The kidneys play several important roles in maintaining homeostasis, including maintaining the proper blood volume and ion balance as well as removing nitrogenous wastes from the blood. The University of New Mexico explains that the kidneys also play an important role in regulating the body’s pH. The kidney primarily accomplishes these tasks by filtering impurities, metabolic wastes and salt from the blood.Continue Reading
According to the BBC, the kidneys are able to maintain homeostasis in part by varying the concentration of urine. For example, when the amount of water in the blood plasma is low, the kidneys reabsorb water from the urine, returning it to the blood stream. Conversely, when the amount of water in the blood plasma is high, the kidneys do not reabsorb much water, which produces highly dilute urine. Both responses help to keep the body's water balance within the range of tolerance.
The kidneys must compensate for other biological functions and stimuli that may alter the water balance of the body, thus disrupting homeostasis. The BBC lists several such stimuli, including the external temperature, exercise and salt intake, as having the potential to change the amount of water in the body. For example, during exercise, the body's temperature rises. The body attempts to compensate for this by sweating. However, sweat results in a net loss of water, which in turn, triggers the kidneys to reabsorb more water from the urine and return it to the bloodstream.Learn more about Organs
The kidneys are located on either side of the posterior of the abdomen. The human body contains two kidneys, which have a bean-shaped structure. Each kidney is surrounded by a fibrous tissue called the renal capsule, which provides the kidney with protection from trauma and damage.Full Answer >
The kidneys filter blood through a two-step process. Blood first enters a filter called the glomerulus, where excess fluid and waste products are redirected into the second area of filtration, known as the tubule. The tubule extracts any needed minerals that make it through the first filter and sends them back into the bloodstream, while the final product emerges from the tubule as urine.Full Answer >
Both the liver and the kidneys are responsible for cleaning the blood. Both of these organs function as filters. However, while the liver operates as the body's main detoxifier, cleansing the blood of potential poisons, the kidneys work to eliminate waste and regulate the blood's chemical composition and maintain stability for optimum bodily function.Full Answer >
Kidney function tests determine how effectively the kidneys are removing extra fluid and wastes from the blood, explains the National Kidney Foundation. Urine tests determine the swiftness of waste removal and if the kidneys are allowing anomalous amounts of protein to leak through.Full Answer >