Caring for our Kidneys: understanding, appreciating and moving them
Our kidneys are important organs that we only seem to be aware of when things go wrong. Very often we only discover that our kidneys aren’t functioning well after a routine blood test. A kidney function test may check your creatinine, sodium, urea and potassium levels. It will also give you your estimated glomerular filtration rate. When I had my kidney function test I didn't know what any of these things meant for the health of my kidneys. So here is a brief run down for you.
Creatinine is a waste product that the kidneys can normally filter as the kidneys are like washing machines for the blood. If the levels are high then this shows that the kidneys aren’t washing the creatinine out as efficiently as they should. This infographic and more information about creatinine comes from this website
Urea or Blood Urea Nitrogen is a waste element produced when the protein in our food is broken down. For more information you can visit this website
Sodium is an electrolyte which is an electrically charged mineral. Electrolytes help to control the amount of fluid and the pH balance of the body. Sodium also helps your nerves and muscles work properly. If you have too much sodium in your diet then healthy kidneys filter the excess out. For more information look here
Our blood has a low concentration of potassium within the plasma and our body keeps a tight control on these levels. A high level can alter the function of the nerves and muscles including those of the heart. Healthy kidneys filter out excess potassium from the blood. This image is from here
The estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate measures the volume of wastes and excess fluid removed per minute. Healthy kidneys can filter more than 90ml per minute and about 200 litres a day. This calculation is an estimate generated from from your blood creatinine level and depending on the equation used can incorporate age, size, gender and ethnicity.
I hope that helped clarified kidney function tests a little. Here is a kidney class for you to enjoy that appreciates, embodies and exercise the kidneys.