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Also called: Renal disease
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.
Damage to the nephrons results in kidney disease. This damage may leave kidneys unable to remove wastes. Usually the damage occurs slowly over years. There are no obvious symptoms, so you don't know it is happening.
Many things can cause kidney disease. You are at risk if you have
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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|Date last updated: 04 May 2009
Topic last reviewed: 21 February 2009