Leslie Spry: My name is Leslie Spry, and I am a kidney specialist in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am here on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation today to talk with you about understanding chronic kidney disease and this will introduce you to kidneys and what they do.
Kidneys are very important organs. They are very small organs that weigh less than a pound each. These organs filter almost 25% of your blood supply and they do so on a daily basis, cleansing that blood and making sure the chemicals come back in the balance.
Indeed, they are known as the master chemists of the body. There are a number of important actions of the kidney, which include maintaining salt and water balance, changing the way in which your body response to acids and kidneys degrade certain chemicals in the body and eliminate those chemicals which are harmful.
The kidneys are very important in the manufacturing of blood cells. They create a hormone that makes blood cells and regulates the level of blood counts inside of your system.
The kidneys are very important in bone health. They perform various functions including regulation of calcium and phosphorous as well as Vitamin-D. Vitamin-D regulation is perhaps one of the most important things that they do and recent evident suggest that Vitamin-D health can improve both muscle strength as well as bone strength.
The kidneys also regulate blood pressure, kidneys regulate potassium and the kidneys are very important in eliminating toxins. Drug level inside the body are very carefully regulated by kidney function. As kidney function changes, levels of the drugs inside of the body may change appreciably and so dosages or medications need to be changed as result of kidney disease.
The kidneys are extremely important in the ultimate elimination of all drugs and toxins that you take into your body. That function of the kidney is something that your doctor must be aware of at any time when he is prescribing medication for you.
As you can see the kidney is extremely important in regulating multiple processes throughout the body, we will next turn to what the kidney disease signs and symptoms are, and how they can be recognized.