What Are the Functions of the Kidneys?

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The kidneys are extremely important to maintaining your health. Besides cleaning your blood, they also keep the proper amount of minerals in it. They make sure there is just the right amount of fluids in your body. In addition, your kidneys help in keeping your blood pressure normal, making red blood cells and maintaining strong bones.

Function

The primary function of the kidneys is to filter the blood and remove excess fluid from it. The kidneys leave just the right amount of salt and other minerals in the blood. The excess amount is filtered from the blood in the form of a waste liquid called urine.

Fluid Balance

The body loses fluid from bowel movements, sweating and during breathing. Another function of the kidneys is to keep just the right amount of fluid in the body by balancing what comes in versus what goes out.

Blood Pressure

Two hormones that healthy kidneys produce are renin and angiotensin. The functions of these hormones are to regulate how much salt and liquid the body keeps, and how well the blood vessels can stretch and contract. Thus, these actions help control blood pressure.

Producing Red Blood Cells

Normal kidneys produce another hormone called erythropoietin. This hormone stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

Keeping Bones Strong

Still another hormone that healthy kidneys generate is vitamin D or calcitriol. Calcitriol helps to keep the correct amounts of calcium and phosphate in your bones and blood. Phosphate and calcium balance is important in keeping your bones strong.

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