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Kidneys: Several Important Functions in the Body

What are

The kidneys are excretory organs present in the body of vertebrate animals. Humans have two kidneys whose shape resembles beans.

Kidney Functions

The kidneys have important functions in the human organism such as:

- Excrete waste through urine (examples: urea and creatine);

- Enable homeostasis (stable and constant condition) of the body;

- Produce some types of hormones such as erythropoietin;

- Regulate the volume of extracellular liquids;

- Produce urine;

- Excrete substances of external origin, such as medicines.

Main Features of Human Kidneys:

- They are the size of a fist of an adult human being;

- At the medial border of each kidney is the hilum, through which the ureter, renal vein, nerves and artery pass;

- The outside of the kidneys is surrounded by fibrous tissue called the renal capsule.

- Around each kidney there is an accumulation of fatty tissue.

- The kidneys are supplied by the renal artery, which originates from the aorta.

Did you know?

Nephrology is a field of medicine aimed at treating problems and diseases of the urinary system and especially the kidneys. The medical specialist in this field is known as a nephrologist.

The main disease that affects the kidneys is an inflammation known as nephritis.

- March 10 is celebrated World Kidney Day. The date was designed to alert people to the importance of maintaining kidney health, as well as providing insight into major kidney diseases and how to prevent them.