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    • #18515
      Paul met Debbie

      So, what about the kidney?

      Recently I became interested in my kidneys. I was never before. I think this is, because the kidney is one of my “silent” organs. Some organs in the body I can clearly notice. I feel and hear my lungs when air rushes in and out, I feel my heart beating in my chest and veins and I can make this visible even on my little fitness watch. My stomach incidentally produces sounds or can be painful when too full or empty, or when acid reflux happens – then I also feel my esophagus hurt. And even the intestines can be felt and heard.

      But other organs do not present themselves at all, unless something is seriously wrong. The liver and the spleen are examples of this. And the kidneys as well. They only present themselves to the eyes and nose and ears indirectly by the excretion they produce. Unless, as said, when something is seriously wrong. This is what happened to me recently when one of my kidneys produced a so called kidney stone, which is a crystalline formation that can descend in and sometimes block the ureter, causing a hell of a lot of pain. Now my kidney was not silent anymore, nor was I.

      So, hence my sudden interest in this organ, and I started searching in my area’s of interest to see if the kidney can be found there as an object.

      Physically of course, the kidney can be found in the body. Being one of the organs, there is a lot of knowledge to be found about the kidney in medical science. But since I am not a physician, my attention is directed more towards the realms of philosophy (including religion), art and mysticism. So I started searching. Where do the kidneys appear in these realms, and how?

      It turns out that the kidneys are not a very popular subject at all. Yes, there is a world kidney day (WKD), every second Thursday in March, to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys and to reduce frequency and impact of kidney disease.

      But there are for instance almost no jokes about kidneys. At least, not very good ones. There are so called Urologist jokes, but they are not to be repeated here because of profanities, or they are of a rather poor sort of humor (“when you have a kidney stone, urine trouble”).

      In music, kidneys are not to be found either. They are not sung about, and no composer has ever dedicated his hearts feelings to this organ.

      And kidneys are not subject of meaningful popular aphorism or sayings – at least, I couldn’t find them. So, where are they?

      I will report about more results of my search later. For now, I can tell you that the kidney is mentioned in the bible quite a lot for different reasons and there is a connection with Michelangelo.

      Have a fluid Sunday.

    • #18526
      Tim Blowfield

      Ahh! The ‘Kidleys!’ as my anatomy lecturer said some 60+ years ago. Very important. one of the 2 garbage collectors of the body. But they do more than garbage collection – more than being the sewers.  The work very closely with the nearby Adrenal Glands to regulate water and electrolytes. They also play a big part in Diabetes and glucose metabolism.  Yes they are mentioned 13 times in the Bible, mostly in the books of Exodus (2) and Leviticus (9). In all but the one reference in Job it is about instructions for the sacrifice of the ox and sheep. In Job it is in context of his pain and distress as he tries to make sense of his suffering in the context of his understanding of God who is in control. Much what many with CF experience today as they ask ‘why me?’, ‘why should this have happenned to me?’. CS Lewis wrestled with the issue after his wife died in his little book “The problem of Pain”.  Like Job, Lewis hung onto his belief in God while many, seeing the suffering of the Second World War, chose to shun God. I too am in the Job/Lewis camp as the alternate seems to me to not be reasonable but I still grieve at the suffering my wife endures with CF. made worse by the recent fact that Vertex has shown she should respond to TK but the company and the Australian Government will not even allow it to be tried on her.

      Michaelangelo! Yes he drew them. And yes! that other naughty boy and colleague Leonardo da Vinci also drew them in 1510, both being involved in the then banned activity of human dissection.  (Banned by the Pope but not by the court of Leonardo de’ Medici in Venice).

      The Kidneys are often damaged by the toxins and dehydration produced by infection (common in CF) but how much are they directly affected by the  intracellular electrolyte inbalance caused by the faulty CFTR channel. They produce no mucous but often produce super-saturated urine that lead to a variety of kidney stones (OUCH!). High concentrations of excreted Glucose in the kidney tubules cause great damage that can destroy the kidneys. In heart failure they often do not excrete enough leading to swollen ankles, pulmonary oedema. Diuretics are usually prescribed but the new SGLT2 inhibitors have recently been shown to be better.

      Look after your kidneys and they will look after you!

    • #18561
      Luisa Palazola

      Our body’s in house filtration system! They really don’t draw a whole lot of attention until they do. I’ve had a few run-ins with kidney stones alongside an autoimmune disease (henoch schonlein purpura) that caused me to be super cautious of my kidney function.

      Perhaps it would be worth it to look into Chinese/ Eastern medicine’s interpretation of the kidneys?

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