What Kidneys Do
Your kidneys are two organs found below the ribs on both sides of your spine. They are shaped like kidney beans and are about the size of your closed fist.
Kidneys help the body get rid of waste and fluids. Occasionally people are born with one kidney, or lose a kidney during life, and still maintain normal overall kidney function. It’s when both kidneys are affected by kidney disease that treatment is necessary.
Kidneys have many important jobs:
Kidneys help balance and regulate fluid in the body and also create hormones that affect blood pressure.
As blood flows through the kidneys, they remove wastes from the blood (breakdown of nutrients from food and body tissues).
Kidneys help get rid of extra fluid in the body so your body and heart don’t have to manage that extra fluid.
Kidneys help balance important minerals including regulating
the body’s level of sodium, potassium and calcium.
Healthy kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin which can trigger bone marrow to make red blood cells which, in turn, help deliver oxygen to the body.