People can live quite well with only one kidney and some people live a healthy life even though they were born without one or missing one. While bones can break, muscles can waste away and the brain can sleep without risk to life, if both of your kidneys fail (like what happens in end stage kidney failure), bone, muscle or brain can not carry on.
How do our kidneys work?
Think of your kidneys as an extremely sophisticated, waste disposal system, which separates non-recyclable waste from recyclable waste, 24/7 while also cleaning your blood. Much of this waste is produced by the body when it processes the food you eat.
What do your kidneys do?
Kidneys are small biological marvels with a fascinating design. Kidneys act like a filter to make sure the right amount of wastes and fluids are removed. Around every hour your blood supply circulates through the kidneys around 12 times. Each day your kidneys can process around 200 litres of blood, with about 1 to 2 litres of waste leaving the body as urine. Kidneys make three important hormones, erythropoietin, renin and active vitamin D. Erythropoietin stimulates the production of red blood cells, renin is involved in the control of blood pressure and active vitamin D controls calcium uptake and helps make strong bones.