Copasetic Posted May 2, 2011 #126 Share Posted May 2, 2011 Look, here it is laid out simply for you--The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. Each nephron has a "single nephron GFR" or SNGFR, which is determined by filtration rate at the barrier in the glomerulus of said nephron. Collectively, the SNGFRs constitute the overall function of the kidney. You are born with, and live with, an excess number of those nephrons. You actually only need about 15-20% (depending on your age, size, health, etc) of those nephrons to survive. Ergo, your GFR or "Glomerular filtration rate"--That is the sum of all of your nephrons acting in tandem, provides excessive filtration of blood plasma that actually isn't required for life. For this same reason, you can donate a kidney (or be born with a single one) and get along fine. Also pertinent to the discussion then, is that when kidney failure "happens" (I am talking about terminally) your at the end stage of a disease process that has been occurring for years--Probably decades (and probably often in response to the terribly high acidic diets we eat, which evidence shows the excessive amount of hydrogen ion secretion, aka; acid, typical of the western diet works "wonders" on the macula densa and other nephron machinery). Where and when you start dialysis is often variable, sometimes is it done in a prophylatic manner to ease degrading GFR rates (which your physician can monitor over the years via creatinine-phosphate levels). It is not uncommon, by any stretch of the imagination, for people who are starting the process of kidney failure to live long lingering lives--Not to mention before they ever even start dialysis. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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