What Your Kidneys Do

Located on either side of your spine at the lowest level of the rib cage, your two kidneys perform the critical task of filtering fluid and eliminating waste as urine. The kidneys also perform other important functions—helping control blood pressure, making red blood cells, and keeping bones healthy.

About Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) refers to a variety of conditions that damage your kidneys over time. This is a serious problem because the kidneys are so critical to your health. As the kidneys deteriorate, you feel sick because waste is building up in your blood. You may develop high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, and poor nutritional health. Advanced kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

The Heart-Kidney Connection

The heart and kidneys work closely together, and affect each other more than you might realize. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen through all parts of your body. The kidneys clean the blood and remove waste products. It is important to know that having kidney disease can directly affect your chances of developing heart disease. Having heart disease can directly affect your chances of developing kidney disease.1

Know Your Kidney Numbers

Kidney numbers include two blood tests: Serum Creatinine (SCr) and Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). Both of these numbers measure kidney function and how well they are doing their job.

Talk with your health care provider about your kidney numbers and what they mean to you.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

1National Kidney Foundation. www.kidney.org