Most people are born with two kidneys, which are bean-shaped organs located in the middle of the back, on either side of the spine. Each kidney weighs about five ounces and is about the size of a fist.
One kidney, functioning at 20% capacity, can:
- Clean your blood and remove waste products through the formation of urine
- Balance fluids in the body by controlling water and salt concentrations
- Maintain the balance of the body's chemicals (potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus)
- Control blood pressure
Many diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure, can cause your kidneys to malfunction, and may lead to kidney disease or failure.
Organ transplant support organizations
Questions and answers about kidney disorders and transplantation
Many of the links below go to articles in our Healthwise® Health Encyclopedia. Learn more about Healthwise® on our Health Encyclopedia page.
- How safe is transplantation surgery?
- How might my diet impact my health?
- If I suffer from kidney failure, should I start dialysis?
- Is a kidney transplant right for me?
- If I receive a transplant, will I need to take antirejection medicines?
- How effective are kidney transplants?
- What is the typical transplantation process?
- What do I need to do after I am referred to Transplantation Surgery?
- What can I expect after I receive a kidney transplant?
Kidney disorders and transplantation
Follow the links below to read articles on Healthwise®.
- Kidney transplant
- Acute kidney injury (acute renal failure)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Peritoneal dialysis
- Transplant rejection