The role of the kidneys in keeping the human body healthy is generally underrated in relation to the heart and lungs, but it is vital for good health.
Your kidneys filter around 115-145 litres of fluid every day, of which approximately 940 – 1890ml are egested from the body in the form of urine and the balance is recovered by the bloodstream. Your kidneys cannot function without water, which is why it is essential that you drink sufficient water throughout the day.
If you are not drinking sufficient water, your kidneys will not be able to function optimally and excess fluid and waster products can build up in the body. This can lead to kidney stones and chronic kidney disease, which can in turn lead to kidney failure whereby your organs stop working, and either dialysis or a kidney transplant is required.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection in the body and account for around millions of visits to health care providers every year. Sometimes these infections can spread to the upper urinary tract, including the kidneys, and this can cause permanent damage such as acute kidney infections that can be life-threatening, particularly if septicaemia occurs.
Kidney stones interfere with how the kidneys work and, when present, can complicate UTIs, requiring longer periods of antibiotic-treatment. The leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water in the body, caused by not drinking sufficient water on a daily basis.
The American College of Physicians issued new guidelines for people who have previously developed kidney stones in 2014 that state that increasing fluid intake to enable 2 litres of urination per day can decrease the risk of stone recurrence by at least 50% with no side effects.
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