About Your Kidneys: Kidneys and Hormones

In addition to their filtration function, the kidneys produce hormones and enzymes - chemicals that act as the body's messengers. These hormones and enzymes help control blood pressure, control red blood cell production, and maintain your bone strength

Damaged kidneys may not properly produce:

  • Renin: Controls blood pressure
    • high blood pressure can cause kidney damage, and kidney damage can cause high blood pressure
  • Erythropoietin: Controls red blood cell production
    • too little causes anemia
  • Calcitriol (Active form of Vitamin D): Controls calcium absorbed from food
    • too little causes calcium to be pulled from the bones, leading to osteoporosis

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