Greetings! In today’s class we shall see how poisons injure the kidneys. Let us see what happens.
These miraculous filters handle nearly a quart of blood every minute, and in seven minutes handle an amount equal to all of that in the body; at least 600 quarts of blood pass through the normal kidneys every twenty-four hours for certain wastes to be removed; all the blood of the body passes through the kidneys many times each day.
The wastes are removed by the action of the selective cells in the circular-shaped glomeruli and in the tubules which together constitute one unit of filter mechanism of which there are said to be two million in each kidney (some say four million), each composed of cells, many of which have the power of selection akin to intelligence. The glomeruli drain into the tubules, which are so small each one can handle a fourth of an ounce in sixty years. The glomeruli extract about sixty quarts of fluid from the blood in twenty-four hours, and pour it into the tubules which put back into the blood, all except about two quart, which are eliminated as urine, and in which are the wastes that have been extracted. The kidneys thus use one quart of water to extract forty-five grams of waste. If there is a deficiency of water in the body, the urine is too concentrated and the kidneys are handicapped in the elimination of wastes. They remove the waste products of metabolism. The glomeruli removes glucose, sodium chlorine, and water which are put back by the tubules to certain level which must be maintained, which level is called the “threshold,” and all amounts above that level are allowed to escape into the urine. Acids and bases both filter through the glomeruli, but the tubules reabsorb bases so as to preserve the right acid-base balance of the blood. There is no mechanism more marvelous than this known to man outside of himself.
The kidney mechanism and functions bear witness to an infinite Mind which designed their structure, and an infinite being Who continues to maintain their existence and Who supervises their functions. To suggest that such and organ could originate of itself without a Designer and Creator is so foolish that no scientist or school boy would even consider applying the same argument to an automobile. Why not be consistent?
But, remember, that the kidney is only one of many parts of the human body, each as wonderful as it, and all of which work together in unison and with as much delicacy as do the various parts of the kidneys with each other.
Furthermore, He who created and still maintains this organ will someday call all men to account for their misuse of this marvelous mechanism. To believe that, is inescapable. Therefore, the acceptance of the duty of man to obey his Maker’s will in the use of the organs of his body much be a most vital part of religion when a genuine and complete religion is found and accepted. Little wonder is it that such a religion would have to have within it, as a cardinal feature, a memorial of creation to ever remind man of all of his obligations to do his Master’s will in the use of the organs of his body as well as in the observance of the Ten Commandments. That memorial of creation, and the acceptance of the laws of physiology whose origin it memorializes, must be a most vital part of religion. Such a memorial is found in the fourth commandment.
Poisoning the Kidneys
But men do not reverence God or have regard for their own organs. They overwork their kidney cells to the point of the destruction of many of them. They fail to provide sufficient water for elimination. They live so as to allow poisons to develop within the body which ought never to be there. And worst of all, they daily, knowingly, deliberately put into the body substances which are defined as poisons in every pharmacopeia on earth. These extra poisons destroy the cells of the organ and so lessen its efficiency or perhaps terminate its usefulness.
The kidney cells were designated to handle only the wastes of the cells, and with only that work to do they would last throughout life. They work in “shifts”—part of them rest while others work, and change about so that no portion of the kidney every need to be even “tired.”
These extra poisons lessen the vitality of cells and even destroy some of them, and then their places are taken by scar cells which have no powers of selection and cannot help in the work. When a cell is gone, its work is left for others, which increases their work, so they are in greater danger than before. Thus each step in destruction brings successive destructive steps in ever-increasing rapidity until “Bright’s disease” is the diagnosis. Now the injury is irreparable. Each year a hundred thousand Americans die of diseased kidneys, many of them in the prime of life.
The kidneys have so great an excess of capacity that two-thirds of one kidney can take care of the wastes of metabolism which is all the wastes the kidneys should be asked to handle. Because of this excess capacity, a great portion of the kidney cells can be destroyed before the owner or his doctor deters any warning sign; there is no pain. You may tell a man he is daily destroying his kidney cells and he will laugh in your face because he feels perfectly well. Too late will he discover the truth. ‘A normal kidney has been estimated to contain about 1, 250, 000 glomeruli. When more than 400, 000 have been destroyed, signs of chronic nephritis appears.’
There are also several types of infection which injure the kidney cells, but their presence in the blood stream whence they may enter the kidney, is a matter of general ‘immunity’ of the body, which is to be discussed in another class. There are other kidney conditions but this section is concerned specially with the effects of poisons on the kidneys.
1. What is a glomeruli?
2. What are three substances that the glomeruli removes?
3. What were the kidney cells designed to handle?
4. Why do the kidneys work in shifts?
5. How can the fourth commandment help us to better care for our kidneys?
6. What do the kidney cells need to assist with elimination?
7. What is “Bright’s Disease”?
Grab a friend and share the wealth, from what you’ve learned in the School of Health! In next weeks class we shall learn about the effects of poisoning on the arteries and heart!
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