Almost everyone is born with two kidneys that are situated at the bottom of the rib cage at the back of your body. Kidneys have many roles in the body which include:
- Filtering the blood to remove waste and excess fluid, which forms urine
- Controlling blood pressure
- Keeping bones healthy
- Helping make red blood cells
- Regulating nutrient levels in the body, like calcium, phosphate and potassium
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common condition (6 million people in England have CKD) where kidney performance is lower than normal for at least a few months. As a result, you may develop high blood pressure, anaemia (a lack of red blood cells) and weaker bones. CKD is also linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Many people with CKD are able to live long lives with the condition. However, CKD can get worse over time and the kidneys may stop working completely, but this is uncommon. Please refer to the ‘Managing Chronic Kidney Disease’ section for more information on how we can look after your kidneys and reduce the associated risks.