10 Facts You Need to Know About Kidneys

An air conditioner needs an air filter to clean out dust, and when it gets too dirty, it can be replaced. It’s recommended to filter water before drinking it, such as with Brita filters. Coffee filters and tea sachets are used to keep the grounds and leaves out of your drink. Even cloth masks can have filters put in to prevent catching diseases, such as Covid-19. Kidneys are the filters to our bodies, cleaning out waste and keeping our body regulated and healthy. Kidney health is important, because our bodies rely on its functions. Just like a filter, kidneys can be replaced, though it’s not as accessible as making a stop at your local grocery store. Chronic Kidney Disease is common and is not curable; however, there are methods to prevent it from getting worse. Here are some fun facts about kidneys and kidney disease. How many did you already know?

  1. Kidneys create urine, which transfers to the bladder through two tubes called ureters.
  2. Kidneys can create vitamin D, produce red blood cells, and regulate blood pressure.
  3. Kidneys are about the size of a fist and are asymmetrical.
  4. A human can survive with only one kidney as each kidney has more than enough nephrons to filter out waste.
  5. Most people don’t develop symptoms during the early stages of Chronic Kidney Disease.
  6. Too much water, ibuprofen, or aspirin can be harmful for kidneys.

    Doctor Who Kidney Meme
    Screencaps from Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor
  7. More than 1 in 7 adults are likely to have Chronic Kidney Disease. 15% of US citizens are likely to have CKD–this is equivalent to 37 million people, .
  8. Minority groups are at higher risk of developing CKD.
  9. Dialysis and kidney replacements are common ways to treat CKD.
  10. The following can increase the risk of developing CKD:
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart (cardiovascular) disease
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Abnormal kidney structure
    • Older age (Approx. 60+)
    • Frequent use of medications that can damage the kidneys

Percentage of US Adults Aged 18 Years or Older With CKD

CDC data
CDC.ORG; Data from a 2015-2018 study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration

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