Kidneys


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The kidneys are 2 small fist sized organs that lie within your ribcage just either side of your spine. They are shaped like kidney beans and are responsible both for removing any waste products within the blood and maintaining normal levels of ions such as sodium (salt) within your blood. Your kidneys do this job very effectively and have a complex anatomical structure, comprised of little blood vessels that act as tiny filters, helping to force waste products out into the urine. When filtered, these waste products along with any excess fluid such as water trickle down through the kidneys and into the ureters which transport the urine down to the bladder where it is stored until you go to the toilet.

The kidney also plays other vital roles such as regulation of blood pressure and stimulating the production of more red blood cells.

In diabetic people, it is vital that the level of glucose within the blood is controlled as close to normal as possible. The tiny blood vessels within the kidney that act as filters can become damaged by excessively high glucose levels such as those seen in uncontrolled diabetes. This can lead to long term problems such as poor kidney function and even kidney failure in severe cases.