National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Kidney Diseases is the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fists. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Inside each kidney about a million tiny structures called nephrons filter blood. They remove waste products and extra water, which become urine. The urine flows through tubes called ureters to your bladder, which stores the urine until you go to the bathroom.
Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons. This damage may leave kidneys unable to remove wastes. Causes can include genetic problems, injuries, or medicines. You are at greater risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a close family member with kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease damages the nephrons slowly over several years. Other kidney problems include:
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)