The kidneys are a pair of organs located in the lower abdomen whose main role is the production of urine. Various possible kidney symptoms include kidney pain and various related urinary symptoms. Kidney disorders include nephropathy, nephritis, and many other types. Read more about: Kidney Symptoms, Urinary Symptoms, Kidney Disorders
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Kidney: Bean-shaped organ that filters wastes from the blood. The body has two kidneys located near the middle of the back. They create urine, which is delivered to the bladder through tubes called ureters.
Source: RDCRN (NCATS/NIH)1
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Your kidneys aren't very large—each is just the size of a computer mouse—but they're hard-working. They filter all the blood in your body every 30 minutes, removing wastes, toxins, and excess fluid. They also help control blood pressure, stimulate production of red blood cells, keep your bones healthy, and regulate blood chemicals that are essential to life.
Source: CDC Features2
What are the kidneys and what do they do?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid. The urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through two thin tubes of muscle called ureters, one on each side of the bladder. The bladder stores urine. The muscles of the bladder wall remain relaxed while the bladder fills with urine. As the bladder fills to capacity, signals sent to the brain tell a person to find a toilet soon. When the bladder empties, urine flows out of the body through a tube called the urethra, located at the bottom of the bladder. In men the urethra is long, while in women it is short.
Why are the kidneys important?
The kidneys are important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function. They
- prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body
- keep levels of electrolytes stable, such as sodium, potassium, and phosphate
- make hormones that help ?regulate blood pressure
- make red blood cells
- bones stay strong
How do the kidneys work?
The kidney is not one large filter. Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. Each nephron filters a small amount of blood. The nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule. The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it prevents blood cells and large molecules, mostly proteins, from passing. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes. The final product becomes urine.
Source: NIDDK (NIH)3
Your kidneys aren’t very big—each is about the size of your fist—but they do important work. They keep you healthy by maintaining just the right balance of water and other substances inside your body.
Your kidneys are 2 reddish, bean-shaped organs located on either side of your spine in the middle of your back. Their main job is to filter your blood. Each kidney contains about a million tiny filters that can process around 40 gallons of fluid every day—about enough to fill a house’s hot water heater. When blood passes through the kidney, the filters sift and hold onto the substances your body might need, such as certain nutrients and much of the water. Harmful wastes and extra water and nutrients are routed to the nearby bladder and flushed away as urine.
Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)4
The main job of the kidneys is to filter extra water and wastes out of your blood and to make urine. The kidneys also help control blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy.
Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)5
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Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of Urine and that regulates ion concentrations.6
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Kidney adverse event: An adverse event that occurs in kidney.7
Anatomical Information about Kidney
What are the kidneys and what do they do?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid. The urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine. When the bladder empties, urine flows out of the body through a tube called the urethra, located at the bottom of the bladder. In men, the urethra is long, while in women it is short.
Source: NIDDK (NIH)8
Types may include:9
Types of Kidney:
- Left Kidney
- Right Kidney
Read about these related anatomy topics:
- Blood pressure
- Rib cage
Read about these related symptoms:
- Kidney symptoms: Kidney symptoms, also called renal symptoms, are symptoms of the two kidneys inside the lower abdomen. They are part of the urinary system and filter the blood to produce urine
... More on Kidney symptoms »
- Kidney pain: Kidney pain is a type of side pain (flank pain) that relates to a kidney disorder. One particular type is called “renal colic”, which is usually caused by kidney stones
... More on Kidney pain »
- Urinary Symptoms: The urinary tract is your body’s drainage system for removing urine. Urine is composed of wastes and water. The urinary tract includes your kidneys, ureters, and bladder. To urinate10
... More on Urinary Symptoms »
Disease and Condition Articles
Read about these related conditions and diseases:
- Kidney Disorders: Kidney disorders, or renal disorders, refers to any of the group of diseases that affect the kidneys. Acute kidney conditions include kidney infection, kidney inflammation (nephritis), kidney pain, and so
... More on Kidney Disorders »
- Nephropathy: Nephropathy is a name for kidney disease. Other kidney disorders include nephritis and kidney failure. Diabetes can cause diabetic nephropathy, and hypertension (high blood pressure) can cause hypertensive nephropathy. Kidney disease
... More on Nephropathy »
- Nephritis: Lupus nephritis is kidney inflammation caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus). SLE is an autoimmune disease—a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body11
... More on Nephritis »
- Adverse Events: Adverse Events is a general term referring to an “event” that is “adverse” to (against) the patient, such as side-effect or complication from a medication, drug, substance, or procedure
... More on Adverse Events »
Related Symptom Topics
Read more about these related symptoms:More »
Related Disease and Condition Topics
Read about these diseases and medical conditions related to Kidney:More »
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- Source: RDCRN (NCATS/NIH): rarediseasesnetwork.org/ cms/ neptune/ Learn-More
- Source: CDC Features: cdc.gov/ features/ worldkidneyday/ index.html
- Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ health-topics/ Anatomy/ kidneys-how-they-work/ Pages/ anatomy.aspx
- Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ issue/ mar2013/ feature1
- Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ issue/ jun2010/ capsule2
- Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- Source: OAE Ontology
- Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ kidney-disease/ amyloidosis
- Source: NCI Thesaurus
- Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ urologic-diseases
- Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ health-topics/ kidney-disease/ lupus-nephritis/ pages/ index.aspx
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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.