The kidneys are responsible for many functions within the body, with the most important ones being the removal of metabolic waste products, excess minerals and excess fluid which constitutes most of the urine components.
Both waste products and excess fluid are removed from the body via the urine. The process of filtering your blood and making urine is referred to as glomerular filtration rate or eGFR.
What is eGFR?
eGFR can be simply thought of as your percent kidney function. eGFR is an estimate of how much blood your kidneys filter per minute. Thus you will see the units of the number reported as milliliter per min (mL/min). Worth noting is that our current equations are not that great at calculating eGFR above 60 ml/min. This is why when you review your labs, you may see the eGFR reported as > 60 ml/min rather than a specific number above 60.
Interesting kidney facts:
- You have approximately 1,000,000 kidney filters called glomeruli (plural for glomerulus, a tuft of tiny blood vessels) and each of those filters has its own small “plumbing” system called tubule
- The kidneys are involved in the activation of vitamin D, which helps keep your bones healthy
- The kidneys process up to 180 L of blood in 24H if they are working correctly
- 25% of the blood pumped from the heart goes directly to the kidneys
- The kidneys help your body produce red blood cells
- The kidneys secrete and respond to hormones involved in regulating your blood pressure
- Once a person reaches the age of 40, the number of functional nephrons within each kidney drops by 1% per year
For additional information: check www.niddk.nih.gov