KidneyHow the kidneys work

Your kidneys have about a million tiny filters in them. Hundreds of times a day, your blood gets filtered through the kidneys. The kidneys are always working to make sure your blood is just the right combination - not too thin or too thick, not too salty, or overloaded with too many vitamins, minerals, or wastes from your body. What is removed by the kidneys goes to your bladder where the urine is stored until you go pee.

Signs of kidney failure

Symptoms vary in intensity for everyone, but include the following:
nausea, vomiting, itchy skin, excessive hiccoughs, feeling very tired and not able to do as much, restless or "jumpy" legs (especially at night, disrupting sleep).

Who needs a kidney transplant?

The most common causes of kidney failure include diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), polycystic kidney disease (an inherited disease), and glomerulonephritis (a disease caused by a virus or bacteria). Kidney failure means that the kidneys cannot perform their normal tasks. When kidney function is less than 10 percent, the kidneys cannot remove excess water, salt, or wastes, and the body's tissues begin to swell. People become seriously ill and, without medical help, kidney failure is life threatening. Fortunately, dialysis is available, which helps get rid of fluids when the kidneys are not working properly. For many patients, however, they prefer transplantation which allows them more freedom in their daily life.

Back to body

LHSCPatients, Families & Visitors

Last Updated July 22, 2008 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada