What is Normal Kidney and How to Prevent Kidney Diseases

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A normal kidney consists of about 1 million filtering units called a glomerulus which collects urine by connection to the tubule. For a kidney to be called normal, it will depend on how it removes the waste and excess fluid from the blood.

The test called Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) is used to calculate the normal creatinine levels with age and gender factors. eGFR value more than 90 is considered normal and eGFR below 60 depicts the signs of kidney problems. But this value differs according to age, as you get older it can decrease.

What do you mean by a normal kidney?

We have two kidneys located at the back of the abdomen which is 5 to 6 inches long and bean-shaped. These kidneys are joint to the aorta by renal artery were 20 per cent of blood flow leaving the heart.

The main function of the kidney is to remove toxic waste, excess fluids and impurities from the blood, but it can also help in controlling blood pressure, producing erythropoietin, and balancing calcium and phosphate contents in your body for healthy bone.

From a test like a blood test, estimating eGFR/GFR value, imaging test, creatinine clearance test and kidney biopsy, you will come to know how well your kidney is performing.

Normal kidney size in adults

The average normal kidney size in adults ranges from 10 to 15 cm and in general, the left kidney is slightly longer. The size of the kidney is measure using sonography.

Normal kidney function by age

In adults, the value estimated using eGFR will be more than 90 but it decreases as you get older even though you don’t have kidney disease. Refer to the below chart for the average eGFR value based on age.

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Average estimated eGFR

World Kidney Day

As a global campaign, World Kidney Day is celebrated every year on March 11 to create awareness regarding the importance of the kidney to your overall health and reduce the impact of kidney disease.

This year on March 11, 2021 (Thursday), World Kidney Day will be celebrated on the theme ‘Living well with kidney disease‘ all over the world.

Top 5 Important health numbers to achieve normal kidney

1. Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) value

eGFR value of more than 90 is viewed as normal and if your eGFR value shows lower than 60 the test, you should talk with your doctor for advice and medications.

2. Blood glucose

Diabetes is one of the leading cause of kidney failure. You should check the glucose level in your blood regularly. During a blood test, if your glucose level is more than 125 while fasting and over 200 while not fasting show diabetes.

3. Total cholesterol

A value of more than 200 can have a risk of heart disease and kidney failure. learn more about simple ways to lower cholesterol level.

4. Blood pressure

During a normal blood pressure check-up, if the value is more than 140/90, it is high blood pressure and has a risk of getting kidney diseases. You should aim for a normal blood pressure that is lower than 130/80.

5. Albumin to creatinine ratio

Creatinine clearance test can show the levels of protein content in your urine. Creatinine levels normal are determined from the value resulted through the creatinine test and adult males have higher levels than adult females. Protein contents in your urine is an early sign of kidney disease.

Here are the normal creatinine levels by age:

  • 0.9-1.3mg/dL for adult males
  • 0.6-1.1mg/dL for adult females
  • 0.5-1.0mg/dL for children aged between 3-18 years
  • 0.3-0.7mg/dL for children younger than 3 years

Symptoms of kidney problems you should know

Increase in blood pressure

Normally, high blood pressure will not have any serious kidney disease but the risk of getting kidney diseases is very high.

Protein content

During a urine test, protein contents (proteinuria) in your urine show a problem in your kidney.

Trouble passing urine

This problem is usually caused by a trouble in the kidney like severe damage, problems in the urinary bladder, problems in nerves supplying the bladder, and urine infection.

Kidney stones

Kidney stone blocks the flow of urine and swells the very painful kidney.

The common symptoms of kidney disease may include;

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Poor appetite
  • Swollen feet/ankles

Diagnosis of Kidney disease

Depending on the risk, your doctor will conduct various test to examine the performance of your kidney. These test may include:

1. Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR)

This test will determine how well your kidney is performing by looking at the value.

  • Over 90 – normal
  • Below 60 – abnormal

2. Kidney biopsy

A small piece of tissue from your kidney is removed as a sample to determine the type of kidney disease and level of damages if any.

3. Urine test

Urine samples and examination can detect protein contents in your urine and it can determine whether you have normal kidney or not.

4. Creatinine clearance test

The degrees of creatinine in your blood will increase if your kidneys aren’t working as expected.

Treatment for kidney disease

Treatment for kidney illness typically centres around controlling the basic reason for the infection. Your medical service provider will help you better deal with your blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels. They may utilize at least one of the accompanying strategies to treat kidney disease.

