Skip to content

How do my kidneys work


Size and location in the body

The kidneys are bean-shaped and the size of your fist. They lie in the middle of the back, on each side of the spine.

Normally, there are two kidneys in our bodies. Among other things, they are responsible for the water balance and the filtering of toxins.

Function of the kidneys

Did you already know?

Your kidneys work 24 hours per day

All of the blood is filtered about 300 times throughout the day if the kidneys are healthy

On average, around 1,500 liters of blood flow through the kidneys a day

Learn about how your kidneys work in the following video:

To summarize: Why are the kidneys so important for me and my body?
  1. The kidneys remove excess water and waste products and put them in urine
  2. The kidneys influence hormonal balance
  3. The kidneys affect blood pressure
  4. The kidneys affect bone stability

Symptoms of kidney disease

You should be aware that the warning signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease are often ambiguous. Many patients have chronic kidney disease without knowing it. In general: Only a physician can make a clear diagnosis! Don’t diagnose yourself.

What can be warning signs?
  • Reduced urinary excretion
  • Water retention in hands, face and legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Disordered sleep
  • Loss of appetite, nausea/ vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Feeling cold
  • Fatigue, tiredness, sluggishness
  • Itching
  • Headaches
  • Restless legs

Trust your physician and consult her or him if you are not feeling well. The sooner you speak to your physician and the more open you are about your symptoms, the better your physician can react and find a suitable treatment for you. The right measures at the right time can have a decisive influence on the course of kidney disease. Unfortunately, existing chronic damage to the kidneys cannot be reversed. If complete kidney failure has occurred, the function of the kidney must be replaced. There are various options for this.

Learn how to prevent further kidney damage in the next section

Related content

If the kidneys' filtering function is already impaired, it is important to slow down the progression of the disease.

If your kidneys are no longer able to cleanse your body of toxins and excess water, there are different treatment options available.