Last month, a news report had the BMC admit that Mumbai is suffering an 80 per cent shortage of dialysis beds. Several patients, unable to access dialysis, have succumbed to kidney failure. With lifestyle disorders on the rise among urban Indians, it's especially important to take care of your kidneys (so what if you have a pair?). For that, you'll have to know the bean-shaped filters of your body inside out? Take our quiz to find out if you do: 1 Where are your kidneys located?
a) Front and upper section of your body b) Front and lower section of your body c) Lower section of your body, in the back d) Lower section of your body, in front
Answer: C. Kidneys are located behind the abdominal cavity, above the waist. While their rear portion is covered by the ribs, the lower section is unprotected. If you place your hands on your hips, the position of your thumb indicates the position of the kidney. 2 Smoking affects the kidneys
a) True b) False
Answer: A. The kidneys perform the essential function of keeping the blood in the body free of toxins. In fact, several heavy smokers suffer from renal cell carcinoma, says Dr Madan Bahadur, consultant nephrologist and transplant surgeon at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre. Smoking also increases the deposition of cholesterol in large blood vessels, reducing blood supply to kidneys. This means oxygen levels in the kidneys drop, causing hypoxia, diminishing their ability to function optimally. 3 How much blood does a kidney filter every day?
a) 10 litres b) 100 million litres c) 180 litres d) 100 litres
Answer: C. A healthy adult's kidneys filter about 180 litres of blood every day to remove toxic wastes. 4 What's a kidney-friendly combination?
a) Carrots and green beans
b) Pineapple, green peas and coffee
Answer: B. Pineapple, green beans and coffee are all low potassium foods. Potassium is a mineral present in most foods, and your kidneys are responsible for maintaining potassium levels in the body (healthy levels — 3.5 - 5.0 mEq/L). High levels can lead to a irregular heartbeat, and even a heart attack. 5 The primary cause of kidney failure in India is
a) Kidney stones
d) Kidney infection
Answer: B. Fifty per cent of kidney related diseases are caused by diabetes. In diabetics, the albumin protein necessary for muscular functions, leaks into the filtering unit of the kidney blocking the tubules from which urine is sent out of the body. Hence, urine is absorbed back into the body altering the balance of the cytokine level — cell-signalling molecules that aid cell-to-cell communication in immune responses resulting in permanent damage. 6 Which common habit is a kidney-killer?
a) Taking strong painkillers off and on. b) Eating stale food. c) Drinking hot soup.
Answer: A. Heavy doses of strong painkillers that fall in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) category interfere with the filtration of the kidneys, directly increasing toxicity levels in the body. This could either cause acute injury to the kidneys (this is reversible) or chronic injury (which signifies permanent damage). "While it's okay to pop the occasional painkiller, ensure that you drink a lot of water after.