Renal Nutrition, Inflammation and Metabolism

The kidneys job is to keep the body’s fluids, electrolytes and carbon-based solutes in a healthy equilibrium. Their functional units are the million or so nephrons in the renal cortex which filter most constituents of the blood other than red blood cells and protein reabsorb needed substances, secrete hydrogen ions to maintain acid-base balance, and secrete wastes.

Urine formation consists of three basic processes: glomerular filtration, tubular secretion, and tubular reabsorption. Several disease conditions can interfere with these functions. Inflammatory and degenerative diseases can involve the small blood vessels and membranes in the nephrons. Urinary tract infections and kidney stones can interfere with normal drainage, causing further infection and tissue damage. Circulatory disorders, such as hypertension, can damage the small renal arteries. Other diseases, such as diabetes, gout, and urinary tract abnormalities can lead to impaired function, infection, or obstruction. Toxic agents such as insecticides, solvents, and certain drugs may also damage renal tissue.