Your Kidneys and How They Work


Where are my kidneys?

You have two kidneys. They are bean-shaped organs about the size of your fist and located near the middle of your back, one on each side of your spine. The right kidney sits below the liver and the left kidney is below the diaphragm, adjacent to the spleen.

What do my kidneys do?

When you eat your body breaks down the food for energy and self-repair. When your body takes what it needs from the food you consume your body sends the waste to the blood.

This is when your kidneys come into play. Your kidneys maintain a stable and constant balance of bodily fluids and remove waste. The kidneys do this by filtering and secreting metabolites (such as urea) and minerals from the blood and excreting them, along with extra water from the blood, as urine. If your kidneys did not remove these wastes, the wastes would build up in the blood and damage your body.

The kidneys also help to regulate blood pressure, glucose metabolism and erythropoiesis.