functions of the kidneys is to regulate the balance of electrolytes in the body, for example potassium. As reported by Verywell Health , potassium is needed in certain amounts to keep the heart beating.
Potassium levels that are too low or high can interfere with the work of the heart. Thus, the kidneys keep potassium levels in the blood within normal limits so as not to harm the body. When potassium levels in the blood are high, the kidneys will remove excess potassium along with urine.
3. Produce hormones
Not only serves to make urine, the kidneys also play a role in producing hormones. Described by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care , the hormones produced by the kidneys include erythropoietin and calcitriol .
Erythropoietin plays a role in the production of red blood cells. While calcitriol is an active metabolite of vitamin D and regulates the amount of calcium in the body. Medical News Today adds, calcitriol increases the amount of calcium that can be absorbed by the intestines and reabsorbs phosphate in the kidneys.
4. Dispose of body waste
Of course you already know about this kidney function. The kidneys remove waste products that are no longer needed by the body along with urine. Waste products that are disposed of usually come from waste products of the body’s metabolism that are no longer needed. Reported by Medical News Today , some of the substances excreted by the kidneys include:
Urea, is the result of protein breakdown;
Uric acid, is the result of the breakdown of nucleic acids;
Drugs and metabolites.
5. Maintain pH levels
Another function of the kidneys is to balance acid-base (pH) levels in the blood. Medical News Today explains, the pH range is between 7.35 to 7.45. If the pH level is below or above, it can cause the blood to become more acidic or more alkaline which can harm the body.
That is why, the kidneys along with the lungs help keep the body’s pH levels stable. The kidneys regulate pH levels by producing and reabsorbing bicarbonate from the urine to help neutralize acid.
Kidneys have many functions, including removing excess fluids, removing excess electrolytes, producing certain hormones, removing body waste, and maintaining the body’s acid-base balance. So, it is important to maintain their health so that these organs can still function optimally, one of which is by maintaining a diet.