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Kidney Basics

Your kidneys are an important part of your body!  Learn about them and take steps to help keep them healthy!

What do my kidneys do?
Where are my kidneys?
What is kidney disease?

What do my kidneys do?

Your kidneys clean waste and extra fluid from your blood.  This makes up your urine (pee).  They also do many other jobs that you need in order to live.  Your kidneys:

  • Control chemicals and fluid in your body
  • Help control your blood pressure
  • Help keep your bones healthy
  • Help you make red blood cells

Where are my kidneys?

Your kidneys are part of your urinary tract.  They are located on either side of your spine, just below your rib cage.  Each kidney is connected to your bladder by a thin tube called a ureter.

What is kidney disease?

The term “chronic kidney disease” (CKD) means lasting damage to the kidneys that can get worse over time.  If the damage is very bad, your kidneys may stop working.  This is called kidney failure.  If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live.

CKD can be caused by many different diseases.  The most common causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure.  Some infections, inherited diseases and injuries can also cause CKD. 

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