Answers to commonly asked questions about a critical waste-removal system
"What side is your kidney on?" people ask, as they wonder whether that agony they're feeling is coming from a kidney.
The answer, of course, is both sides! You have two kidneys, one on either side of your body.
Too often people don’t understand or appreciate these important, fist-sized organs until something goes wrong with them. So for this blog, we’re going to share some interesting facts about kidneys.
Where are the kidneys located?
- Your kidneys live in the upper part of your abdomen, just under your rib cage.
- Your right kidney is found a bit lower than your left one, to make room for the liver.
What do they look like?
- Your kidneys are shaped like beans (that’s where the kidney bean gets its name).
- They’re about 4 or 5 inches long.
What do kidneys do?
- Kidneys help remove waste and excess liquids from your body. They do that thanks to tiny filters called nephrons that pick up the waste that will leave your body as urine. They filter all the blood in your body several times a day.
- They produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and tell your body when to make more red blood cells.
- They help make sure the volume of liquid in your body doesn’t fluctuate too much. That’s why if you’re losing a lot of water through sweat, you won’t need to urinate as often.
Why do kidneys hurt?
- The most common causes of kidney pain are urinary tract infections and kidney stones. You can feel kidney pain on either side of your back or both.
- There are multiple other possible causes of kidney pain, ranging from blunt trauma to tumors, so you should definitely see a doctor if you have kidney pain.
Why do kidneys stop working?
- A number of problems can cause kidney disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and inflammation of the kidneys.
What happens when kidneys fail?
- If kidneys fail completely, you will need to have dialysis—in which a machine takes over the job of removing waste from your blood—or a transplant of a healthy kidney to stay alive.
- Worldwide about 10 percent of the population has chronic kidney disease. Many dice because they can’t afford treatment.
As you can see, healthy kidneys play a critical role in our overall health. If you have kidney pain or related concerns, please don’t hesitate to call our team.
Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or click here.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.