Drug and medicines

Your primary healthcare doctors will either endorse angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, like Lisinopril and Ramipril, or angiotensin receptor blockers. These are blood pressure drugs that can moderate the movement of kidney infection.

You may likewise be treated with cholesterol drugs such as simvastatin. These drugs can reduce blood cholesterol levels and help in maintaining a healthy normal kidney.

Change in Diet plan and lifestyles

For the treatment of kidney disease, medication is important but the diet you consume and your lifestyle can also determine the level of treatment. Accordingly, with the intensity of treatment, your doctor will recommend tips and advice to have a normal kidney:

  • control blood glucose level
  • avoid high cholesterol foods
  • consume less salt
  • avoid/limit alcohol consumption
  • quit smoking
  • exercise regularly
  • consume fruits healthy for your heart

How to prevent kidney disease

To prevent kidney disease, we can’t control the risk factors like age, race or family history. However, you can take the measures mentioned below to prevent getting kidney disease and have a normal kidney.

  • Drinking plenty of water (5-8 litres/day)
  • Reduce consumption of salt
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid/limit alcohol consumption

Related: 13 Water-rich foods that can keep you hydrated

Examine your kidney health

Get yourself tested for kidney disease using a standard blood test like a basic metabolic panel (BMP). This test will determine the availability of creatine or urea in your blood and get advice from your doctor to have a normal kidney.

Get tested for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol levels annually for early detection of kidney diseases and have normal kidney.

Limit consumption of certain foods

Foods that you consume are the factor for the development of certain types of kidney disease. These food include:

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapes) contains citric acid
  • Animal proteins
  • salt consumption in excess

