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How do Kidneys Work?

Biology | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

What is Kidney?

There are many organs in the human body that are essential for our survival- the brain, lungs and heart. But did you know that even kidneys are an important part of the human body that we cannot do without?

A human body has two kidneys and you need at least one kidney for your body to function properly. Kidneys are small, about 13 centimetres long; that is about the size of your fist- yes, that small but has an important job to do. They are bean shaped and are located just below the rib cage, one on each side.

What your Kidneys do?

A kidney’s job is to take all the waste material out from your blood and transform that into urine and make you pee. Every day the two kidneys filter all the waste and extra fluids. Every day the kidneys filter almost 115 litres of blood to make just about 1 litre of urine. The kidneys are connected to the bladder and the urinary tract. Thus the urine is then collected in the bladder. Once the bladder fills up, the muscles of the bladder become tense and send a signal to the brain which tells you that you need to rush to the toilet.

Why are Kidneys Important?

  1. They clean blood
  2. Remove chemicals that your body doesn’t need
  3. They keep the water level in the body perfectly balanced: So if you drink excess water, the kidneys remove that in the form of urine. And if you drink less water, the kidneys pass less urine.
  4. They make hormones that help regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep bones strong

Parts and Functions of a Kidney

Each kidney is made up of millions of filtering units called nephrons which are responsible to filter small amounts of blood. These nephrons have a filter called the glomerulus. They also have a tube called a tubule. The glomerulus allows and filters blood with wastes to pass through it, preventing any proteins to pass. This filtered fluid then passes through the tubule which removes more wastes and sends the needed minerals back to the bloodstream. The remaining waste is urine and is sent to the bladder.