Let the Reins Rejoice: Taking Care of Kidneys

Your body is full of wonder-organs. One such wonder is kidney. Just the size of a closed fist, shaped like bean, and invisible to the naked eye, kidney’s significance can’t be ignored.

Kidneys sit hidden in a hollow space against the back of abdominal wall and are protected by a layer of fat and the muscles attached to the backbone. Both kidneys sit opposite each other, the left being little higher than the right one to accommodate the liver. Though many people can survive with just one kidney, most of us are born with two.

High blood pressure is often blamed for heart attack and stroke, but few know that it is also most common cause of kidney damage.

When it comes to work, kidneys are powerhouses of activity. Every minute, 1300ml of blood enter the kidney. Here are a few more of their crucial functions:

  • They balance water level in body: Kidneys adapt to the changing water level in the body. In case of decrease, kidneys retain the water from excreting through urine.
  • They facilitate waste excretion: Kidneys are instrumental in filtering out excessive salts, toxins and other wastes like urea created by cell metabolism.
  • They regulate blood pressure: When the blood pressure falls low, kidneys increase it by producing angiotensin – a kind of protein that constricts blood vessel. The protein also aids in retaining sodium and water. This activity of retention and constriction keeps blood pressure under check.
  • They help produce red blood cells: Kidneys generate a substance called hormone erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. This, in turn, increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
  • They regulate acid: With metabolism, lots of acids are produced as byproducts in your body. Kidneys maintain a healthy balance of the acid-base in your body.

Because of such vital functions and the toxins they confront, kidneys are susceptible to several complications, which, if not checked, can lead to acute diseases and even death. However, there are a few ways to keep kidneys active and fit.

  • Monitor your sugar level: About half of people having diabetes develop kidney damage. Follow regular check ups if you have diabetes. The earlier the diabetes is detected, the better the chances to prevent major kidney complications. Keep control of your sugar level.

In the Bible, kidneys are often used metaphorically for heart, and so thought of as seat of desires and affections.

  • Keep your blood pressure in control: High blood pressure is often blamed for heart attack and stroke, but few know that it is also most common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure can be lethal for kidneys if coupled with diabetes, high cholesterol and Cardio-Vascular diseases.
  • Reduce salt: Doctors suggest 5-6 grams of salt intake per day. In order to keep the intake in control, avoid processed and restaurant food as much as possible.
  • Drink more fluid: Drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water and other fluids everyday. Researches suggest that drinking more fluids significantly lower the risks of kidney disease by clearing contents of sodium, urea and toxins from the body. People who have already developed kidney stones are advised to drink two to three litres of water everyday.
  • Take pills only if needed: Common drugs like ibuprofen can cause kidney damage if taken on a regular basis. Though they do not pose imminent threat if your kidneys are healthy, in the long run, and especially you are dealing with chronic pain like arthritis, they could put undue pressure on your kidney.

In the Bible, kidneys are often used metaphorically for heart, and so thought of as seat of desires and affections. Kidneys are seated in the body in a way that it is generally inaccessible (Lam. 3:13). One would reach kidneys last, even when cutting up the animals for sacrifice. Kidneys, thus, symbolised the innermost and hidden part of humans. Just as kidney is hidden from naked eye, man’s innermost desires are hidden. But God tries, sees and searches the “reins”  (Psa. 7:9; Jer. 17:10; 20:12). Kidneys rejoice when truth is spoken (Prov. 23:16). So, take care of you kidneys, and also of your desires, because nothing is hidden from God!

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