List of kidney diseases and conditions

  • Abderhalden-Kaufmann-Lignac syndrome
  • Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
  • Acetaminophen-induced Nephrotoxicity
  • Acute Kidney Failure/Acute Kidney Injury
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Acute Lobar Nephronia
  • Acute Phosphate Nephropathy
  • Acute proliferative glomerulonephritis
  • Acute Tubular Necrosis
  • Abderhalden-Kaufmann-Lignac Syndrome (Nephropathic Cystinosis)
  • Adenine phosphoribosyltransferase deficiency
  • Adenovirus Nephritis
  • Alagille Syndrome
  • Alport Syndrome
  • Amyloidosis
  • Analgesic Nephropathy
  • ANCA Vasculitis Related to Endocarditis and Other Infections
  • Angiomyolipoma
  • Angiotensin Antibodies and Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa and Kidney Disease
  • Anti-TNF-α Therapy-related Glomerulonephritis
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome
  • APOL1 Mutations
  • Apparent Mineralocorticoid Excess Syndrome
  • Apparent Mineralocorticoid Excess Syndrome
  • Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy, Chinese Herbal Nephropathy, Balkan Endemic Nephropathy
  • Arteriovenous Malformations and Fistulas of the Urologic Tract
  • Autosomal Dominant Hypocalcemia
  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
  • Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease
  • Balkan endemic nephropathy
  • Bardet-Biedl Syndrome
  • Bardoxolone methyl
  • Bartter Syndrome
  • Bath Salts and Acute Kidney Injury
  • Beer Potomania
  • Beeturia
  • Benign nephrosclerosis
  • Bile Cast Nephropathy
  • BK Polyoma Virus Nephropathy in the Native Kidney
  • Bladder Rupture
  • Bladder Sphincter Dyssynergia
  • Bladder Tamponade
  • Border-Crossers’ Nephropathy
  • Bourbon Virus and Acute Kidney Injury
  • Bright’s disease
  • Burnt Sugarcane Harvesting and Acute Renal Dysfunction
  • Byetta and Renal Failure
  • C1q Nephropathy
  • C3 Glomerulopathy
  • C3 Glomerulopathy with Monoclonal Gammopathy
  • C4 Glomerulopathy
  • Calcineurin Inhibitor Nephrotoxicity
  • Callilepsis Laureola Poisoning
  • Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Acute Renal Failure
  • Cardiorenal syndrome
  • Carfilzomib-Induced Renal Injury
  • CFHR5 nephropathy
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease with Glomerulopathy
  • Cherry Concentrate and Acute Kidney Injury
  • Chinese Herbal Medicines and Nephrotoxicity
  • Cholesterol Emboli
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Chyluria
  • Ciliopathy
  • Cocaine and the Kidney
  • Cold Diuresis
  • Colistin Nephrotoxicity
  • Collagenofibrotic Glomerulopathy
  • Collapsing Glomerulopathy, Collapsing Glomerulopathy Related to CMV
  • Combination Antiretroviral (cART) Related-Nephropathy
  • Congenital Anomalies of the Kidney and Urinary Tract (CAKUT)
  • Congenital nephrotic syndrome
  • Congestive Renal Failure
  • Conorenal syndrome
  • Conorenal syndrome (Mainzer-Saldino Syndrome or Saldino-Mainzer Disease)
  • Contrast Nephropathy
  • Contrast-induced nephropathy
  • Copper Sulphate Intoxication
  • Cortical Necrosis
  • Crizotinib-related Acute Kidney Injury
  • Cryocrystalglobulinemia
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Crystal-Induced Acute Kidney injury
  • Crystal-Storing Histiocytosis
  • Crystalglobulin-Induced Nephropathy
  • Cystic kidney disease
  • Cystic Kidney Disease, Acquired
  • Cystinuria
  • Dasatinib-Induced Nephrotic-Range Proteinuria
  • Dense Deposit Disease (MPGN Type 2)
  • Dent Disease (X-linked Recessive Nephrolithiasis)
  • Dent’s disease
  • DHA Crystalline Nephropathy
  • Diabetes and Diabetic Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes Insipidus
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome
  • Dietary Supplements and Renal Failure
  • Diffuse Mesangial Sclerosis
  • Diffuse proliferative nephritis
  • Distal renal tubular acidosis
  • Diuresis
  • Djenkol Bean Poisoning (Djenkolism)
  • Down Syndrome and Kidney Disease
  • Drugs of Abuse and Kidney Disease
  • Duplicated Ureter
  • EAST syndrome
  • Ebola and the Kidney
  • Ectopic Kidney
  • Ectopic Ureter
  • Oedema, Swelling
  • End-Stage Renal Disease Program
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • Erdheim-Chester Disease
  • Fabry’s Disease
  • Familial Hypocalciuric Hypercalcemia
  • Fanconi Syndrome
  • Fechtner syndrome
  • Fibrillary Glomerulonephritis and Immunotactoid Glomerulopathy
  • Fibronectin Glomerulopathy
  • Fluid Overload, Hypervolemia
  • Focal proliferative nephritis
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
  • Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Sclerosis, Focal Glomerulosclerosis
  • Fraley syndrome
  • Fraser syndrome
  • Galloway Mowat syndrome
  • Gestational Hypertension
  • Giant Cell (Temporal) Arteritis with Kidney Involvement
  • Gitelman Syndrome
  • Glomerular Diseases
  • Glomerular Tubular Reflux
  • Glomerulocystic kidney disease
  • Glomerulopathy
  • Glycosuria
  • Goldblatt’s kidney
  • Goodpasture syndrome
  • Green Smoothie Cleanse Nephropathy
  • Hair Dye Ingestion and Acute Kidney Injury
