Page 5 - beaumont_book_5
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CHAPTER 1









                WHAT ARE THE KIDNEYS



               AND WHAT DO THEY DO?





                efore we get into what CKD is, it is useful
                to explain exactly what role the kidneys
        Bhave in the body.
           The two kidneys lie behind the other major
        organs in the lower back area. They are bean-
        shaped and measure about 11cm long by 6cm
        wide (the size of a clenched fist) by the time we
        reach adulthood.
           Kidneys are basically a machine that filters
        your blood. As blood flows around the body, it
        collects waste and carries this to the kidneys,
        using the kidney arteries. The waste in your
        blood comes from the normal breakdown of
        active tissues and from the foods you eat.


                                                                                          Your body takes what
         Hepatic veins                                                                 it needs from the blood
         (cut)
                                                                                       and then the waste
         Esophagus (cut)                                                               needs to be removed
         Inferior vena cava
                                                                                       from the body. The
                                                                    Renal artery
         Adrenal gland                                                                 kidneys filter the blood
                                                                    Renal hilum        and remove the waste
         Aorta                                                      Renal vein         products and excess
                                                                                       fluids from the body in
                                                                    Kidney
         Iliac crest                                                                   the form of urine, via the
                                                                    Ureter             bladder.
                                                                                          The clean blood flows
                                                                                       back to the other parts
                                                                                       of the body. If your
         Rectum (cut)
                                                                                       kidneys do not remove
         Uterus
                                                                                       this waste, it builds up in
                                                                        Urinary        the blood and causes
                                                                        bladder
                                                                                       damage to your body and
                                                                        Urethra        ultimately may lead to
                                                                                       death, if untreated.


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