I also make blood by stimulating red blood cell production, and I regulate blood pressure. Did you know that 25% of the blood that enters the circulatory system from EACH heartbeat goes directly to me?! Your doctor can tell alot about me by checking your blood and your blood pressure.
I also make urine (or pee as it's called by many). I do that by filtering with my nephrons. As your blood enters my nephrons I filter out the poisons, the toxins, and the waste. This can be bacteria from bad teeth (tarter, infection) or even certain medications your veterinarian prescribes to you may cause me damage. It's important to get analysis from blood test on a routine basis especially if you take medications that your veterinarian feels could be a potential risk to me. If I could not remove these toxins they would build up in your blood and damage your body. Sometimes your doctor may even want to look at your pee to run test on it. Those test help the doctor know if I am doing my job correctly and whether parts of me are getting worn out or damaged.
I also measure and regulate hormones, vitamins and salts. Another main function I have is to try to hold onto the body's proteins, especially the blood proteins. My nephrons filter the small waste molecules but their filters are too small for proteins to pass through. This makes it makes it easy for me not to lose proteins and do my job more effectively. Sometimes if those filters become damaged a hole will develop where proteins will accidently spill through. I can't do my job if this occurs and as a result this can shorten the body's lifetime! It's important for me (and for you) that I do not become damaged.
Damage can be something that takes many years to occur! Laboratory testing of blood, urinalysis and even monitoring blood pressure become important tools for your veterinarian to see if something is causing me problems and making my job harder to do. Once your body starts letting you know that I'm not doing my job it's often too late.
Some common signs of me being diseased would be:
- excessive drinking and urinating
- weight loss
- poor appetite
- poor hair coat
- bloody urine
- back pain near kidneys
If you would like further information please check out our website. There you can click on our Library and from there look in the 2nd paragraph, you will see a link to VIN Search Library. Just type kidney and you will get lots of info. Thanks for spending some time getting to know me! I look forward to keeping your body stable for many years to come.