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Did you know that March is National Kidney Month? Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid. In some cases, when kidney health severely declines, a patient and doctor may need to apply for Social Security disability.

Here are some fast facts on the kidney:

  • Kidneys pump about 500 gallons of blood a day. They reabsorb 99% of blood volume, leaving 1% of the filtered blood to become urine.
  • Kidneys love water! The most common reason for kidney stones is not drinking enough water.
  • You don’t need both kidneys. One-half of a kidney can do the work of two.
  • Your kidneys work with filtration units called nephrons (hence the word, nephrologist) to remove toxins and excess fluids.
  • You pee between 1-2 liters of urine every day.
  • Kidneys make a hormone called “erythropoietin” that tells bone marrow to make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to supply all your body’s needs. Red blood cells give you the energy you need for daily activities.
  • Kidneys keep the bones healthy through producing an active form of vitamin D. You need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus, important minerals for making bones strong.
  • Kidneys constrict blood vessels and increase blood circulation. Kidneys can moderate for higher blood pressure if it seems too low, or try to lower pressure if it seems too high by controlling fluid levels and making a hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict.
  • Your kidneys balance the pH level (acidity) of your body by either removing or adjusting the right amounts of acid and buffering agents.

Click here learn more about kidney disease and Social Security disability.

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