Overview Why Kidney Health is important? Our kidneys are one of the most critical organs in the body. These bean-shaped organs are about the size of your fist. Each one is located on either side of your spine below your rib cage. The main job of our life-sustaining kidneys is to filter waste and extra water from our blood, which produces urine. In addition to filtering the blood, kidneys also: • Balance the water, salts, and minerals in your blood • Release hormones that regulate blood pressure • Keep our bones strong and healthy by producing an active form of vitamin D • Make red blood cells to prevent anaemia Inside each kidney are small, ball-shaped structures called glomeruli — about one million, in fact — that are responsible for filtering blood. Imagine your kidneys as powerful chemical factories, and the glomeruli are the workers. Every 24 hours, your kidneys process about 150 quarts of blood. That’s nearly 40 gallons! One to two quarts are removed in the form of urine, which is moved to the bladder, and the remaining filtered blood is returned to your bloodstream. Our kidneys’ job is crucial, without the proper levels of acid and nutrients in our blood, our nerves, muscles, and other tissues in our bodies may not work properly When the kidneys don’t work well, the build-up of waste and extra water in the body can cause health problems. Excess of waste products and fluid build-up the levels of sodium, potassium, phosphate and calcium acidity, these substances then gather together, and cause the symptoms of kidney disease, which can include high blood pressure, excessive tiredness, fluid retention and possibly lower back pain. Keep your kidneys healthy In summary, the kidneys are highly complex organs that carry out essential tasks to keep our bodies healthy. Here are some golden rules to follow: 1) Keep fit and active 2) Keep regular control of your blood sugar level and Blood pressure 4) Eat healthy and keep your weight in check 5) Maintain a healthy fluid intake - it is recommended to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day 6) Don't smoke 7) Don't take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis 8) Get your kidney function checked if you have one or more of the ‘high risk' factors, such as diabetes or hypertension Kidney in numbers It is estimated that around 4,500 people suffer from kidney failure in the UAE, and transplants can change their lives forever. With this goal in mind, Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, Mediclinic City Hospital, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine & Health Sciences (MBRU), Al Jalila Foundation and Dubai Healthcare City came together to create this page and guide you on how to contribute and make a difference in their lives. Myths and Facts Myth 1: I pass a lot of urine, so my kidneys are fine. Fact: In the early stages of kidney disease, a person passes normal urine volume. Only at an advanced stage (stage 5) the kidney can lose ability to eliminate water. Only laboratory tests can rule out kidney disease Myth 2: There is nothing you can do about kidney diseases. Fact: You can help protect your kidneys by eating healthy, doing regular exercise, control blood pressure and blood sugar, keep a healthy weight, quit smoking, and don’t overuse pain medications. All these steps will help you keep your kidneys healthy and lessen your chances of getting kidney disease. Myth 3: Dialysis is a painful procedure. Fact: Dialysis treatment is not a painful process. Patients can experience sometimes during treatment some headaches or cramps. Many patients live normal lives and usually Dialysis makes you feel better Myth 4: It is not safe to donate a kidney. Fact: If the general health of the donor is normal (without diabetes or blood pressure) it is safe to donate a kidney. Donors have led a normal life including marriage and childbirth, etc. Myth 5: Islam forbids organ donation. Facts: Islamic religion is clear and supports organ donation to save lives. Scholars from across the Muslim world have supported Organ donation and all related fatwas confirm that organ donation is in line with the Islamic teachings.