Structure of the Kidney
In human beings the kidneys are paired. They are dark red bean shaped organ. They are protected by the last 2 ribs. The left kidney is a little higher than the right because of the presence of liver. A long section of the kidney shows two main regions:
- An outer reddish-CORTEX
- An inner pale colored-MEDULLA
Functions of the Kidney
The main function of the kidney is urine formation which takes place in three steps
- Pressure filtration
- Selective re-absorption
- Tubular secretion
Through these three steps urine is expelled out from the body. The production of varied concentration of urine depending on the availability of water exhibits clearly that kidney functions as an regulatory organ.
Kidney disorders and their Treatments
Unusual situations may arise in the function of the kidney by a factor originating within the kidney or outside, these causes serious kidney problems diseases such as given below
- Kidney Stones
One of the kidney problems arises when the urine becomes concentrated crystals of many salts like calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate and uric acid are formed in it. Such large crystals cannot pass in urine and form hard deposits called as kidney stones. Some stones start in the kidney or may travel to the ureters or urinary bladder.
About 90% of all the kidney stones can pass through the urinary system by drinking the plenty of water. In surgical treatment the affected area is opened and stones are removed. Lithotripsy is a non surgical removal of kidney stones. It is a technique used to break stones through extra-corporeal shock wave. The shock waves break the stones into tiny pieces or into sand which are passed out of the body in urine. These kind of kidney problems can be treated easily.
- Kidney failure
Kidney failure means a complete or partial failure of kidney to function. The leading cause of kidney failure is a high level of urea and other waste in the blood, which cause result in vomiting, nausea, weight loss, frequent urination and blood in urine.
Kidney failure can be treated by both dialysis and kidney transplant. The details of both therapy programs are given below.
It means cleaning of blood by artificial means, There are two methods of dialysis.
- Peritoneal dialysis
In this method, the peritoneal cavity is filled with dialysis fluid that enters the body through a catheter. Excess water and waste pass through the peritoneum into dialysis fluid. This process is repeated several times a day. It is done until the donor kidney is not transplanted.
It means cleaning the blood. In this procedure, the blood is circulated through a machine which contains a dialyzer also called as “artificial kidney”. Blood passes from one side of the membrane and dialysis fluid on the other side. The waste and excess water pass from the blood into the dialysis fluid.
Another treatment for the end stage of kidney problems is kidney transportation. It was the replacement of patient’s damaged kidney with the donor healthy kidney. The kidney may be donated by a deceased –donor or living donor. Before transplant the tissue protein of the donor and patient should be matched. The average lifetime for a donated kidney is to 10-50 years. Problems after a transplant may include transplanting rejection, infection, imbalances in the body salts which can lead to bone problems and ulcers.