The kidneys are complicated and amazing organs that do many essential tasks to keep us healthy.
The main job of your kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from your blood. Kidneys also help to control your blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep your bones healthy.
Each roughly the size of your fist, kidneys are located deep in the abdomen, beneath the rib cage.
Your kidneys control blood stream levels of many minerals and molecules including sodium and potassium, and help to control blood acidity. Every day your kidneys carefully control the salt and water in your body so that your blood pressure remains the same.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive loss in kidney function over a period of months or years. Each of your kidneys has about a million tiny filters, called nephrons. If nephrons are damaged, they stop working. For a while, healthy nephrons can take on the extra work. But if the damage continues, more and more nephrons shut down. After a certain point, the nephrons that are left cannot filter your blood well enough to keep you healthy.