Did you know your kidneys are powerful little multi-taskers?
Most people are familiar with the kidneys’ role filtering waste out of the body. But they’re also responsible for everything from monitoring the chemicals in your blood to helping build strong bones. They’re involved in hormone production, regulating electrolytes and more.
So if you’re committed to kidney-friendly habits such as getting enough water or following the low-oxalate diet, you can pat yourself on the back – you’re on the path to maintaining your health in more ways than one.
- Kidneys Help Regulate Blood Pressure
Your kidneys regulate blood pressure in two key ways:
- They can produce hormones that adjust the size of blood vessels, which in turn adjusts blood pressure.
- They can maintain levels of sodium and other electrolytes, which determine blood volume (a key factor for blood pressure).
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure will help ensure normal function of your heart and arteries.
You can measure your blood pressure easily at home with a blood pressure cuff. Contact your primary healthcare provider to discuss kidney function and overall health if your cuff shows irregular results.
- Kidneys Help Keep Bones Strong
Most of us know that calcium is crucial to building strong bones. But it’s not all just about drinking enough milk.
Your kidneys use Vitamin D and a hormone called parathyroid to manage how much calcium gets absorbed by your body or eliminated as waste. Healthy kidneys will help your body absorb sufficient levels of calcium to build and maintain strong bones, among other functions.
You can further support kidney and bone health by maintaining a balanced calcium-oxalate intake with the low-oxalate diet.
- Kidneys Control Balance of Chemicals
Your kidneys continuously monitor and regulate the levels of chemicals in your blood. Part of that job involves ensuring a stable balance of acids and bases.
When kidneys are functioning normally, they will eliminate excess acids via the urinary tract. This is crucial for your body to maintain the health of not only your blood flow and joints, but also your kidneys themselves.
- Kidneys Make Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells carry oxygen via your blood to the rest of your body’s tissues. A healthy red blood cell count is crucial for everything from giving you energy to maintaining a regular heartbeat.
The kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, which is vital to red blood cell production. Healthy kidneys continuously monitor the level of oxygen in blood and can increase or decrease production of erythropoietin as necessary.