- It is also known as Chronic Renal Failure or Kidney Failure.
- It is Gavinâ€™s diagnosis.
- It means that Gavinâ€™s kidneys donâ€™t work.
- It is a serious condition that is long term, permanent, and will eventually result in death unless a kidney transplant is performed.
What do the kidneys do?
Their primary functions are to filter the blood and eliminate (excrete) metabolic waste products, excess water and electrolytes (such as potassium, sodium, glucose, bicarbonate â€“ in other words, they regulate fluid balance in the body.
Additionally, many drugs are eliminated by the kidneys.
Kidneys also help regulate blood pressure by:
- excreting excess sodium – if too much sodium in the bloodstream your BP( blood pressure) increases
- secreting the enzyme renin (when BP falls below normal the kidneys secrete renin (renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system)
A person with kidney failure is less able to regulate BP and tends to have high BP .
Additionally, kidneys secrete the hormone erythropoietin – which stimulates the production of red blood cells (RBCâ€™s) in the bone marrow and the bone marrow then releases the RBCâ€™s into the bloodstream.
Kidneys (along with several other organ systems) regulate the growth and maintenance of healthy bones by regulating levels of calcium and phosphorous â€“ minerals critical to bone health – they do this by converting inactive vitamin D to active vitamin D – (vitamin D is a type of hormone produced in the skin and present in many foods â€“ â€œcalcitriolâ€ is the active form of vitamin D and it is the calcitriol that stimulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous from the small intestine).
A note of human interest: on average, approximately one-fifth of your total blood supply, – 1.3 qt (1.2l) of blood – in your body passes through your healthy kidneys every minute.