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Kidney Health: It's Not Just About Kidney Stones

A kidney is a reddish brown, bean-shaped organ that filters waste minerals and toxins from the blood. The kidneys regulate acid concentration and the kidneys maintain the water balance in the human body by producing urine. Kidneys also make hormones that help keep bones strong blood healthy. Kidneys that aren't functioning properly allow harmful toxins to build up. This may causes blood pressure to rise, the body will accumulate fluids, and may not produce enough red blood cells. Here are the most common kidney problems.

Kidney Stones: A kidney stone is a hard mass that accumulates in the urinary tract when crystals separate from the urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney. In most people, urine contains chemicals that prevent these crystals from forming kidney stones. People who suffer from kidney stones, for reasons that aren't always completely understood, don't have inhibitors that prevent crystal formation. Anyone who has ever had kidney stones will tell you the pain can be so severe that it reduces them to tears. Kidney stones are not a product of modern diets or lifestyle.

Evidence of kidney stones has been found in 7000 year old human remains in Egypt. Men tend to get kidney stones more often than women. Kidney Infections: If a person has low resistance, germs from the bladder can travel up the ureters to the kidneys and begin to multiply. An acute kidney infection starts suddenly with severe symptoms, then quickly comes to an end. A chronic kidney infection develops slowly and grows worse with time. A chronic kidney infection can lead to kidney failure. Kidney Cysts: A kidney cyst is an abnormal pouch that contains fluid. The simple kidney cyst is the most common form. The cause of a simple kidney cyst isn't completely understood. But there's no evidence that kidney cysts are an inherited condition.

One or more kidney cysts may develop at a time on the small tubes in the kidneys.


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