Kidneys, Who Needs Them?
Kidneys perform many functions essential to the bodies functioning. The strain that is put on kidneys opens them up to many problems that can occur. Childhood sicknesses can result in failure of the kidneys to perform dialysis in later years of a person’s life. Also, excessive minerals in the blood stream can cause kidney stones, which are very painful.
Kidneys perform the basic functions of removing water and waste from the bloodstream, this process is called dialysis. After removing the water and waste from the bloodstream, it excretes them through the urine. The kidney’s jobs never ends, whenever you take a drink of water or take a bite of food it will pass through the kidneys and the kidneys will filter out the unneeded particles in the bloodstream (“Body’s own filter material replaces kidneys,” 171).
Childhood sicknesses can scar the kidneys. These scars can slowly deteriorate the kidneys until they cannot function correctly. There is no way anyone can repair the scarring of the kidneys, and it is just a matter of time before they cease to function. Lee Foster, an editor for Reader’s Digest, had a childhood sickness and his kidneys eventually scarred over. He now has no use of his kidneys. He has dialysis three times a week for five hours. Before he went on dialysis he was very anemic and could not take twenty steps without resting (Lee, 99).
Excessive minerals in the bloodstream can also cause problems. One of these problems that it can cause the formation of a stone inside of one’s kidney. This happens when excessive amounts of a mineral, like calcium, all concentrate inside the kidney and form a stone. Kidney stones can be removed by surgery or they can be removed by lithotripsy. Lithotripsy is a treatment in which the patient is submerged in water and shockwaves are sent through the body that breaks the stone apart into smaller pieces. This process lasts up to three hours, and the stone is then passed through the urine (Langone, 71). In some instances the stone can get caught in the urinary tract and cause pain to the patient, who may have to go in for surgery to then remove the stone (Langone, 72).
Overall, life with kidney problems is possible, but not something easy to do. A person has to spend fifteen hours a week on a dialysis machine, or a treatment, which is not painful itself, but passing the stone through your urine is the painful part. It is better for a person to take extra steps to ensure that they are doing everything they can to prevent kidney problems.