Kidney Wishes and Adrenal Dreams?
With apologies to Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, sitting on top of your kidneys are two triangle-shaped glands — the adrenal cortex, which produces critical hormones that need to be in balance, like cortisol (which regulates metabolism and helps us react to stress) and aldosterone (which controls blood pressure) — and the adrenal medulla, which produces adrenaline.
Adrenaline, as we know, is the fight-or-flight hormone that mobilizes your body to spring into action in what it considers to be a stressful situation: a fight, an argument, traffic, screaming kids, yelling bosses — you name it.
Great for responding to occasional attacks by wild animals or invaders but not so great when our adrenals are overtaxed by constantly responding to stressful situations 24/7.
Below the adrenals, the kidneys balance the internal chemistry of the body, both removing chemicals we don’t need (like extra water and salt) and keeping certain substances and chemicals that we do need — like potassium. They also jettison waste products from the protein in foods and from normal muscle activity.
Specifically, they release several hormones, too, including renin and erythropoietin, an activated form of vitamin D. In kidneys that aren’t working the way they should, the release of renin is uncontrollable and can cause high blood pressure.