  • HANAC Syndrome
  • Hantavirus Infection Podocytopathy
  • Harvoni (Ledipasvir with Sofosbuvir)-Induced Renal Injury
  • Heat Stress Nephropathy
  • Hematologic Diseases Information Service
  • Hematuria (Blood in Urine)
  • Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS)
  • Hemophagocytic Syndrome
  • Hemorrhagic Cystitis
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS, Hantavirus Renal Disease, Korean Hemorrhagic Fever, Epidemic Hemorrhagic Fever, Nephropathis Epidemica)
  • Hemosiderinuria
  • Hemosiderosis related to Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria and Hemolytic Anemia
  • Hepatic Glomerulopathy
  • Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease, Sinusoidal Obstruction Syndrome
  • Hepatitis C-Associated Renal Disease
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1β-Associated Kidney Disease
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome
  • Herbal Supplements and Kidney Disease
  • High Altitude Renal Syndrome
  • High anion gap metabolic acidosis
  • High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease
  • HIV-Associated Immune Complex Kidney Disease (HIVICK)
  • HIV-associated nephropathy
  • HIV-Associated Nephropathy (HIVAN)
  • HNF1B-related Autosomal Dominant Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease
  • Horseshoe kidney
  • Horseshoe Kidney (Renal Fusion)
  • Hunner’s Ulcer
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Hydroxychloroquine-induced Renal Phospholipidosis
  • Hyperaldosteronism
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypermagnesemia
  • Hypernatremia
  • Hyperoxaluria
  • Hyperphosphatemia
  • Hypertension
  • Hypertension, Monogenic
  • Hypertensive kidney disease
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis Syndrome
  • Hypokalemia, Hypokalemia-induced renal dysfunction
  • Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis
  • Hypomagnesemia
  • Hyponatremia
  • Hypophosphatemia
  • Hypophosphatemia in Users of Cannabis
  • Iced Tea Nephropathy
  • Ifosfamide Nephrotoxicity
  • IgA Nephropathy
  • IgG4 Nephropathy
  • Immersion Diuresis
  • Immune Complex Tubulointerstitial Nephritis Due to Autoantibodies to the Proximal Tubule Brush Border
  • Immune-Checkpoint Therapy-Related Interstitial Nephritis
  • Infliximab-Related Renal Disease
  • Interstitial Cystitis, Painful Bladder Syndrome (Questionnaire)
  • Interstitial Nephritis
  • Interstitial Nephritis, Karyomegalic
  • Ivemark’s syndrome
  • JC Virus Nephropathy
  • Joubert Syndrome
  • Juvenile nephronophthisis
  • Ketamine-Associated Bladder Dysfunction
  • Kidney cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney Disease Following Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Kidney Disease Related to Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Kidney stone disease
  • Kidney Stones, Nephrolithiasis
  • Kombucha Tea Toxicity
  • Lead Nephropathy and Lead-Related Nephrotoxicity
  • Lecithin Cholesterol Acyltransferase Deficiency (LCAT Deficiency)
  • Leptospirosis Renal Disease
  • Liddle Syndrome
  • Light Chain Deposition Disease, Monoclonal Immunoglobulin Deposition Disease
  • Light Chain Proximal Tubulopathy
  • Lightwood-Albright Syndrome
  • Lightwood-Albright syndrome
  • Lipoprotein Glomerulopathy
  • List of kidney stone formers
  • Lithium Nephrotoxicity
  • LMX1B Mutations Cause Hereditary FSGS
  • Loin Pain Hematuria
  • Lupus Kidney Disease, Lupus Nephritis
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Lupus Nephritis with Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody Seropositivity
  • Lupus Podocytopathy
  • Lupus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosis
  • Lyme Disease-Associated Glomerulonephritis
  • Lysinuric Protein Intolerance
  • Lysozyme Nephropathy
  • Malakoplakia
  • Malarial nephropathy
  • Malignancy-Associated Renal Disease
  • Malignant Hypertension
  • McKittrick-Wheelock Syndrome
  • MDMA (Molly; Ecstacy; 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and Kidney Failure
  • Meatal Stenosis
  • Medullary Cystic Kidney Disease
  • Medullary Cystic Kidney Disease, Urolodulin-Associated Nephropathy, Juvenile Hyperuricemic Nephropathy Type 1
  • Medullary sponge kidney
  • Megaureter
  • Melamine Toxicity and the Kidney
  • MELAS Syndrome
  • Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis
  • Membranous glomerulonephritis
  • Membranous Nephropathy
  • Membranous-like Glomerulopathy with Masked IgG Kappa Deposits
  • MesoAmerican Nephropathy
  • Metabolic Acidosis
  • Metabolic Alkalosis
  • Methotrexate-related Renal Failure
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis
  • Milk-alkali syndrome
  • Milk-alkali syndrome
  • Minimal Change Disease
  • Minimal mesangial glomerulonephritis
  • Monoclonal Gammopathy of Renal Significance, Dysproteinemia
  • Mouthwash Toxicity
  • MUC1 Nephropathy
  • Multicystic dysplastic kidney
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and Glomerulopathy
  • Nail-patella Syndrome
  • NARP Syndrome
  • Nephritis
  • Nephrocalcinosis
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus
  • Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
  • Nephromegaly
  • Nephroptosis
  • Nephroptosis (Floating Kidney, Renal Ptosis)
  • Nephrosis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Neurogenic Bladder
  • Nodular Glomerulosclerosis
  • Non-Gonococcal Urethritis
  • Nutcracker syndrome
  • Oligomeganephronia
  • Orofaciodigital Syndrome
  • Orotic Aciduria
  • Orthostatic Hypotension
  • Orthostatic Proteinuria
  • Osmotic Diuresis
  • Osmotic Nephrosis
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
  • Oxalate Nephropathy
  • Page Kidney
  • Papillary Necrosis
  • Papillorenal syndrome
  • Papillorenal Syndrome (Renal-Coloboma Syndrome, Isolated Renal Hypoplasia)
  • PARN Mutations and Kidney Disease
  • Parvovirus B19 and the Kidney
  • Phosphate nephropathy
  • Podocyte Infolding Glomerulopathy
  • POEMS Syndrome
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Post-Infectious Glomerulonephritis (IgA-Dominant), Mimicking IgA Nephropathy
  • Post-infectious Glomerulonephritis, Atypical
  • Post-infectious Glomerulonephritis, Post-streptococcal Glomerulonephritis
  • Post-Obstructive Diuresis
  • Posterior Urethral Valve
  • Posterior Urethral Valves
  • Preeclampsia
  • Primary hyperoxaluria
  • Proliferative Glomerulonephritis with Monoclonal IgG Deposits (Nasr Disease)
  • Propofol infusion syndrome
  • Propolis (Honeybee Resin) Related Renal Failure
  • Proteinuria (Protein in Urine)
  • Proximal renal tubular acidosis
  • Pseudohyperaldosteronism
  • Pseudohypobicarbonatemia
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism
  • Pulmonary-Renal Syndrome
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Pyelonephritis (Kidney Infection)
  • Pyonephrosis
  • Pyridium and Kidney Failure
  • Radiation Nephropathy
  • Ranolazine and the Kidney
  • Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis
  • Refeeding syndrome
  • Reflux Nephropathy
  • Renal Abscess, Peripnephric Abscess
  • Renal agenesis
  • Renal angina
  • Renal Arcuate Vein Microthrombi-Associated Acute Kidney Injury
  • Renal Artery Aneurysm
  • Renal Artery Dissection, Spontaneous
  • Renal Artery Stenosis
  • Renal Cell Cancer
  • Renal Cyst
  • Renal Hypouricemia with Exercise-induced Acute Renal Failure
  • Renal Infarction
  • Renal ischemia
  • Renal Osteodystrophy
  • Renal papillary necrosis
  • Renal tubular acidosis
  • Renal vein thrombosis
  • Renin Mutations and Autosomal Dominant Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease
  • Renin Secreting Tumors (Juxtaglomerular Cell Tumor)
  • Reninoma
  • Reset Osmostat
  • Retrocaval Ureter
  • Retroperitoneal Fibrosis
  • Rhabdomyolysis, Rhabdomyolysis related to Bariatric Surgery
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis-Associated Renal Disease
  • Salt Wasting, Renal and Cerebral
  • Sarcoidosis Renal Disease
  • Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia
  • Schistosomiasis and Glomerular Disease
  • Scleroderma Renal Crisis
  • Secondary hypertension
  • Serpentine fibula-polycystic kidney syndrome
  • Serpentine Fibula-Polycystic Kidney Syndrome, Exner Syndrome
  • Shunt nephritis
  • Sickle Cell Nephropathy
  • Silica Exposure and Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome and Renal Disease
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome and Renal Disease
  • Sri Lankan Farmers’ Kidney Disease
  • Synthetic Cannabinoid Use and Acute Kidney Injury
  • TAFRO Syndrome
  • Tea and Toast Hyponatremia
  • Tenofovir-Induced Nephrotoxicity
  • Tetracapsuloides
  • The Peritoneal-Renal Syndrome
  • Thin basement membrane disease
  • Thin Basement Membrane Disease, Benign Familial Hematuria
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathy Associated with Monoclonal Gammopathy
  • Transplant glomerulopathy
  • Trench Nephritis
  • Trigonitis
  • Tuberculosis, Genitourinary
  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Tubular Dysgenesis
  • Tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis
  • Tubulopathy
  • Tumour Lysis Syndrome
  • Uremia
  • Uremic frost
  • Uremic Optic Neuropathy
  • Ureteritis Cystic
  • Ureterocele
  • Urethral Caruncle
  • Urethral Stricture
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Urinary Tract Obstruction
  • Urogenital Fistula
  • Uromodulin-Associated Kidney Disease
  • Vancomycin-Associated Cast Nephropathy
  • Vasomotor Nephropathy
  • Vesicointestinal Fistula
  • Vesicoureteral Reflux
  • VGEF Inhibition and Renal Thrombotic Microangiopathy
  • Volatile Anesthetics and Acute Kidney Injury
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Disease
  • Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Glomerulonephritis
  • Warfarin-Related Nephropathy
  • Wasp Stings and Acute Kidney Injury
  • Wegener’s Granulomatosis, Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
  • West Nile Virus and Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Wunderlich syndrome
  • Zellweger Syndrome, Cerebrohepatorenal Syndrome
  • β-Thalassemia Renal Disease

The list mentioned above is for informational purpose only. It may be outdated or incomplete.