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Your Child & Chronic Kidney Disease - What do the kidneys do?

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What do kidneys do cartoon

The kidneys are reddish brown organs about the size of their owner’s fists. They lie either side of the back bone just below the ribs protected by all the muscles of the back. Although most people are born with two kidneys, one is enough to meet the body’s needs.

The kidneys are attached to the bladder by thin tubes called ureters as you can see in the diagram (right). The tube leading from the bladder to the outside of the body is known as the urethra. The kidneys receive their blood supply from the main blood vessel of the body known as the aorta.

When you eat or drink, the excess water and the waste products of digestion are filtered from the blood by the kidney to produce urine. Kidneys also produce hormones which help to control blood pressure, growth of bones and the production of red blood cells.

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Content compiled by members of the Children’s Renal & Urology Unit, QMC Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 164: What do the kidneys do? written: 12/06/2004 last reviewed: 14/11/2020