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Think of the blood stream as an amazing transport network. As it flows along, all the things that the cells need are taken from the blood, and the things that the cells are finished with, are put back into the blood. It is like a huge railway moving things all over the body. Because the cells in your body are alive, they are constantly producing energy, and there are many byproducts of producing energy that your body needs to get rid of. These byproducts all end up in the blood and they all have to be filtered out of the blood by different organs in special ways.


Probably the most important filtering organ in your body is the kidney. It is so important, that just in case one fails, we have another! Imagine what would happen if you never changed the oil in your car? It would get dirtier and dirtier, and more and more sluggish, and eventually the engine would seize up and stop working altogether. It is the same with your body. Now, filtering the blood in the body is no small task! You need to have an incredibly efficient filtering system to constantly remove all the rubbish that is put into the blood from your living cells. In fact, it is such an important task that the body sends more blood to your kidneys than any other organ, with the sole intention of having it filtered, cleaned and sent back to you’re living cells. Now, even though the kidneys are really very tiny in the scheme of things, they still have an enormous capacity to filter unwanted stuff out the blood.


The tiny filters in the kidney are a masterpiece of engineering. As the blood travels through these filters, everything is filtered out. Then as the blood continues to travel through the network, the things the body likes and needs are reabsorbed back into it again. Water, of course, is the main substance that is being filtered, as the blood is basically mostly made up of water. If you drink plenty of water, then the filtering system becomes more efficient, and the kidneys ability to remove the extra rubbish in the blood is increased because the body doesn’t have to worry so much about holding onto water. For example, if you suffer from headaches, one of the best ways of relieving a headache is to drink a lot of fresh, clean, pure water. Very often this is sufficient to relieve the pain, because the pain is being caused by toxins effecting the nerves, and there may not be enough water in the body to help get rid of them. Each tiny little filter in your kidney is quite complicated and needs a very finely tuned control system to keep it balanced. But you don’t have only one of these complicated little filters in your kidney, or even 10,000. In that tiny space which we call a kidney, there is over 1 million tiny filters, which all work together to remove the harmful stuff, and send it to the bladder to produce what we call urine. It is astounding to think that your complete blood system is filtered 60 times every 24 hours and that more than 180 Litres of fluid pass through your kidneys during this time. Of course the kidneys have many other functions, including controlling blood pressure, and many of these functions are controlled by chemical messengers known as hormones. So next time you go for pee reflect on how amazing the body really is, and contemplate how much effort has gone into filtering your blood in order to create urine!

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