The kidneys are a pair of organs located in the abdominal cavity, just below the ribcage on each side of the spine. They are responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood and regulating the balance of electrolytes in the body.
The main functions of the kidneys include:
- Filtering waste products: The kidneys filter waste products, such as urea and creatinine, from the blood and excrete them in the urine.
- Regulating electrolyte balance: The kidneys help to regulate the balance of electrolytes in the body, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium, by filtering them from the blood and reabsorbing them as needed.
- Regulating blood pressure: The kidneys help to regulate blood pressure by releasing hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells and by controlling the balance of fluids in the body.
- Regulating blood pH: The kidneys help to maintain the correct pH balance in the blood by releasing substances that buffer acids or bases as needed.
Proper kidney function is essential for overall health and well-being. Dysfunction or damage to the kidneys can lead to a range of health problems, including high blood pressure, electrolyte imbalances, and kidney failure.